Empower21: great success for the 3rd edition

Organized by LaStartupFactory on December 29, 2020 under the theme “Innovate or Die”, the 3rd edition of Empower21 (www.empower21.lastartupfactory.co) - in partnership with Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), CDG Prévoyance and Lydec- had a great success, both for the richness of its themes, the quality of its speakers and the audience achieved.

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This immersive and interactive television show broadcast live and in 3 languages from the new TV set of LaStartupFactory, gathered more than 22,000 spectators for 11 hours of live broadcast during which 5 themes were discussed during 24 sessions, thus positioning Empower21 as a must-see event on innovation, digital and entrepreneurship in Africa. 

Increase the will to undertake and strengthen the entrepreneur's capacities 

Empower21 allowed participants to discuss ways to start and develop businesses from an early age. The Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research, Saaid Amzazi, stressed that “entrepreneurship embodies one of the major avenues for the future of youth work in the world, adding that this is a culture, a state of mind, which must be forged among young people from primary school ”. In this sense, the detection and support of young people on their path to entrepreneurship is essential to resolve the unemployment equation, which is what associations, public and private universities as well as companies and structures are working on support, including LaStartupFactory, founded by Mehdi Alaoui. The latter also underlined on this occasion that "entrepreneurship through digital technology is an accessible and non-capitalist path that is quick to set up".

Stimulate, support and arm startups for an increased economic strike force

Regarding the role of structures and support programs, Alex Black, economic advisor at the United States Consulate in Casablanca, welcomed the collaboration between MEPI and LaStartupFactory around the Scalerator acceleration program (60 startups supported, 27 financings, 10 startup creations, 8 market accesses, 4 startups raised funds).

This support work will continue through the launch of a free online digital startup school, which will offer quality content to any aspiring entrepreneur: www.lastartupschool.com. During this theme, the pioneers and international leaders in the acceleration of startups in the world such as Flat6Labs in the Middle East represented by its founder Ramez M. El Serafy, Plug & Play in the United States represented by Sarina Amini, Operations Manager Smart Cities, TheFamily in Europe represented by its founder Oussama Ammar and LaStartupFactory in Africa have not failed to share their recipes for success and creation of impact. This chapter was finally the scene of an exclusive moment of discoveries and encounters which highlighted the inventiveness, agility and know-how of 10 exceptional startups that are building the future as part of the Demo Day de Scalerator, the LaStartupFactory acceleration program, which for its 5th batch is renewing itself, wanting to be from start to finish: idea - launch - scaling up. 

Co-innovate with startups, a key asset for the resilience of large groups in an uncertain environment

During Empower21, the major trends in today's open innovation were highlighted. A real resilience asset for large groups and African institutions, especially in times of crisis, open innovation has spread through businesses and organizations with unprecedented speed. As evidenced by the intervention of Papa Amadou Sarr, General Delegate at the General Delegation for the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth “all sectors are doing it. To give a concrete example, the DER is currently setting up an Open Innovation program for the Autonomous Port of Dakar, with the involvement of LaStartupFactory ”. Zakariya Mouhyi Eddine, support director at CDG Prévoyance, explained that the establishment of an Open Innovation program has allowed the introduction of a new culture of innovation within the institution. This project has enabled them to "go from a performing employee to an entrepreneur employee", testifies Aziz Chablou, Head of the Studies and Development Entity at CDG Prévoyance.

The necessary transformation towards a digital economy through digital marketing.

With the crisis the world has experienced in recent months, social media has taken on more importance. Companies have indeed had to rethink their way of communicating in order to maintain ties with their customers and ensure the continuity of their activities and services. But to be effective, digital marketing must also be part of the overall business strategy. Empower21 made it possible to highlight the "state of mind" and the necessary shift towards the digital economy. This aspect was underlined by Hicham Zouaoui Co-Founder of Pip Pip Yallah who recalls that “The crisis has forced us to reinvent ourselves. We increased our presence where our customers and prospects were: on social media. We have reviewed our main marketing performance indicators (KPIs) and we have focused our efforts on brand visibility ”. It is with this in mind and to support companies that LaStartupFactory is launching Mind7Heros, a gamified and personalized program for a growing adoption of innovative methodologies within large organizations. "How digital marketing has been showcased by Covid-19 ”and“ why are all companies getting serious about it today? Are all subjects discussed in this chapter. 

Business Angels, a springboard for fundraising in Morocco

Finally, the fundamental role of “Business Angels” in terms of supporting and financing startups was also debated during Empower 21. Among the topical issues, the necessary establishment of a legislative framework and support measures allowing the promotion of the contribution of “Business Angels” at the level of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This would allow these players to fully fulfill their missions of supporting startups through funding. It is in this sense, and to establish the financial credibility of startups that LaStartupFactory is there to help through the launch of a whole new format of its program for connecting Business Angels and Startups: Angels4Africa. Now, monthly, a session of the five startups prepared for the exercise will be able to present their teams, projects and solutions to business angels. This chapter was also an opportunity to review the popular success of "Qui veut investir dans mon projet?" Special Startups! ” Which recorded an exceptional audience of over 3 million viewers for each premium. This techshow saw the participation of 24 startups representing several regions of Morocco. Among these, 14 startups raised nearly 10 million Dirhams (MDH) from Business Angels and the Caisse Centrale de Garantie. Beyond the richness of its content and its intense programming where keynotes, Techtalks, panels and discussions of quality led by speakers and experts from different backgrounds have followed one another, we will remember from this 3rd edition of Empower21 the many shares of 'experiences, enthusiastic perspectives in these times of crisis and recommendations that are sure to inspire future actions by ecosystem players.

To rediscover Empower21 and watch all the sessions: 

www.empower21.lastartupfactory.co Empower21: Full box for the 3rd edition.