U.S. Delegation Awards Egyptian Entrepreneurs

Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs
January 13, 2011

A delegation of prominent U.S. investors and entrepreneurs awarded two cash prizes of $US 20,000 each to the winners of their business plan competition at a special ceremony in Cairo yesterday. Minister of Communications & Information Technology (CIT), Dr. Tarek Kamel, and U.S. Ambassador Margaret Scobey also congratulated the winners of the competition which was part of the U.S. State Department’s Global Entrepreneurial Program (GEP). The grand finale event was hosted by GEP’s partner organizations, American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, Sawari Ventures, LLC, and American University in Cairo.

The GEP awards went to two innovative Egyptian start-up companies whose entrepreneurial ideas and business plans impressed the visiting U.S. delegation of entrepreneurs:

One of the awardees was the Egyptian company Kngine. Founded by brothers Ashraf and Haytham El Fadeel, Kngine is a web 3.0 personal assistant and search engine that can be accessed on mobile devices. Kngine is designed to understand what the user is looking for and dynamically adapt to types of queries for suitable results. Kngine assists users in daily tasks such as searches for: hotels, flights, restaurants, packages, weather, and local searches. It provides them with recommendations and personalized answers, all through a simple interface that supports voice commands and understands natural language questions.

The other awardee was the Egyptian company Silminds. CEO Mostafa El Khouly, CTO Hossam Fahmy, Design Manager Assem El Gamal, and a team of 17 employees contribute to the team at Silminds, a digital design company that specializes in hardware accelerators of financial computing systems. Silminds created a novel product whose core technology has 4 pending U.S. patents. The company’s main product line is a family of hardware accelerator cards, including SilAx, an add-on card that can be plugged into any financial server to speed up financial applications by 4 to 15 times that of normal application.

The American delegation of entrepreneurs and their business plan competition was part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) program, which selected Egypt as its first pilot country. In coordination with the Egyptian Ministry of CIT, the U.S. Department of State brought 13 prominent US investors and entrepreneurs to Cairo and Smart Village from January 9 to 12, 2011, to meet with Egyptian innovators, learn about business opportunities, and foster partnerships to support entrepreneurship.

The GEP’s role is to catalyze, consult, and coordinate with partners (including government ministries, non-governmental organizations, universities, professional associations, foundations and businesses) in support of the burgeoning trend of business start-ups and social innovation in Egypt. The GEP brings U.S. and local partners together to work around six main activities related to supporting entrepreneurship in Egypt: 1) identifying opportunities, 2) training aspiring entrepreneurs, 3) connecting and sustaining them, 4) assisting with access to funding, 5) enabling policy decisions, and 6) celebrating entrepreneurial successes.

For more information on the delegation’s visit and the winners of their business plan competition, please contact the U.S. Embassy Cairo Press office: pressinfoegypt@state.gov with name, affiliation, and contact information.