Out of 12 promising ideas and projects with breakthrough factor, Menna Farouk convinced the jury with her topic “Breaking the Wall of Gender-Biased Micro Mobility” and won the first prize of the Falling Walls Lab Cairo 2020.

This year’s event was characterised by the presence of start-ups and entrepreneurs. A good deal of applicants for the Falling Walls Lab Cairo 2020 came from projects that were already put into practice – at least partially. Traditionally, researchers and scientists from the academic field with rather theoretical approaches were among the top achievers of the Falling Walls Lab Cairo in the last years – but not this year.

The jury selected the convincing approach from Menna Farouk as winning idea for the Falling Walls Lab Cairo 2020. With her start-up Dosy (Arabic for “taking the risk”), she offers driving lessons to women and teaches them how to ride bicycles and motorbikes. Menna Farouk’s idea is crucial to improve the mobility of women in Egypt who are often confronted with less means of transport due to gender bias. Consequently, her idea and the work of her start-up has a positive impact on society in Egypt, especially for women. As a prize, Menna Farouk gets to attend Falling Walls Remote 2020. With a pitch video via the Falling Walls social media campaign sponsored by the DAAD Regional Office Cairo she can increase her project’s global reach and visibility.

Not only the first but also the second winner Rana Hashish came from a start-up and could convince the jury with her practical approach. Rana Hashish introduced the concept “Building with Biology” of her start-up Proteina that uses insect larvae to produce cheaper vaccines at a large scale.

During the event, in total 12 Labsters had the chance to showcase their breakthrough idea that creates a positive impact on science and society in just 3 minutes live. They were selected out of numerous applications who applied for the call. The range of topics was diverse, coming from biotechnological, medical, engineering, agricultural and the social backgrounds. This year’s event was slightly different to the Labs that were hosted before in Cairo. Due to the corona virus pandemic, the event took place completely online with all jury members, participants and viewers attending virtually form their homes. Facing new approaches and resolutions, all Labsters mastered the technical challenges and managed to give interesting insights into their fields.

Meet the Labsters

Salman Amin,
Breaking the Wall of Water Scarcity Crisis

Rana Hashish,
Breaking the Wall of Building with Biology

Elsayed Abdelkreem,
Breaking the Wall of Neonatal Pulmonary Hypertension

Menna Farouk,
Breaking the Wall of Gender-Biased Micro Mobility

Abdulrhman El Halafawy,
Breaking the Wall of Spent Coffee Ground

Mehasb Ahmed,
Breaking the Wall of Indoor Chaos

Nehal Ghoneim,
Breaking the Wall of Spinal Cord Injury

Mahmoud Badr,
Breaking the Wall of Crude Oil Domination

Yasmine Mandour,
Breaking the Wall of Cancer Immune Escape

Ahmed Abd Alaa,
Breaking the Wall of Electricity Maintenance Accidents

Maisa Salah,
Breaking the Wall of Chemical Anti-Scalant and Anti-Corrosion

Mohamed Hassan,
Breaking the Wall of Uneven Jaws

While the 12 Labsters were presenting their ideas answering the question “Which wall will your idea break”, the jury evaluate each presentation based on three categories: “breakthrough factor”, “relevance/impact” and “structure/performance”.

Meet the jury

Ms. Isabell Mering
Director, DAAD Regional Office Cairo

Mr. Philippe Maupai
Head of Science & Protocol, German Embassy in Cairo

Prof. Sabine Müller
Dean Faculty of Applied Sciences & Arts & Professor of Branding & Communication, German University in Cairo (GUC)

Dr. Rasha Tantawy
Head of Entrepreneurship & Development Department, Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC)

Prof. Dr. Alaa-Eldin Adris
Professor of Practice & Associate Provost for Research, Innovation & Creativity, American University in Cairo (AUC)

The Labsters of 2020 had four more chances of winning. For the first time, there was an additional highlight: the audience award. All viewers had the chance to actively take part in the event by voting for their favourite candidate. Yasmine Mandour could win over the audience with a very catchy and memorable presentation: she connected her complex topic “Breaking the Wall of Cancer Immune Escape” to the lyrics of the song “Who let the dogs out” and was therefore rewarded with the audience award. The audience award was sponsored by the American University in Cairo (AUC) and came in the form of a gift card for the online learning platform Udemy. Yasmine Mandour was also selected as third winner of the Falling Walls Lab Cairo 2020 by the jury.

Another chance of winning was provided by the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC). The top three achievers were given the opportunity to join the TIEC accelerator programme.

Meet the winners:

  1. Menna Farouk
  2. Ranna Hashish
  3. Yasmine Mandour

Audience Award: Yasmine Mandour

The DAAD Cairo Teams congratulates all selected winners and all the Labsters on their important achievements in research and practice. We would also like to especially thank the jury members for the engagement and contribution.

About the format:

International Falling Walls Labs take place all over the world and call for the application of Bachelor and Master students, postdocs, young professionals, entrepreneurs and junior professors. Ground-breaking research projects, initiatives, ideas and business models from all disciplines are welcome.

For more information about the format, please visit Falling Walls Website.

Author: Ann-Kathrin Schwarz