In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, a different kind of grassroots revolution has begun. Entrepreneurship in Cairo has thrived over the past two years, says Ramez Mohamed, CEO of Flat6Labs, a Cairo-based startup accelerator. He explains that Egypt's youth feel empowered to make a difference, one venture at a time. These are five of Flat6Labs's most promising startups and the challenges they're tackling.
With an Arabic-only platform and Yelp-like rating system, the service enables Egyptians to search, review, and recommend doctors from its directory.
Why: The country has more than 75,000 health care clinics, but it's hard for patients to find the right physician.
The service condenses the country's public school curriculum into online, crowdsourced lessons that users can vote up or down based on quality. Its staff also produces video content.
Why: Egypt's rising population is putting a squeeze on classroom space.
The utility lets users shop by scanning QR codes on signs around town and having items delivered. CEO Mohammad Shaaban was inspired by Home plus, a supermarket that offers a similar service in South Korea.
Why: It's hard to buy groceries if you work two hours from the market.
Launching in March, Fekra2 will feature a site called SolverMine.com, where businesses can request innovative solutions to their problems. Users with winning ideas will receive perks.
Why: A high youth-unemployment rate means lots of talent remains untapped.
A mobile app, a la Uber, connects passengers with reliable drivers.
Why: With social tensions spilling onto the street, dependable public transportation can be hard to find.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.