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Africa's First Urbantech Co-Working Space Opens in Cairo

Urban news platform Progrss has teamed up with District Spaces and Drosos Foundation to launch the creative hub in January 2018.

If Urban Tech is the technology movement striving to make cities more liveable, what better place to start than overpopulated Cairo? Some of Egypt and MENA's biggest players have joined forces to create KMT, the continent's first co-working space exclusively focused on Urban Tech. The result of a collaboration between urban news platform Progrss, its sister co-working space District Spaces, and Drosos Foundation, the creative space is set to launch in January 2018, reviving the symbology of Kemet, an Ancient Egyptian word meaning "the black soil of the Nile," which traditionally evokes the idea of creating order after chaos.

Designed to embrace entrepreneurs, builders and executors of ideas striving to “make the city work” in Cairo, the inclusive incubator of urban innovation will be located in the leafy suburb of Maadi, right off of El-Lewaa Tahsen Shanan square. “In the last two years, we have covered hundreds of startups and creative initiatives around the world that aim to make cities more resilient and smarter,” says Mohamed Helmy, founder and CEO of Progrss and KMT House.

From IOT frameworks to controls a transport network, to a data analytics startup that provides statistical models for land use, or an AI algorithm that monitors security threats, the space aims to harness entrepreneurs and creative minds working to better the urban experience. “We became so inspired by what we learned that we decided to create an open hub for innovation in our own hometown – Cairo – to host our team and lead the creation of an urbantech ecosystem in Egypt,” adds Helmy, who established Progrss in October 2015 to cover urban innovation in cities across the world. Progrss believes that six core characteristics are necessary for any city to have a bright, inclusive future; those are: soulfulness, sustainability, empowerment, resilience, innovation, and collaboration.

Key players in this tri-partite launch are District Spaces, and Drosos Foundation, a private non-profit organisation established in Switzerland in late 2003, which aims to support people in difficult circumstances to live a life of dignity through projects in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Switzerland, and Germany.

In Egypt, they focus on strengthening partnerships and capacity-building through its supported projects on economic development, entrepreneurship, promoting creativity, and supporting creative economies, getting involved in over 100 projects to combat poverty, promoting health, protecting the environment and increasing access to education. 

Main photo: Courtesy of KMT.

This article was originally published on StartupSceneME.com. Check them out for the latest buzz on all things geeky and business-y across the Middle East.


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