May 15, 2012
Bey2ollak wins Google Ebda2 competition
Ebda2 with Google announced the winner of the top prize of LE 1.2 million of seed capital. Bey2ollak was named winner yesterday after a final day of presentations before the judges. The nationwide competition launched in September 2011 travelled the country to find the most innovative online entrepreneurs. The projects covered a range of products including websites, mobile applications, online services. More than 4,000 applicants entered the Ebda2 with Google competition and culminated today after nine months of training, mentoring and judging.
The winning idea came from a six person team “Bey2ollak” which is a community based traffic information service aiming to keep track of the status on all major roads in Cairo and Alexandria. The success is based on the active cooperation of all the members in providing information regarding traffic conditions through crowd sourcing live. “Bey2ollak was an idea that came to us from being frustrated with the traffic in Egypt. We created the mobile application so that users can contribute in live traffic reports to avoid further bottlenecks and delays. The application is popular because its user friendly language makes it compelling and fun for users,” said founder Gamal El Din Sadek.
Upon hearing the news that they won, Waleed Mustafa, Co-founder said “We are thrilled that we won this competition - this is the first time we have received any funding and now we will be able to build and develop our business to scale - thank you Ebda2 with Google for this amazing journey.”
For his part, Google’s VP of SEEMEA, Mohammad Gawdat said “this is a crucial moment for Egypt and competitions like this inspire us to take ownership in building the new Egypt to solve real problems using the Internet. There are 20 winners here today, not just one. Every idea that was developed tells a great story of the ingenuity and innovation that exists here - I am truly inspired.”
Ebda2 with Google gave competitors access to an impressive set of experts spanning all topics of management, finance, private equity, engineering, marketing, medicine, IT, retail and entrepreneurship. These mentor’s followed the Top 50 teams over three months to prepare them for the exhibition event that was held in March but most importantly, provided with vital expertise and knowledge that participants will use on a daily basis with their company.
“It’s an honor to be a judge for Ebda2 with Google”, said Khalid Ismail, Managing Director of Intel. “The competition showed that persistence and hard work will allow us to realize our dreams.”
Judges evaluated how innovative the idea is on a regional scale, how well the technology is being used and what is the exact social impact of the project depending on society’s needs. From a business perspective, the business model was analyzed to ensure there was a solid revenue generating model. The projected market size was also an important criteria to understand the business’ growth potential. The project’s progress over the course of the Ebda2 with Google campaign and the team members experience rounded up the score.
The final pitch accounted for 80% of the final score. The remaining 20% was based on the business plan which participants submitted three weeks prior.
Over the last nine months, Ebda2 with Google has travelled the country on a roadshow to gather participants far and wide and provided successful participants with training and mentoring from entrepreneurs and experts in the affected fields. The road show travelled to universities in Tanta, Fayoum, Zagazig, Alexandria, including the Library of Alexandria, Asyut, Port Said, the South Valley University in Aswan and to prominent universities in Cairo such as Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Azhar University and the Arab Academy.
Following the roadshow and after analysis of the participants of their entry submission, 200 finalists were selected out of the 4,000+ applications. The 200 finalists were invited to attend in a three day workshop on entrepreneurship and innovation by Googlers, industry experts, and many mentors who came from Cairo and from around the world to provide initial coaching and training.
Through this three day workshop, participants were judged on specific criteria and document submission. The top 50 successful participants moved on to the mentoring stage. The mentoring stage allowed participants to attend seminars and receive guidance and advice from a strong pool of mentors that covered a variety of sectors and whose expertise is priceless.
In March, at the end of the mentoring stage, the Top 50 participants presented a working model of their project during an exhibition event organized for them. They were able to showcase their projects before a panel of judges. Their time was limited to five minutes in order for them to demonstrate their creativity and create the most impact in a short space of time.
Judges deliberated and selected the final Top 20 who were all in the running for the grand prize of LE 1,200,000. During the day leading up to the final announcement, all Top 20 teams made their final pitch. They were scored out of a possible 100 points, each criteria having specific requirements. Criteria and requirements were selected to ensure that the winning project will provide a real impact in society and the country as a whole.
Google initiated this competition to spark the effective minority of Egypt’s economy of small and medium size enterprise businesses. The company committed to contribute to Egypt’s Internet ecosystem as part of a framework agreement signed with the Egyptian government back in 2009.
Updated: May 15, 2012 11:10 AM