I feel blessed to have met two groups of entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Egypt respectively, and have a short session with them on how to pitch their idea or startup, and most importantly, spending time with young humans in the very middle of their quest to find their path.
You can find my last blog post on what I have learned in over 10 years of startup coaching in my last post.
There is ONE particular story I wanted to share here, which is an encounter with an entrepreneur I coached in February 2018 at the Seamless Conference in Cairo. His name is Mohamed Yehia Nada, and back then his wife pitched their early stage idea for an education start-up for children, which was basically a middle-man infrastructure between schools and children.
Yehia was sitting at the back, and he let his wife pitch, they were co-founders in this.
The pitch was as passionate as the idea, still, very little structured.
So here I was, earlier this week, outside the door of StartupBootcamp FinTech Cairo, visiting the campus and meeting the creators of the program, and Yehia came to me, shook my hand and said, “we have met last year in Seamless Conference in Cairo, and your feedback inspired the pivot of our company that right now, has entered the SBC program.
I didn’t remember the guy, and when you see the two pictures, I actually have a great excuse not to, because he changed a lot (he pivoted himself as well) but I did remember his wife pitching because it was the only female entrepreneur pitching.
My comment on their idea, back then, was the following: if I am a donor and want to fund a kid in a school, or maybe even a project within the school, can I do this?
That was not the model, back then.
I basically gave the suggestion to open up the opportunity for third parties to crowdfund individual students and projects, and basically that’s how the company has pivoted today (by the way, at FinTechStage we do have a program that has funded students of the Makelele University in Kampala, Uganda, I have spoken about it in a previous post.
Traceability of the funds and visibility of the progress of the funded kids (in this case) or projects are the two main issues this company is trying to solve.
There are thousands of NGOs in Egypt alone, and technology allows today to give way more transparency to this process whilst allowing the entire planet to be able to help, seamlessly.
Personally, I don’t want to give money to an organisation, or if I do, I want to make sure this money makes even the tiniest difference to SOMEONE.
The capacity (and the bravery) to pivot your idea into something else (even if sometimes that means you need to start over in a lot of aspects) is possible of the most valuable qualities I appreciate in a team or in an entrepreneur.
If you read my recent post on
To us, Italy is now the sandbox for launching the new programs with a series of partners, designed to deliver innovation and open new avenues for collaboration with startups.
I am thrilled to present some of them already in May at the