By : Bakinam Khaled
Arab Bank Egypt has recently concluded the first edition of its fintech bootcamp for Egyptian startups. The launch of this bootcamp comes in line with Arab Bank’s strategy to invest in entrepreneurs’ innovative technologies and enhance their skills by providing them with the necessary resources to keep pace with the latest trends in the financial industry, especially in light of the current fintech revolution.
Through this initiative, Arab Bank offered an ideal opportunity for promising fintech entrepreneurs in Egypt to present their emerging solutions to “AB Accelerator”, Arab Bank’s innovation hub, for a chance of integrating these solutions within the bank. It is worth noting that “AB Accelerator” is the fintech-focused corporate accelerator of Arab Bank, which invests globally, with a focus on EMEA, in early-stage technology startups, whose business model provides innovation that can disrupt or expand the financial services industry.
The shortlisted startups enrolled in an intensive one-week bootcamp that took place between the 21st and the 25th of November, 2021, through which they were able to develop their ideas and refine their skills by testing their proposed solutions and validating their relevance and feasibility in the market. The bootcamp workshops were lead by entrepreneurs, investors, experts from the fintech industry as well as Arab Bank Egypt, ensuring delivering the relevant experience and knowledge to the participants.
The bootcamp concluded with a demo day where startups pitched their solutions to a panel of judges comprised of Arab Bank senior management in addition to independent investors. Three winners were selected and received cash rewards to continue developing their ideas and building their solutions. “Fawateerak” received the first-place prize of EGP 100,000 while “F-Mail” received the second-place prize of EGP 75,000 and “Vlens” came in third with a EGP 50,000 prize.
Commenting on this initiative, Habiba Helmy, Innovation Lead at Arab Bank – Egypt, said: “The bootcamp focused on connecting entrepreneurs with relevant Arab Bank stakeholders to explore collaboration opportunities in addition to giving them hands on support through holding knowledge exchange sessions with mature entrepreneurs that have gone through similar journeys in their early days, particularly relating to the challenges and pains that less mature startups are experiencing.”
Helmy added: “We are very pleased with the success and outcome of the bootcamp and the enthusiasm demonstrated by the participants throughout. This reflects their commitment to developing their skills and growing their products through utilizing the resources provided to them at the bootcamp. These are the kind of prospect startups that we aspire to invest in and collaborate with at Arab Bank.”
It is worth mentioning that Arab Bank’s presence in Egypt started in 1944. Currently, the bank owns 44 branches located in main cities and governorates across Egypt. Arab Bank has one of the largest global Arab banking networks with over 600 branches spanning five continents. The bank has also recently received the “Best Consumer Digital Bank in Egypt 2021” award by New York-based Global Finance Magazine.