10 Things we Learned from Startups in 2016

by Tux the Monkey | December 27, 2016

Entrepreneurship is a big buzz word nowadays. It started after the 2011 uprisal and with it came a surge of creativity and people taking initiative.

There’s a lot to be learned from startups, though. Everything is hard, everything is uncertain – but the will to keep going, and the energy that keeps flowing, are really inspiring.

We have been learning a lot from startups. But there are top 10 things we’ve learned this year from some of our favourite startups.


Growing Silently, thanks to Unplugged

We all want to make a buzz when we grow our businesses. I, for one, want to be leader of the monkey land.

But Unplugged have done it in a way that is different from the market. They focused on the business. they focused on growing their business, getting more clients, hiring more people, getting the work done well. And they didn’t focus on marketing themselves to the public. After all, they offer a B2B service – so they’re focused on giving an exceptional service to their customers, who will acquire them more customers. No need to reach out to the general public!


Unplugged is a company that creates digital plaforms for businesses that helps them acquire new clients and build relationships.

Having a Mission, thanks to The Doodle Factory

With excitingly colourful designs, The Doodle Factory have different products for different tastes.

What makes them really interesting is their mission. They go to sick, needy children, and they make them express their creativity by drawing things. Then they take these drawings and print them on different types of merchandise, then they sell this merchandise. The money coming from selling their products is then used to pay for the original artists’ needs.

So basically, they are creating a movement, by turing art and creativity into meaningful things that save lives. Their mission is everything.


The Doodle Factory is an Egyptian brand that helps ease the journey of children suffering from diseases by  utilising their creativity. 

The Importance of Public Relations, thanks to Okhtein

They have been making news all over the world. People have been talking about them and almost every girl wants to have one. The bags are simple, and they can be worn every day. And their brand endorsers and co-founders; Aya ana Mounaz; make you aspire to be them.

But let’s talk about their PR. Their success is owed to their brilliant PR strategy. They’re everywhere. Not everywhere here or there, but almost everywhere that is anywhere. They started off by doing it themselves and then took it to another level hanks to their PR agency; Maison Pyramide.


A quick story you probably don’t know: a monkey friend of mine was in New York City and she randomly met a girl on the street. She told her she’s Egyptian, so the girl told her, “You’re Egyptian? Do you know Okhtein? Everyone is talking about it around here!” (She didn’t tell her about the Pyramids or the Nile, but about Okhtein!)

Adapting to the Market, thanks to Inmemoryof.com

The website that announces obituaries and deals with everything related to individuals who have passed away; ElWafeyat.com; has had one little problem – its name. They found that people want to give charity in the names of their deceased loved ones, and they were doing it under the name of their original website – ElWafeyat.com. But people did not like the original name, so they adapted to the market quickly and got a new domain, created a new identity (one that is very similar to their old one), and launched a special websited dedicated to keeping people’s memories alive.


Customer Relationships, thanks to Elves

Every time they get a chance to create an exceptional experience, they do. Which made lots of people endorse them and write about them – from Ganzoury of ByGanz to Nesma El Far of ElWafeyat.


Elves is an application, and a Facebook page, that you can message and an elf will find, book, buy, and deliver anything for you – anywhere.

Perseverance, thanks to Eventtus

The founders of Eventtus have been in the market for some years now. But it is only because they persevered and persevered that they got to where they are now. They kept going and adapted to market conditions until Mai Medhat, the co-founder, made it big by meeting the big boys when she was in the US.


Eventtus is an instant social network platform for events, our goal is mobilizing events and maximizing networking opportunities for attendees. 

The Value of Positioning, thanks to Mumm

Their idea is simple. What really made it work is their positioning. They started off with humble branding and packaging, and they pushed their game up a lot when they got their A15 investment.

What gave them a very strong initial push is when they made a partnership with the ladies of Syrian refugee families. They trained them, and gave them home jobs. So these ladies could make food for people and have it delivered – and they made money as a result.

They positioned themselves as the empowerers of women, which which made them quite an interesting brand.


Mumm is an online marketplace for Value Home Cooked Meals.

Living a Passion, thanks to Blow Creative Studio

People have been seeing Batool El Daawi’s work, but few of us know the company behind it. Batool has had the studio for a couple of years now, but this year they flew. They made some of their best projects so far, and Batool got another partner to manage productions. That way, they can produce work for other photographers and grow in many ways.

Bravo Batool – she followed her passion and reached a point that makes her able to build a solid business.



13501822_1043078012395659_7037581607921885164_nBlow Creative Studio is a production studio and talent agency based in Cairo, specializing in Video & Photographic production. 

Analysing and Planning, thanks to Orcas

What people do not know about the babysitting and tutoring platform, Orcas (previously CairoSitters), is that they value numbers very much. You go into their office and you see their founder, Hossam Taher, with white boards filled with numbers, projections and analyses.

These things take people far, you know. Most people around here do things “bel balady” keda – but not they.


CairoSitters is Orcas and Orcas is CairoSitters.
Orcas is a marketplace for high quality tutors and babysitters.

Bringing Old Back, thanks to VRcade

They’re still brand new, but we wanted to feature them first nonetheless.

VRcade create Virtual Reality games and solutions, but they want to do it differently. Their concept is to bring back the old arcade themes mixed with virtual reality. So their plan is to create a venue – like an arcade – that has lots of virtual reality games.

If you were at RiseUp, you may have seen them, or even played one of their games.


VRcade is a place where players can enjoy virtual reality games with friends and family.


Check out our other articles from the end of year series.