The American University in Cairo – AUC top African university that produces startup founders, new research says

AUC startup

According to recently published research compiled by Antler, a Singapore-based venture capital (VC) firm, out of all African universities, the American University in Cairo (AUC) produced the highest proportion of individuals who went on to found highly successful startups.

More specifically, the report referred to growth-stage startups (ones that raised more than $10 million), soonicorns (raised more than $100 million and were founded in the last five years) and unicorns (startups valued at more than $1 billion).

15 per cent of all Africa-based founders of growth-stage, soonicorn, and unicorn startups were AUC graduates, the highest ratio on the continent, with The University of Cape Town coming next, graduating four per cent of the continent’s high performing tech entrepreneurs.

Cairo University made it two Egyptian universities in the top five in fifth place, producing two per cent of African founders.

Unsurprisingly as a result of this, Cairo is the eighth-most emerging tech and startup hotspot African city.

2021 has so far been a good year for capital investments worldwide, reaching $300 billion in the first half. Almost 800 startups became unicorns in this period.

Africa has been no stranger to this development, where so far four of the continent’s seven unicorns have emerged this year alone.

According to Ayman Ismail, an associate professor at AUC School of Business and Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship, this achievement has been years in the making.

‘Growth has been going in a substantial way for the past five to six years at least’, he said. ‘Part of it is that we’re getting entrepreneurs, funding, support systems and recognition that there is a substantial market that’s unserved and underserved.’

Find out more about the study as well as what kinds of startups can be expected to come out of Africa in the future and what makes for a fertile ground for startup growth within this Business Forward Article.