Editors note: Taking a cue from our popular "Startup of the Week" column, we are are now launching "Accelerator of the Week" to profile the most interesting startup programs around the globe. Accelerators are a vital and increasingly important part of the startup ecosystem, and we want to share their stories with you.
Do you work at an interesting accelerator, incubator, university program, or similar? We'd love to hear from you. Email us to be considered for a future edition.
Our first accelerator in the spotlight is Flat6Labs, located in Cairo, Jeddah and beautiful Abu Dhabi. They have created over 400 new jobs and fostered over 160 founders, and are excellent proof that entrepreneurship is flourishing everywhere. Read on!
Accelerator #1: Flat6Labs
In just one sentence, what is your accelerator called and what do you do?
Flat6Labs is the MENA region's leading startup accelerator program that fosters and invests in bright and passionate entrepreneurs with cutting-edge ideas.
What makes your program different or unique? And related, what’s your primary value-add?
We provide seed funding, strategic mentorship, a creative workspace, a multitude of perks, entrepreneurship-focused business training, and we directly support our startups through an expansive network of partner entities, mentors and investors.
Our most noticeable competitive advantage is our business development and training curriculum, and our strongest assets is our ever-expanding network (think VCs, corporates, tech giants, telcos, etc) as well as our mentors.
What do you love the most about working with startups?
Startups are relatively unpredictable, and their scale potential is huge. So to work with a dynamic startup team in helping them build their disruptive product/service, while also trying to help them get off the ground is the ultimate rewarding experience.
What is the hardest or most surprising part of working with startups?
Internal team politics. Members of startup teams come and go, so its essential to help the early ventures get through their growing pains and assist with smooth decision making processes and collaborative team management.
Do you have a success story to share? Who are the most notable or interesting companies to go through your program?
Instabug offers services for mobile app developers to assist in the testing of their applications via an app feedback mechanism.
Integreight develops novel products for the electronic hobbyist and education market. Its first product, "1Sheeld" is a new shield for Arduino that’s connected to a mobile app to allow the use of all smart phone capabilities such as Gyroscope, Magnetometer, GSM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. They also have a Kickstarter Campaign going, check it out!
Nafham is a free online K-12 educational video platform linked to the mandated Egyptian public curriculum while currently expanding to the Saudi and Syrian curriculum also. Nafham provides 5 to 20 minutes crowd sourced videos which are revised by professionals.
Nafham has over 11,000 videos aggregated by teachers and volunteers, 4,000+ crowdsourced videos all for the Egyptian curriculum, more than 4 million total video views, 200,000 unique visitors, 2 million monthly page views, and 70% growth rate.
How, if in any way, has Foundersuite helped your company?
Foundersuite is strongly positioned to help our graduating startups as they just joined our Flat6Labs Perks Program, where they are offering their service to our startups at an exclusive discounted rate.
Finally, what is your best tip for running a startup?
Be flexible. And know this: you're a startup when you have an idea; you're a business when you start making money.
Thank you so much, Nour and Flat6Labs!