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“Google Bus” Goes Round Egypt to Find New Technology Startup Talents

Amir Karimuddin - 30 September 2011

As reported by New York Times, Google is doing campaign called Ebda2 in Egypt using a bus with Google logo and visiting some places including universities, with a purpose to find new netpreneur talents. Ebda2 in Arabic means “to start”, it is Google’s initiative to support the ecosystem of the internet on this country which has just changed the government after decades. The agreement of this Google program has been signed with the Egypt government since 2009.

According to Wael Fakharany, Google Egypt Manager, this program was prepared for 9 months to bring the startup enthusiast to join the intensive – 7 months – program with 112 mentors who 47 of them are Google employees. There are 200 candidates will be selected to join this program. After that, the number will be reduced into 20 finalists. In the end of the period, the winner will get $200.000 seed money to realize their dreams. Ebda2 is the first Google project in the world which the purpose is to help technology startup to grow and develop.

Egypt netpreneur ecosystem is not too different from Indonesia’s. VC and startups start to grow like mushroom in the rain season. They are inspired by the monumental Maktoob.com acquirement by Yahoo! for $175 million in 2009. If it is compared to apple-to-apple, the acquirement of Koprol by Yahoo! is also the first thing done by big company from Sillicon Valley in Indonesia. It gives big influence for new ecosystem here.

The USA has brought GEP to Indonesia after succeeding the pilot project in Egypt. Does it mean that Google will bring the same initiative to Indonesia and use a bus to travel from one university to other universities? We will wait until Google really opens its office here. If you are interested in joining this kind of training, you can consider the similar program in Indonesia held by Founder Institute.

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