icecairo at icealex – too cool

20140529_174934Last week, the icecairo team drove up through the cumbersome “Sa7rawy” road to meet the icealex team in their new location!

This was the second time this year both teams met to discuss all issues related to running a tech hub.  The first was in Oasis earlier this year resulted in action plans that necessitated another connect.

Upon arrival, we began suggesting talking points based on the tentative agenda, only to stop for Lunch by the new startup catering service, El Mon, now based in the icealex kitchen!

After yummy satisfaction, this is what we considered:

  • Tour of new icealex hub
  • ice hubs updates
  • Republica 2014
  • ice cubes (non monetary currency) volunteer system
  • ice network joint social media strategy
  • Maker movement events & activities
  • Build Your Startup” Training
  • Current technical projects at both ices
  • Graphic Facilitation activity
  • Joint ice activities
  • Afrimakers, upcoming Hackathon
  • Sharing docs of best practices

DIY RFID System with Arduino at icealex door, calculates members hours in space

One of the first topics we discussed was their progress with “Risha” the Portable Laser Cutter they have been developing, and now on the 5th version.


icealex Fab Lab

We spoke about bringing Afrimakers to Cairo considering they have been to a few other tech hubs in our Afrilabs network, but still not here.  We all decided mayenfa3sh keda khales, and now we have plans for a few hackathons to increase the number of mentors.

Then we decided since we were in Alex, it was only appropriate that we conduct a meeting in the Mediterranean.  This took us 23 kms down the road where we shacked up in da house!

Talk about ice cubes volunteer system and how we can implement the icebytes system ensued. This virtual currency allows people to contribute to the space by sharing knowledge or contributing time on specific tasks in exchange for credit, which is then used on services provided by ice.  The community building aspect is what you are looking for, and it has proven promising, though still in a fledgling stage.  Best practices were shared and a plan was created to being implementation in Cairo.

Another collaboration between the hubs is conducting trainings at the other hub.  The Business Model Canvas frequently conducted at icecairo had already been evolved by icealex’s Bastawy who will now bring “Build Your Startup” back to icecairo.

Even though we spoke of many more pressing issues regarding revenue streams and financial sustainability, the most common notion expressed during the checkout was “It’s great to hang out with ice from another hub”.  Because of course we all bleed ice and it’s nice to when we speak the language that so few know and have everyone understand.

Can’t wait for the next one.

Respect to icealex, we see you guys soon!