Smartprof, a Moroccan tutoring startup, has secured $50,000 in funding after graduating from the third cohort of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) Startgate and Plug and Play Morocco (PnP) startup competition.
Other startups that participated in the Expo Day include EdTech Kezakoo, proptech startup Agenz, sustainable mobility solutions provider POGO, and Mytindy, a marketplace for local artisans and craftspeople offering handmade products.
With this fund, the startup plans to work towards its creative tutoring marketplace, which connects K-12 students with tutors pursuing higher education.
UM6P Startgate and Plug and Play Morocco (PnP) have worked over the past three months on mentoring 12 startups based in Morocco in an effort to boost the country’s emerging startup ecosystem amid local and international concerns of an economic recession and cut in funding.
During the PnP Batch 3 Expo Day in Casablanca, 12 startups showcased their concepts to partners and managers of significant venture capital funds present in Africa.
Earlier this month, aspiring young entrepreneurs and graduates from the first and second batches in April 2021 and March 2022, such as Chari, Jobop, and WafR, attended the event to learn about new creative concepts in Morocco and provide their support. The list of selected startups for this expo comprised both freshly started and reasonably established firms that deliver digital breakthroughs in the domains of education, health, real estate, retail, and tech industry, with a special emphasis on themes connected to the development of smart cities.
According to Aziz El Hachem, North-Africa Director of Plug and Play, this event is an opportunity for us to look back on what’s been done in the last two years to enable the local startup scene and pursue our ambitions in building an integrated ecosystem that offers concrete opportunities to local talent.
Yassine Laghzioui, Head of Entrepreneurship and Venturing, UM6P, stated:
"The university is “seeking to put Morocco and Africa at the forefront of technology and innovation.”
Laghzioui further added:
"We are putting the current challenges of the African continent as the pillars of our mission statement. The main challenges burdening the continent’s development are food security, sustainable exploitation of natural resources, digital inclusion, and access to health care.
Throughout the exhibition day, the 12 businesses expressed a desire in expanding their operations to Western Africa, particularly Francophone Africa, signaling a significant shift in the Moroccan entrepreneurship sector, which was previously focused on Europe.
PnP reminded new ambitious Moroccan entrepreneurs with creative ideas to apply for Batch 4 before September 15, 2022, as the 12 startups dive deeper into the Moroccan startup ecosystem in the hopes of one day becoming a Moroccan unicorn, a startup valued at $1 billion.