Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) is joining forces with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sandbox Innovation Fund to launch the “UM6P Explorer” program, a tailor-made support program for startups from Moroccan universities.
This program supports the actors of change by mobilizing all the resources of the UM6P ecosystem to give them access to training, mentoring and funding opportunities, indicates a press release from this higher education institution.
Through a pedagogy focused on “Learning By Doing”, “Explorer” offers a practical, accessible and personalized approach, allowing to accelerate the development of the startup.
Mentors for the program come from both MIT and the Moroccan entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In addition to support, some entrepreneurs will benefit from funding of up to 250,000 DH, aimed at helping their startup to develop a prototype and find its first customers.
Despite the unprecedented limitations imposed by Covid-19, “UM6P Explorer” was able to launch a remote pilot cohort in March 2020 funded by UM6P Ventures.
The program was able to initiate 43 entrepreneurial initiatives, 24 of which were renewed for the second cohort. The latter started in November 2020 and is made up of 95 entrepreneurial projects from UM6P, as well as other Moroccan universities and research institutes.
“UM6P Explorer was co-built with the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund, in order to offer our students and researchers complete support, from the ideation to the marketing of their solutions”, declared Mr. Adnane Alaoui Soulimani , in charge of startup incubation programs at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, adding that this program “is part of the continuity of our efforts to develop university entrepreneurship in Morocco by offering the opportunity to students and researchers to release their energies and express their creativity ”.
“We are delighted to partner with UM6P to develop student entrepreneurship in Morocco,” said Ms. Jinane Abounadi, executive director of MIT Sandbox.
“The collaboration between the two institutions will allow students and researchers to acquire the skills and resources necessary to launch successful start-ups in Africa”, she added.
Launched over 4 years ago, the MIT Sandbox program offers seed funding, mentoring and personalized training aimed at supporting student entrepreneurship within MIT. With more than 2,000 participants to date, this program has enabled the launch of a large number of high impact innovative companies.