In recent years, the Egyptian startup ecosystem has boomed, with an increasing number of initiatives attracting both domestic and international attention and funding. One area experiencing renewed interest is sustainability, with a range of startups in Egypt working to create a more sustainable Egypt.
Hoping to boost efforts to achieve a more sustainable Egypt, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japanese governmental development agency, has been supporting a number of Egyptian startups with mentorship, funding and more. Three startups in particular have been pioneers in unique areas.
DilenyTech: A Fast-growing health tech startup in Africa empowering radiology with AI with JICA’s support
Today, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer, with nearly two million new cases a year worldwide. More than 400 million breast examinations are performed annually, with increasing demand resulting in insufficient resources to ensure examinations are done punctually and effectively and without error. This shortage of resources impacts radiology in particular, with more than five billion medical images being processed on an annual basis across the world.
Dileny Technologies (DilenyTech) is a cutting-edge startup that develops and deploys innovative AI technologies to empower radiology workflowers. They focus onmedical imaging analysis applications, breast cancer risk assessment, and structured reporting for several medical applications. The company has provided its services to top-tier international health tech companies with active users in three different continents.
In 2020, DilenyTech was granted its first US patent in medical imaging and was able to secure a USD 160,000 non-equity grant in 2021. Today, DilenyTech is also a member of the NVIDIA Inception program and the Microsoft for Startups program.
Hoping to spread knowledge, DilenyTech has been participating in JICA’s Third Country Training Program, allowing it to present its learnings and innovative solutions to other initiatives across Africa.
NANO-FIB-TECH: The Egyptian startup set out to change the future of hygiene
NANO-FIB-TECH is another unique Egyptian health-tech startup that set out to change the future of hygiene by developing eco-friendly disinfectants and hand gel sanitizing solutions that are capable of being used in liquid, gel and powder forms.
Traditionally, disinfectants and sanitizers have contained harsh chemicals such as ethyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxides and more. These harsh chemicals can result in excessive dryness of the skin, breakouts, irritation and redness and other disturbances.
JICA supported the startup to formulate the product, test manufacturing, ensure readiness for registration, establish a strong pricing model and through business negotiation skills development.
With its solution, made from eco-friendly ingredients that do not use any alcohol or harsh chemicals and exhibit unique properties that fight bacteria, fungi and even viruses, NANO-FIB-TECH is able to eliminate these negative health impacts while also removing these harsh chemicals from the environment.
JICA has supported NANO-FIB-TECH throughout its journey through funding to formulate the product to be more effective against bacteria, fungi and viruses and to prepare its product for test toll manufacturing and registration. JICA’s support also extended to helping NANO-FIB-TECH secure new prospective customers, analysing product-market fit and sharpening customer and investor pitches.
Through JICA’s support, NANO-FIB-TECH has been able to face challenges upfront and double down on its product. This has allowed it to achieve industrial stage readiness, enabling it to start to give back to the community through the introduction of a safe, eco-friendly solution.
HELM: The leading disability social enterprise in the MENA region is removing barriers toward the full inclusion of people with disabilities
“When we build for people with disabilities, we build a world for everyone.”
With more than 15 million Egyptians living with a disability and more than one billion worldwide, Helm is on a mission to remove the barriers to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities.
As a social enterprise with a number of initiatives, one of the more unique initiatives has been Helm Academy which supports people with disabilities by providing them with training and support – support that has often been lacking.
Offering free end-to-end services for people with disabilities, Helm managed to attract the support of JICA, particularly given its focus on inclusion.
Since Helm offers a free end-to-end service for the disabled, it garnered the interest of JICA during the evaluation process of the Competition. Helm’s Application was unique and tackled an important area of JICA support and interest which is supporting People with Disabilities Inclusion in society. Through JICA’s Next Innovation With Japan (NINJA) program, JICA has funded and supported Helm to design a capacity building program to support people with disabilities to develop their skills and provide them workforce training.
Helm’s contribution to the Middle East and North Africa region is only starting and is intended to achieve the inclusion of everyone in society. To that end, Helm is now providing comprehensive advisory and coaching services for institutions, professionals and governments. If your company is looking for support to advance inclusion, you can visit Helm’s website for more information.