The agency said on Tuesday that the company will open an office in Egypt; its first ever in Africa.
Through its team of expert program managers, investors, and mentors, 500 Global will deploy three separate programmes over a period of three years that will support nearly 200 startups and around 60 accelerator managers
These programmes include a bootcamp for seed-stage companies; a “scale-up” program with investments anticipated for participating Pre-Series A companies; and a bootcamp for accelerator managers.
The 500 Global-ITIDA agreement, witnessed by Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, seeks to provide promising Egyptian-based startups with the tools they need to succeed, and to train aspiring accelerator managers, thus creating the conditions to foster a regional community of innovators.
“The partnership comes within the ministry’s keenness to establish cooperation with key global players to build an inclusive and robust network of experts and investors, aiming to accelerate the growth of the local startup sector and boost the innovation-based entrepreneurship,” said Egypt's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat.
Talaat noted that this cooperation is a continuation of a series of endeavors to nurture and upscale startups. Other endeavours, he said, have included the plans of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) to build and create a vibrant startup community at the Creativa Innovation Hubs, which are spread across Egypt, with investments of up to EGP 5 billion.
For his part, Vice President of ITIDA said that this agreement aims to empower the community of local entrepreneurs. In addition, it encourages them to launch their projects and innovative startups in collaboration with a globally renowned venture capital firm such as 500 Global.
He added that the 500 Global office will be located at Digital Egypt Innovation Hub “Creativa” in Giza; a hub that embraces the state-of-the-art business environment and highest standards of launching successful startups.
500 Global’s startups have attracted nearly $500 million in venture capital funding in 2021– more than twice the amount in 2020.
The Egyptian startup ecosystem has established itself as one of Africa's “big four” in a very short amount of time.
500 Global: a long and enduring partnership
500 Global has been investing in Egypt for a decade and has investments in more than 60 Egyptian startups, including MaxAB, Homzmart, and Breadfast.
“We are thrilled to partner with ITIDA to bring 500 Global’s world-class programs, which have produced eight of our 49 unicorns, and a venture education program tailored for accelerator managers. As long-time investors in the country, we have the utmost confidence in the potential of the Egyptian market and look to be a key enabler of its fast-growing ecosystem,” said Courtney Powell, 500 Global’s Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner.
As part of its expanded strategy, 500 Global has appointed Amal Enan as Partner. Based in Cairo, she will oversee deal-related activities in the country. Enan has been investing in Egyptian startups for the past eight years, and helping them scale. Her experience includes roles at the American University in Cairo, Global Ventures, the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, EFG Hermes, and the IFC.
“With her deep knowledge of the market and investment experience, Amal Enan will be an important driver of our investment strategy in Egypt, as we welcome her in her role of Partner,” added Courtney Powell.
“500 Global has been an active supporter of Egyptian startups, and our partnership with ITIDA serves to reinforce our commitment to founders as they mature. I’m incredibly excited to join the 500 Global team, and be part of their mission to uplift people and economies through entrepreneurship, as this new chapter unfolds,” said Amal Enan.