Orange Ventures has launched the MEA Seed Challenge, pledging to invest €500,000 to scale up tech start-ups in the region

Today, Orange has announced a new initiative to help develop the start-up ecosystem in the MEA region.
The MEA Seed Challenge will offer seven winning start-ups a share of a half-a-million euro fund, with each winner set to receive between €50,000 and €150,000. First place will also win a three-month incubation programme with Orange Venture’s partner Seedstars, an organisation specialising in the support and scaling of new companies.
The Challenge is particularly seeking participation from start-ups making use of emerging technologies with high growth potential. 
“As a major player in supporting the digital ecosystem in our territories, it is important for Orange to provide a financing solution in addition to our training and support activities for entrepreneurs in Africa and the Middle East,” explained Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Africa and the Middle East.
Orange argues that projects like this are important to increase not only the region’s economic development, but also to increase the company’s interaction with domestic innovation players. Start-ups in the region typically suffer from a lack of available investors, meaning a plethora of innovation is lost each year simply due to lack of exposure.
Start-ups in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia are all eligible to take part in the Challenge, 
Applications to take part in the challenge are open until July 19th, with winners due to be announced in September.
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