A quick dive into the Egypt startup ecosystem


Mr. Ahmed El Alfi is the Founder and Chairman of Sawari Ventures a Cairo-based venture capital firm. Established in 2010, the goal of Sawari is to help transform Egyptian and MENA region economies through the creation of high impact businesses. In 2011, Sawari created Flat6Labs, its own startup accelerator. Flat6Labs immerses startup entrepreneurs into real-world challenges of creating and managing sustainable enterprises. Before Sawari Ahmed was a veteran investor and venture capitalist from California with over 25 years of experience in top executive and management positions. Investment track record over the last 17 years includes the execution of numerous successful transactions in technology, Internet, healthcare and financial services at various stages of development. Has executed many rewarding exits, including several IPOs on the NASDAQ. 2006, CEO, EFG-Hermes Private Equity; then founded Sawari Ventures.

“Tunisian entrepreneurs typically focus on Tunis and Europe… Moroccan entrepreneurs focus a little on Europe and mostly on Sub saharan Africa and Egyptian entrepreneurs look like the gulf first after their local market.”

Ahmed El Alfi

On this episode, you’ll learn:

  1. How did VC’s respond to the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt? [1:50]
  2. What category of startup is Egypt ideal for? And the rest of the middle east? [5:21]
  3. What will emerge as the leading startup ecosystem in North Africa by 2025 [20:09]

Recorded in partnership with

PeaceTech Lab works to reduce violent conflict using technology, media, and data to accelerate and scale peacebuilding efforts. An independent nonprofit, the Lab brings together engineers and activists, MBAs and conflict experts, social scientists, data scientists, and other innovators to put the right tools in the right hands to build peace.

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