Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]
Google MENA has announced the 200 finalists for the Start with Google (or Ebda2) initiative that was launched in Egypt in September. Google will be giving up to $200,000 to one Egyptian startup as part of the company’s efforts to boost the entrepreneurial scene in the country.
The 200 finalists were chosen by a panel of judges from over 4,000 applications. The judges, experts in varied fields including finance, private equity, management, marketing, medicine, IT, retail and more, hail from a variety of companies and organizations including the Amerian University in Cairo, Ericsson, Vodafone, Schneider, USAID, ICANN and Oracle.
Selecting the finalists, each judge reviewed over 100 applications, rating them based on a predetermined set of criteria including innovation, social impact, market size, business model, team and presentation. After the preliminary assessment, applications went through a second round of judging, and the final selections were made.
200 finalists from all over the country have been selected to continue onto the next phase, which begins with a three day workshop led by Google employees, as well as local and international industry experts and mentors.
The applications that made it into the finals include e-commerce, location based applications, Arabic content, cloud computing, mobile applications, digital advertising and SME enablement.
The Twitter application AsTweeted, which allows you to track and save all the tweets related to a specific hashtag, which we first saw come in third place at Startup Alexandria, is among the 200 finalists. Other finalists who we have covered in the past on The Next Web include mobile traffic app Bey2ollak, online community for Middle Eastern mothers SuperMama and Egypt’s answer to Foursquare, IntaFeen.
Other interesting finalists include online pharmacy site, Agzakhana, and the online payment solution Edfa3ly, which serves as an alternative to PayPal which continues to be unavailable in Egypt.
E-commerce was the most common field among the 200 finalists, followed closely by Arabic content, cloud computing and mobile applications. The full list of finalists is available here
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