The Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) was established in 2010, to tackle the lack of access to entrepreneurship education and training outside Cairo. Most of the entities that supported the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem outside Cairo did not have physical places in different governorates, leading to the lack of qualified individuals and tech startups with innovative solutions that can attract investments.
TIEC’s mission is to stimulate a knowledge-based society by developing strategies, providing facilities, and optimizing promotions of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as providing an intellectual property framework to foster ICT innovation and growth in the local economy. TIEC incubator was established at Assiut University, the largest university in Upper Egypt, to develop and support the entrepreneurship community in Upper Egypt and to encourage and support students and graduates to establish their startups. Moreover, TIEC has further expanded by establishing branches in Assiut Technology Park and Borg El Arab Technology Park, Alexandria in 2017.
TIEC has also launched the Community Innovation Hub (CIH). The CIHs are located on the campuses of seven governmental universities: Mansoura, Menoufia, Suez Canal University in Ismailia, Minia, Sohag, South Valley in Qena, and Aswan. The objective is to support and assist students, SMEs, and start-ups to become key actors in bringing digital transformation within the reach of all industry sectors.
A CIH is meant to be a community resource, providing an innovative, collaborative environment with a mix of entrepreneurial, educational, and commercial uses in the field of ICT. Each CIH, running now since May 2021, has 3 dedicated spaces: Co-working Space, Workshop Space, and Incubation Space. Each CIH location is considered a self-sustaining and thriving centre offering a collaborative environment and space for entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, and ICT ιnnovation.
Each CIH mainly is delivering the following services:
- Incubation services
- Entrepreneurship acceleration and consultancy services
- Co-working services
- Access to capital
- Innovation, entrepreneurship, and ICT capacity building training and mentoring
- Talent acquisition
- Freelancing coaching
- Career development services
- Hackathons and competitions
- Awareness events
And each CIH is running to fulfil the following objectives:
- Foster creativity and innovation through the shared use of facilities and through complementary uses that develop viable prototypes and products.
- Avail development, apprenticeship, training, entrepreneurial, and mentorship opportunities that directly benefit and engage the local startup scene and the surrounding community.
- Encourage the diverse CIH customers and beneficiaries to collaborate and thus promote intersection of ideas.
- Establish linkages with the underlying universities, and with the surrounding and national technology innovation ecosystems.
- Utilize public-private partnerships for collaborative economic and societal development.
The impact of this new strategy began to appear gradually and have an effect on the various KPIs of TIEC – such as job creation, access to finance, ecosystem engagement, and of course the impactful number of entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs supported.
The presence and provision of services to a larger segment of potential entrepreneurs that are distributed all over Egypt, being close to the main sources of talent pool which are universities, are considered now as the main driving forces to raise the KPIs of TIEC and the Egyptian ecosystem.