Al Akhawayn launches two incubators for startups
In alignment with its five-year strategic plan and an effort to put the promotion of entrepreneurship and the development of Generation Z at the center of its priorities, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane is launching two start-up incubators called Startup Olympus and A-Incubator.
Led by University students using the try-fail-try-fail-try-succeed method, these incubators aim to put in place the right environments for AUI students and faculty to collaborate with international investors to respond to local needs. In addition, they aim to promote creation and innovation, by creating prototypes and launching viable products, including the latest technologies in order to fill certain gaps in the Moroccan and African markets.
Startup Olympus and A-Incubator will thus call on the best national and international leaders in entrepreneurship, and will be connected to angel investors accessing seed capital and mentorship.
According to AUI President Dr. Amine Bensaid, “The youth of Gen Z have an impressive potential to make a difference in the University community, but also to serve our country. With the aim of connecting the Moroccan and international Gen Z to the world by encouraging them to pursue their passion and to take risks and by offering them the adequate skills to succeed, Al Akhawayn University aspires, through the establishment of these two incubators, to give its students the means to succeed in multiple fields, such as technology, finance, environment, sustainability, and health.”
For her part, Ms. Deborah Bartlett MacArthur, Ambassador of Morocco to the World Business Angel Forum and professor at the AUI School of Business Administration (SBA), welcomes this initiative, which will also allow students to focus on experimentation during their four years at university. “Angel funding is a critical part of entrepreneurship in the African continent, as we see strong angel investor networks in Egypt, Nigeria, Cameroon, and South Africa. We will work to bring angel funding to students from AUI," she stressed.
This fall semester, a pilot group of 30 students from Al Akhawayn created FinTech strategies. The best ideas will be accepted into the Startup Olympus incubator to ensure their development. Then, in December, these projects will be evaluated by a prestigious jury to identify the most impactful sales for Morocco.