UM6P StartGate supports startups from 15 countries in various stages of growth to bolster the regional tech industry.
UM6P (Mohammed VI Polytechnic University) StartGate (LinkedIn), a startup campus located in Morocco, has successfully incubated over 500 startups in the past three years, providing support at all stages of maturity, including pre-incubation, incubation, acceleration, and venture building. The University is also expanding its capacity to host more projects from Morocco and Africa, and has partnered with prestigious institutions like MIT and Plug&Play to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
Diverse programs and international partnerships drive startup success
UM6P’s StartGate offers a diverse range of programs to support startups, including collaborations with prestigious international partners. One such collaboration is with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), through the “MIT Sandbox” program. This initiative aims to provide expertise, mentorship, and funding of up to MAD 250,000 (USD 28,320) to project holders from five Moroccan universities, both public and private, helping them develop prototypes and find their first customers.
In addition, UM6P has launched the Moroccan Retail Tech Builder (MRTB), a cluster of four incubating programs dedicated to startups in the retail sector. Co-created with the Industry and Trade Ministry and OCP Foundation, MRTB has already supported 40 startups, further showcasing UM6P’s commitment to fostering innovation in specific industries.
UM6P’s StartGate also extends support to students, researchers, and entrepreneurs through its U-Founders incubation program, which lasts from 6 to 24 months. This program has supported over 105 startups in 15 different fields, providing a platform for young innovators to bring their ideas to life and contribute to Morocco’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Strategic partnerships and investment funds drive growth
UM6P has forged strategic partnerships to drive the success of its startup ecosystem. One such partnership is with Silicon Valley’s global innovation platform Plug&Play, through which promising Moroccan startups are connected with international investors. In fact, UM6P became home to the first office of Plug&Play in Africa in November 2020, further solidifying its position as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
Additionally, UM6P leverages its two investment funds, UM6P Ventures and Bidra, to invest in future unicorns, particularly in the fields of agriculture, water, mining, and energy. These funds provide crucial support and resources to startups with high growth potential, driving economic growth and innovation in Morocco.
UM6P – Entrepreneurship and innovation
Commenting on this significant milestone, Yassine Laghzioui, Director of Entrepreneurship & Venturing at UM6P, stated, “This step marks a turning point in our contribution to the development of innovative national entrepreneurship.” He further emphasized that UM6P’s culture of innovation is deeply rooted in Moroccan youth, with 30% of project leaders being women and 50% being students.
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