Egypt Independent : Icecairo aspires to pioneer green technology market in Egypt

Originally posted on Egypt Independent here

Icecairo aspires to pioneer green technology market in Egypt by Steven Viney

A new eco-hub, called icecairo, opened its doors to environmentalists, innovators, and entrepreneurs Monday evening for a soft launch event at its hub, located just off Talaat Harb street in downtown Cairo.

The stylized spelling, icecairo, stands for innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. It is the latest ‘ice’ establishment of a growing international network of innovation hubs that aim to improve and develop green — sustainable and ecofriendly — technology markets. Others include icebauhaus in Germany and iceaddis in Ethiopia.

“The focus is not only on creating environmental awareness, but networking to develop the technological solutions required in order to address and solve environmental problems themselves,” says Adam Molyneux-Berry, the “manager” of icecairo, who quickly adds that his title is by default, as there is no hierarchy in the ‘ice’ vision.

Ice-hubs, as they are known, provide open, shared workspaces as well as opportunities for training for individuals with innovative ideas, with the aim of developing local solutions in order to address global problems.


Also, on a much larger scale, in addition to the downtown apartment ice-hub, a mega-hub is currently under construction in the Fagnoon Oasis in Heliopolis. The vision is the same as the download location, however just on a much larger, more self-sufficient scale. “We want people to be able to walk into the hub with a tiny idea and walkout with an innovative prototype,” says Molyneux-Berry. However, it is expected to not be finished until February, and delays are anticipated.

For now, icecairo is planning to fully launch in December from the downtown location. Near future plans involve joint ventures with other organizations.

This month a ‘Business Canvas Road Show’ presented by icecairo, Innoventures and VC4Africa will take place from 11 to 18 of November which is essentially a road show around Egypt — visiting Alex, Menya, Aswan and Cairo — to discover young entrepreneurs. Also, later the end of this month, icecairo together with Takween, an urban development company, will be hosting an “ecocities” camp that is intended to operate as an urban planning meeting that is non-exclusive to academics, planners and government officials.