Startup accelerator Changelabs launches scale up program for SMEs

EGYPTChangelabs, a startup accelerators, has announced the launch of its leading “Scale Up To Green” accelerator targeting top Egyptian resource efficiency, green energy, and agritech companies.

This accelerator will offer small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and scale ups unparalleled access to the resources they need to scale and acquire more customers. It also aims to help build the right long-term partnerships and raise additional rounds of funding.

The programme is being launched in partnership with the Green for Growth Fund (GGF), which is an investment fund worth over €400 million (US$477.29m) supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Deutsche Bank, and other leading organisations. It will serve to help GGF identify potential portfolio companies. 

“While the Egyptian ecosystem is one of the most robust in the MENA region, and accelerators and VCs are everywhere, there’s a huge gap in the scale-up and operating segments of the startup support menu,” said Karim Samra, CEO and Founder of Changelabs.

“We aim to bring together the right stakeholders to fill that gap, in Egypt and beyond. Simultaneously, organic farming, clean energy, efficient buildings, agriculture, and access to water are all priorities.”

“There’s a huge gap in the scale-up and operating segments of the startup support menu.”

Karim Samra – CEO and Founder, Changelabs

The programme will also count the European Union’s (EU) EU4Energy initiative, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and MINT by EGBank as partners.

The programme will admit and work closely with 15 leading Egyptian post-revenue scale-ups by mid-2021. Each admitted startup will be considered for investment by GGF, whose ticket sizes can reach up to €1 million (US$1.19m), and gain access to technology and design services, and product build-out support.

They will also have a day-to-day hands-on operating partner for six months that will help scale their business with them, a first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The programme’s focus on key sustainability outcomes is particularly suited to the Egyptian market, as the country is undergoing a Green Energy and Resource Efficiency renaissance.

“We are thrilled to partner up with Changelabs to launch the first Green Scale-Up Accelerator in the region,” said Nelly Mahmoud, Chief Communication Officer and Head of Youth Beyond Banking & Financial Inclusion at EGBank.

“MINT by EGBank’s long-term strategy and vision is to empower young entrepreneurs with the needed tools and technical support considered crucial for their business’ growth.”

She said that the bank understands that the Egyptian Scale-up Ecosystem is underserved and has lots of potential.

“Therefore we, at MINT by EGBank, are committed to play an effective role as a real contributor to the ecosystem in the various crucial arenas including green energy and green economy,” she added.

This has been spurred by local constraints and pressure exerted by double digit population growth coupled with global demand as reflected in competitive export markets.

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