Competitors from Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria spent two months developing their project ideas before the Moroccan project “Kit Biotech” was crowned as best startup.
The contest, organized by the Francophone University Agency (AUF) in the Maghreb and the Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (MCISE), brought together 12 students from Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. The students presented their startup projects in front of an expert jury.
MCISE mentors accompanied the students for two months to help them bring their projects to life.
Three Moroccan projects finished in the first three positions of the competition. Sara Maghzaz won the competition with her “Kit Biotech” project, followed by Naoual Ibn El Fadil with her “Jnane Amir” project, and Aymen Hilali for his “Wood Recycling Lab.”
The competitors took part in several workshops to improve their technical skills, ranging from elaborating a business model to validating an action plan for their startups.
Following every workshop, the students had to present their project’s progress in front of a jury before moving on to the next session.
AUF’s regional director in the Maghreb, Jean-Luc Tholozan, told the press that the competition aims to develop and support entrepreneurship. The agency selected the most promising startup projects in the region and hosted the students behind them for two months to help develop their ideas.
The agency will finance and support the winning students until they bring their projects to life, Tholozan added.
The director explained that the term incubator in the contest’s name refers to a place that offers administrative, technical, and socio-economic advice, allowing project-holders to concretize their ideas.
AUF is an association of universities, research centers, and higher schools that use French as the main language. The agency counts 990 members from 118 different countries, according to AUF’s vice-rector Clement Ramiarinjaona.
AUF’s Maghreb office opened in Rabat in 2012. It ensures the coordination of AUF’s action between 118 members from Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria.