Souq.com & the AUC Entrepreneurs’ Society launch entrepreneurship initiative “The Hit 2012″

30 Apr, 2012

Souq.com and the American University in Cairo’s Entrepreneurs Society have teamed up to launch The Hit 2012, the first product innovation competition for the university’s students, which gives participants the opportunity to win LE 50,000 to start up their business and own a commercial channel through an online store on Souq.com.
The concept of The Hit was developed by Souq.com and the Entrepreneurs’ Society, under the support of Sherif Kamel, the Dean of the School of Business. Its aim is to raise student interest in entrepreneurship and innovation, by providing a platform for a practical learning experience. The process shows young Egyptians that with an innovative idea that is properly researched, they can create a product and develop a commercial model to sell it. Souq.com is giving the students real opportunities to go to market with their ideas.
“Our aim is to spread entrepreneurship awareness and foster an entrepreneurial spirit among AUC students and among the Egyptian youth,” said Youssuf El Samma, CEO, Entrepreneurs’ Society. “We chose to partner with Souq.com because through them students with innovative ideas can build business models for products that will get retailed online and will have real buyers in a matter of days. There are many wonderful ideas and concepts among students, who are the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future. The Hit has encouraged these innovators to bring their ideas to life.”

In collaboration with the Adham Centre for Television and Digital Journalism, each stage of The Hit 2012 was filmed and posted online as webisodes. Today, out of the 16 teams who pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges, only 10 teams remain in the competition. These 10 have now received LE 1,000 each to build a prototype of their product and present it.
Prior to the prototypes presentations, Omar Sodoudi, general manager for Souq.com in Egypt, spent an entire day mentoring the teams in his office. “It’s been such a journey, watching the ideas of these young entrepreneurs develop and get nurtured to the stage they’ve reached today. The most important thing for us is that all of these ideas end up on the market, not just the winning “Hit”. The teams or the ‘entrepreneurs’ need to start expanding their thinking beyond the idea, but more into setting up a business operation, and how they’re going to make money. We’re offering them an online retail channel, but we also want to encourage them to learn more about all the possibilities of e-commerce.”
The prototype presentations will be filmed on May 3rd and the videos posted on the website for the public to vote on. The voting results will determine the five finalists who will present their fully developed prototypes to the judges. In the final round, the online voters will get to choose the winner of The Hit, which will be announced in an awards ceremony at the American University in Cairo’s New Campus on May 9th.
The Hit 2012 is supported by Souq.com, the Adham Centre for Television and Digital Journalism and KUWADICO.

The competition is divided into three rounds
 
Idea Generation and Executive Summary
100 teams participate in this round by attending the session on Idea Generation and Product Innovation to incubate their initial ideas and learn about the dynamics of ecommerce in Egypt. Participants are then required to send their executive summaries for evaluation
 
Planning Round
In this round participating teams attend the session on Business Case writing where they learn how to plan, write their business cases and present their elevator pitch to the judging panel. 16 Teams are then chosen to take part in the first episode where they pitch their ideas to the judging panel. The panel of judges will choose eight teams and online voters will pick the two other teams to become the top ten.
 
Branding Round
In this round the top ten participants are not yet announced which gives a chance to all 16 teams to brand their businesses and products. The 16 participating teams will attend the session on Branding and Marketing where they learn how to fully develop a marketing campaign and brand their products.  In the second episode top 10 teams are announced and they get a chance to present their full marketing campaigns to the judging panel.
 
Production Round
In this round the top five are not yet announced and therefore all ten participating teams will attend a session on Supply chain and Building a prototype. Participating teams are then funded with 1,000 EGP to build a prototype of their product and present it to the judging panel. Voters will then choose the top four teams to present their fully developed prototypes and the judges bring one of the bottom six back in the competition to present his prototype forming the top five.
 
Final Round
Voters get to choose this year’s Hit through online voting on our website.

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