In 2014, multidisciplinary education graduate, Mohamed Jaidane, co-founded his startup Sciencia with the aim of providing scientific leisure products and services that promote learning by doing and the scientific awakening of kids and youths. According to Mohamed, “In Tunisia, there is a high rate of graduate unemployment and many kids who are motivated to learn Science, but no structure or support to realise it, as well as a weak technical innovation scene that neglects local problems.” The idea behind Sciencia was to approach all this unrealised potential and find a way to tackle the problem. Mohamed and his team are focusing on Tunisia in order to prove the concept, before hopefully expanding to similar places that face the same issues.
Prior to Sciencia, Mohamed was involved in several highly challenging projects and ventures in oil & gas and his experiences working abroad helped him learn to approach problems in different ways and to accommodate solutions to different contexts. With his associates, he tried to tie this in to the two passions they share: Science and knowledge-sharing, and to the place that bears so many unfolded and unrealised opportunities, which is Tunisia. As well as being Sciencia’s CTO, Mohamed handles finances and several strategic projects.
One challenge Mohamed faced as a co-founder was managing his constraints and finding the right involvement in his startup, as he claims it’s tough to find a balance. He also had issues raising capital and engaging employees. When he joined the enpact programme last year, Mohamed’s intention was to share and exchange with other fellows, mentors and experts who had experienced similar challenges and found ways to overcome them. Through observing and understanding others, he hoped to improve the way his team do things and their approach to challenges and objectives.
The mentoring programme allowed Mohamed to gain some traction but also to engage with the dynamic startup ecosystem in Tunisia and become more a part of it. He commented on how the mentoring with all the mentors, not just his assigned mentor, greatly impacted his approach to solving issues: