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This article was published on January 30, 2012

Google announces 50 startup finalists for its $200,000 seed capital prize

Google announces 50 startup finalists for its $200,000 seed capital prize
Nancy Messieh
Story by

Nancy Messieh

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]

Early last month, Google announced its 200 finalists for the Start with Google (Ebda2) initiative in which it will be giving one lucky Egyptian entrepreneur up to $200,000 in seed capital.

After having narrowed down the applicants from 4,000 to 200, it narrowed it down further to 50. The startup founders who have qualified for the next round are mostly men, with just 5 women making the cut.

Startups we have covered in the past that could be walking away with the final prize include Yasmine El Mehairy and Zeinab Samir’s SuperMama, a site for mothers, catering to a Middle Eastern audience, covered here, and Yasmin El Ayat’s GroupStream, a Storify competitor, most recently covered here.

Other finalists we’re familiar with include GIS application, Digital Egypt, reviewed here, crowdsourced traffic service Bey2ollak, reviewed here, and Egyptian Foursquare alternative, IntaFeen, reviewed here.

The top 50 candidates will now be moving on to a mentoring phase, with two mentors per startup. These mentors will stick with their startups as they progress through the coming phases of the competition. The up-and-coming entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to take part in workshops which include business skills training sessions, motivational speeches and more.

At the end of the mentoring phase, candidates will have to submit a business summary, and will also be given the opportunity to meet with angel investors, while the semi-finalists will be announced in mid-March.

“We are pleased that the competition is moving forward in such a positive way,” said Wael Fakharany, Regional Manager, Egypt and North Africa. “Through our various meetings with the teams, we see that they are learning valuable information that they will be able to take with them and use with their startup company, regardless if they win or not. This is one of our main objectives: to be able to train and teach budding entrepreneurs to directly affect and benefit their community and country as a whole.”