EFE-Tunisie's Launching Startech: the first tech-business incubator in the Medenine Region

Launched in January 2022 by EFE-Tunisie, in partnership with regional stakeholders and with the support of the US Embassy in Tunisia, Startech is the first tech-business incubator in the Medenine Region in Tunisia. Earlier this year, it opened its door to a first batch of start-ups and supported them to prepare for a much-awaited “Demo-Day”: an event where they pitch their businesses to a room full of investors, in the hope to secure an investment.

Three days of in-person softs skills training coupled with online coaching provided participants with the support they need to prepare for their pitch presentations. On July 14, 2022, the Demo Day was held in the Zarzis Business Park Smart Center and streamed live through Zoom and on the StarTech Facebook page.

Ten startups operating in health-tech, e-commerce, e-logistics, aggrotech and Industry 4.0 pitched their projects to more than 60 entrepreneurship enablers, investors, angel investors, members of the Tunisian diaspora and media representatives. The event was a success: feedback from both participants and guests was positive and stakeholder engagement, especially with the Tunisian diaspora in the United States, was very high.

The Startech model is designed to be sustainable beyond the project duration. In partnership with CoStart and other stakeholders in the region, the StarTech’s sustainability includes a 2-year implementation plan that ensures it will have its own angel investors by the end of 2024.

Innovative and impactful, the Startech model attracted attention and EFE-Tunisie was awarded a grant to replicate it in the south, where it launched operations in September 2022.

Beyond an incubator, the Startech model offers a comprehensive solution for aspiring tech entrepreneurs who lack guidance and facilities. Through Startech, participants have access to coaching opportunities and a fully equipped co-working spaces.

This year, Startech provided 111 start-ups with more than 120 hours of workshops and over 150 hours of one-on-one coaching. The investment in this model confirms EFE-Tunisie’s commitment to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Tunisia and highlights the importance of creating more sustainable employment opportunities for youth.