Startech, the Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane Entrepreneurial Idea Incubation (AUI-EII), is an initiative launched in partnership with the University of Salento in Italy. It aims to nurture an entrepreneurial culture among AUI students and alumni of all areas of specialization by challenging them to transform their technology ideas into real business opportunities, by assisting them to successfully launch start-up companies, and by coaching them as they learn how to lead the companies of tomorrow. Further, participants will have the opportunity to be exposed to potential investors who may be interested in their business ideas and who will assist them with the financial support process. The underlying theme of the competition is entrepreneurship driven by technology.
Startech will be organized on an annual basis. It is intended to be the top entrepreneurial initiative in Morocco.
The mandate of Startech is to:
- Promote an entrepreneurial spirit among AUI students and alumni
- Support the entrepreneurial ventures of AUI students and alumni through advising, coaching and networking opportunities
- Provide participants with the business ideas, the opportunity to take a leadership position within a team, and the assistance to bring their ideas to the final stages.
Startech will act as a learning tool by offering each participant a structured path to further develop their entrepreneurial skills, receive invaluable feedback from AUI and external experts, and have the chance to pitch their ventures on a university platform. In this respect, there will be a mentorship opportunity designed to provide teams with pointers on how to develop a professional business plan, to guide participants with assessing the viability of a business idea, and to assist them on how to artfully pitch their business plan to the judges.
Startech is open to AUI alumni and to current students from all schools affiliated with Al Akhawayn University, namely the School of Business Administration, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Science and Engineering. This will be a great occasion for the creative minds of AUI students and alumni seeking opportunities in the field of entrepreneurship to practice and demonstrate their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
Startech participants are encouraged to create multidisciplinary teams with complementary skills to develop their business plans. Business ideas can range from the highly technical to the creative arts as long as they are driven by technology; not only should the business ideas show creativity, but they should also be implementable. A jury of experts will assess the submitted business ideas and select the top winners.
Startech aims to provide incentives for AUI students and alumni to develop a professional business plan and present them with a unique pedagogical experience through a process of business learning. Applicants that identify well thought-out business ideas will benefit from invaluable feedback and helpful advice provided by local and international experts on the viability of their plan.
Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to explore exceptional business experiences through AUI’s open workspace. Who knows? Perhaps this could be the catalyst for making your business a reality?
Participating teams will have the opportunity to showcase their unique ventures for a chance at attracting investors.
If you have a concept, invention, business idea, or have even dreamed about launching your own business someday, we encourage you to participate in this initiative and let your ideas be heard!
- September 30: Proposal Template deadline
- Week of October 3: Applicants informed if they will move on to the mentoring stage
- October 10-December 7: Series of seminars and workshops to further develop your idea
- December 7: Final draft due
- February 16: Pitch your final product to a panel of experts and investors
Startech seeks to gather the most talented, entrepreneurial-minded AUI students and alumni. If you would like to compete against the brightest participants, obtain valuable feedback on your business idea and benefit from an entrepreneurship coaching experience, we strongly encourage you to participate in Startech.
The initiative process is three-fold:
2. Successful participants will benefit from a mentoring experience in advance of the final project presentation through a series of seminars and workshops to further develop their business idea. The mentoring period will last from Sept. 30, 2016 until the participants submit a final draft of their project on December 7, 2016.
3. Business projects will be presented before a jury formed by local and international experts on February 16, 2017. Participants will be given 20 minutes to present key points of their ventures. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation. Participants will need to answer questions posed by the jury comprised of the specialists and potential investors.