For the first time, The American University in Cairo (AUC) will be the main partner and host of RiseUp Summit, the one-stop-shop event connecting startups in the Middle East and Africa. In its seventh edition, RiseUp will host the region’s top entrepreneurs, startups, investors, and creative masterminds in a three-day entrepreneurial marathon at AUC New Cairo campus from 5 to 7 December. As AUC turns 100, the University is not only celebrating its century-long achievements but also looking to the future, ushering in a new centennial of innovation and service to the community. This year, RiseUp summit is designed to build on past years’ summit content, focusing on the journey of growth as well as drawing the line between the past, present and future. The summit will include talks, panels and chats; in-depth workshops and boot camps; networking sessions with hundreds of investors; talent matchmaking events; and exclusive satellite events. The speaker line-up will feature many international figures in various fields, AUC faculty and alumni. Startups from AUC Venture Lab, Egypt’s first university-based startup accelerator and a leading accelerator in the Middle East and Africa, will also participate in the summit. As part of the summit’s digital transformation, RiseUp is introducing a cashless feature for the first time this year.
“We see value in accommodating such a major event like RiseUp Summit in our centennial year, in which we are expecting more than 10,000 participants coming from over 50 different countries as well as many prominent speakers,” said Alaa Adris, associate provost for research, innovation and creativity at AUC. “We see our collaboration with RiseUp more of a sustainable relationship because we can see them as part of our innovation hub, our commercialization of technology efforts, and many other areas of interest and future plans.”
Chief executive officer and co-founder of RiseUp, AbdelHameed Sharara, said: “We value our strategic partnership with AUC and we’re excited to host the 7th RiseUp Summit coinciding with AUC centennial year. With this year’s summit focused on the startup ecosystem’s journey to growth, there couldn’t be a better time to collaborate with AUC as it celebrates its past achievements and looks to innovate further in the future, much like many of the companies featured in RiseUp Summit ‘19. Through this collaboration, we will be able to fuse our entrepreneurship know-how with AUC educational expertise and resources to expand and enrich the ecosystem.”
AUC Venture Lab, which celebrated six years, 12 cycles and more than 150 startups, is also contributing to the summit in the different tracks. “AUC Venture Lab has always been an early believer in the RiseUp Summit. This year, we are excited to have RiseUp at AUC New Cairo campus for the first time, bringing thousands of entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem players from Egypt, MENA and beyond. We’re pleased to have a strong presence through our startups and to contribute to the Summit’s program,” said Ayman Ismail ’95, ’97, Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship; associate professor at School of Business and the founding director of the AUC Venture Lab.
Hosting RiseUp in AUC’s New Cairo 260-acre technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive campus will also allow the summit to lead a digital transformation that will help provide each attendee with a unique tailored experience. The New Cairo campus is designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. All campus areas are accessible by wheelchairs, and club cars are available for transport around campus with prior arrangement.
As part of the summit’s digital transformation, RiseUp cashless feature will allow attendees to enjoy a cash-free experience, where they will only use summit-issued digitized bracelets to purchase or manage all monetary transactions taking place at the event.