Feb 27,2011

In partnership with our friends at Plug and Play Silicon Valley, we’re proud to announce the launch of Plug and Play Egypt!

Plug and Play Egypt is the MENA region’s first Silicon Valley-linked company incubator and accelerator, targeted at selecting, supporting, and accelerating the growth of Egypt’s next generation of high-impact technology entrepreneurs. With world-class facilities in Smart Village Cairo, Plug and Play will accelerate up to 80 carefully-chosen companies in the next five years, providing access to targeted mentorship; corporate and strategic partnerships; value-added venture capital financing; and a bridge to Silicon Valley.

Plug and Play Egypt is a joint initiative led by Dr. Ossama Hassanein, Chairman of Rising Tide Fund; Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO of Plug and Play International; and Hazem El Wassimy, Managing Director of Plug and Play Egypt. In Silicon Valley, Plug and Play has become the ultimate place to launch and grow promising new technologies, including many from around the world. Since 2006, we have welcomed 500+ companies and helped them raise $800+ million in funding from global venture capitalists and leading corporations.

“MENA doesn’t have a shortage of entrepreneurs” said Hassanein, “what is lacking is an infrastructure for innovation and entrepreneurship – that’s what we have built here.” Most important for Egypt, Hassanein adds, is providing access to learning resources, expert mentorship, and smart capital. “For Plug and Play’s founding tenants, we are looking for companies with great products, a bold vision, and fearless founders looking for business expansion”.

Most of Plug and Play’s current founding companies were among the finalists in October’s TechWadi Rising Tide of Entrepreneurship summit, in which 30 companies met with leading US- and MENA-based mentors for an intensive mentorship session and boot-camp at the American University in Cairo School of Business. “Many of these companies have been on our radar for some time” says Amidi, “we were impressed by their passion, creativity, and potential, so we decided to help them succeed”.

For top entrepreneurs, Plug and Play Egypt is a gathering point: a place to find mentorship, funding, support, and the guidance of others. Year-round programs include workshops and conferences, disseminating important best-practices and bringing together leading stakeholders in entrepreneurship. For companies not yet contacted by the Plug and Play team, an online application is available through the PlugandPlayEgypt.com website. Every application is reviewed at least twice, by team members in both Silicon Valley and Egypt.

Founding startups who join Plug and Play during the launch period will receive complimentary office space; access to regional and international mentors; the targeted attention of the Rising Tide venture team; and, most importantly, the opportunity to be part of a game-changing new model for MENA entrepreneurship. Funding for expanding the most promising companies will come from Rising Tide Fund, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm led by Dr. Hassanein, as well as a network of VC partners.

After acceptance, successful startups join Plug and Play Egypt fulltime to learn from a community of like-minded individuals, interconnect with the resources and opportunities of Silicon Valley, access global networks and distribution channels, and find expert mentors and advisors. Leading companies will undergo regular mentorship boot-camps to sharpen the business plan, clarify strategic objectives, and establish parameters for incubation and potential financing. When ready, companies will receive grants for acceleration programs at Plug and Play Silicon Valley, where they will be launched into fund-raising opportunities through direct introductions to VCs and other investors; business development opportunities through corporate and technology partners; and coaching and mentoring opportunities through our network of advisors.

Plug and Play Egypt is proud to be part of Egypt’s Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) initiative. Currently in a pilot phase of operation, Plug and Play will officially launch in February 2011 under the patronage of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

Plug and Play Silicon Valley
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, PlugandPlayTechCenter.com is a community of over 280 technology startup companies. Since its inception in January 2006 the center has helped 500+ startups raise in excess of $800 million in venture funding. The start-up companies have created a cumulative value of $2 billion and continue to shape the technology landscape of today and tomorrow.

Rising Tide Fund
Rising Tide is an international venture capital fund investing in promising companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, our presence, roots, and networks are spread across the globe. Over the last 25 years, we have invested in excess of $1.5 billion across 14+ funds, co-founded or chaired over 30 companies, and created market value in excess of $25 billion.

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