MADE Program’s Idea Competition: Tapping into the untapped potential of Egyptian youth for innovation in manufacturing

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein.

As of 2022, Egypt has around 3.5 million students enrolled in its public universities and institutes. Before graduation, seniors in the scientific verticals have to deliver practical projects – a room where every year, thousands of students succeed in identifying real-world challenges and proposing development solutions.

In autumn 2022, we had the chance to meet some of these students and graduates in person through the Manufacturing Advancement and Development in Egypt (MADE) Program. This happened when we kicked off the program’s first edition with a nationwide idea competition focusing on sustainable energy solutions in manufacturing operations. Over 22 teams of young entrepreneurs from all over Egypt participated in the competition with their innovative ideas after passing a selection process of 100+ applications.

Youth-driven innovation, a key to realizing sustainable development

With a science fair set-up, the competition took place at  Startup Haus Cairo, our hub in North Africa. In stations, the teams showcased their ideas and presented them to a jury of experts in business and manufacturing. To gear up for that moment, the participants received two-day online training on the fundamentals of prototyping and pitching before joining the competition as part of the program’s first phase.

From intelligent wind energy solutions to AI integrations to innovative energy efficiency management systems – the participants presented promising solutions for innovating the country’s local energy production and its integration in the manufacturing sector. By the end of the competition, the jury selected the winning teams with the top 8 ideas to join the program’s second phase, which is three months of pre-incubation.

“It’s impressive to see this potential in our youth! The missing link here is the adequate support of training and mentoring needed to put them on the right track to start their entrepreneurship journey. And that’s what I believe MADE Program will cover,” says the jury member Dr. Ahmed ElMarsafawy, CEO of GR resources.

In the meantime, with the support of Fab Lab Egypt, the technical partner in MADE Program, the participants are now receiving comprehensive training on prototyping and design thinking, along with free access to Fab Lab’s makerspaces, and one-on-one coaching sessions throughout the three months of pre-incubation. That’s in addition to connecting with business experts through dedicated leadership and business development sessions.

With MADE, we aim to open doors for innovation to thrive in Egypt’s manufacturing sector through the minds and hands of its youth—and this is just the beginning. While realizing the sustainability nexus, MADE aims to empower more and more entrepreneurs in the three tracks: energy, water, and food —If you are interested in supporting or participating in the coming rounds, you can fill out this form and team MADE will be reaching out to you.

For now, check out the MADE’s Idea Competition winners, who made it to the Pre-incubation phase of the energy track:

Moataz Mostafa, team lead of Green Flames

Moataz graduated from the Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, and since then, he has been interested in R&D, especially related to water and energy problems. Moataz worked at the Environmental Research Center at Fayoum University and is currently considering his research at the British University in Egypt. Besides his work, he participated in several training programs in Sweden, Jordan, China, and Russia, which helped him develop some interesting designs to improve the efficiency of solar energy units and the manufacturing process of seawater desalination models.

Nada Shagr, team lead of Clean Quad

Nada recently graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts, Benha University, majoring in industrial and product design. Along with her passion for designing products that solve users’ problems, she believes everyone deserves a chance at quality learning. Thus, Nada combined her passion for engineering, education, and research to help the young generation of makers and creators to realize their potential and dreams through STEM education. She’s also a graduate and instructor for Maker Diploma, a program provided by ACC and San3a academy that helps young makers and educates them about digital fabrication tools, CAD design, Electronics, and technical documentation. For Nada, giving back to the community is as important as her education and career; she also volunteered at Enactus and TEDx.

Dina Dahy, team lead of Techno Tawfeer

Dina Atya graduated from the power electric engineering department at the Faculty of Engineering, Assuit University. She has vast experience as an electric site engine and technical office engineer. She also worked as a smart home system designer at Home Automation and Constructing Company. Dina has been a TIEC (technology Innovation and entrepreneurship center) Ambassador for two years. She participated in different learning programs, including Egypt Innovate’s accelerator program, INTEL Ideation, InnovEgypt workshop, and online training on home automation by HDL China. In addition, she took part in the HUAWEI Egypt ICT, Formula ONE, and ELSA International competitions. Dina is also a member of the IEEE Assuit student association. 

Youssef Sharma, team lead of Rebot: 

As a driven and innovative entrepreneur and product designer, Youssef Sharma has made way for himself through his environmental entrepreneurship and industrial design accomplishments. He is a bachelor holder from the Academy of Art and Design in Alexandria. With a passion for technology, mechanics, and business, he is always looking for new ways to impact the world through his inventions positively. Youssef stands out for his ability to think outside the box, which has helped him bring to life numerous successful projects and products that put him on the way to achieving his goal of making a lasting impact as a successful entrepreneur.

Omneya Ahmed, team lead of Eco-rise:

Omneya Ahmed is a mechanical power engineer who graduated from Helwan University. She is also a proficient French speaker. As a volunteer, Omneya took part in organizing events and was a judge at model d’union Européen which took place at CSF (Comité stratégique de filière). Omneya is interested in sustainability, renewable energy, and local and creative solutions contributing to the fight against climate change. She is always on the lookout for opportunities to empower and promote the green industry in Egypt; she believes that one day Egyptians can become pioneers in the field of manufacturing.

Ahmed El-Shahat, team lead of Windy:

An electrical power engineer graduated from Zagazig University. Oriented about innovation, entrepreneurship & technology with pre-experiences in business development, project management, team building & leadership, he is always on the way with steps forward in the renewable energy industry with a focus on wind energy. He is passionate about sustainability, technology & its implementation in the renewable sector. As a result-driven entrepreneur, Ahmed always finds opportunities in problems, especially when it comes to power & energy challenges.

Khaled Hassan, team lead of Mech Masters:

Khaled is a senior Engineering Student at Helwan University, on the way to graduating from the mechanical production department. Following his passion for digital art, Khaled has built five years of experience since he was 19, working full-time and freelancing in graphic design. Currently, he is the senior graphic designer of i-events. Additionally, Khaled works as a visual design instructor for teens at Mind Builders. He also volunteered in various student activities and joined training programs on presentation and leadership skills. For the time being, he explores the business and project management fields through reading and self-learning. 

Mohamed Youssef, team lead of Eagles

Mohamed Youssef is a senior renewable energy engineering student at Heliopolis University, on his way to graduation, achieving first place in his class over the previous four years. Mohamed also participated in competitions, including a global student challenge for secure learning and the local Ebneha and Ebtekar competitions.

Learn more about MADE’s first edition and the participants’ ideas!

Junior Communications Manager

Noha is the Communications Coordinator at enpact. She is a content writer and storyteller,  skilled in Journalism, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Interviewing Subject Matter Experts, Newspapers, and Magazine Articles.

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