CEED Morocco has launched a new innovative program called “Innovation Challenge” that connects innovative startups and entrepreneurs with major Moroccan companies. The program offers an opportunity for early stage and growth-stage startups to work with larger corporations that want to innovate and bring new expertise to their companies. The program as well enables entrepreneurs to boost their sales and potentially raise funding for their company’s growth…..a win/win!
For the first edition of the program, CEED partnered with Wafacash, one of the leading financial companies in Morocco and Africa. During the preparation of the program, Wafacash identified 9 innovation themes important to them. Eighty-five companies applied to the program, from which 32 entrepreneurs were selected to pitch their solutions. Thirteen companies (4 SMEs and 9 startups) were selected. Wafacash worked with the entrepreneurs and their teams to adapt their innovation to the needs of Wafacash, validate their product-market fit, and refine their business model and offering. During this time, they also received mentoring from various Wafacash staff. In November, the finalists will pitch their products and models at the Demo Day and will find out if and how they can collaborate with Wafacash.
The program has gathered a lot of interest from both the entrepreneur and corporate communities as it is a unique means of bringing together those ‘with the ideas’ and those ‘with the infrastructure’ to cooperatively innovate and develop new products.