Tutoring startup Smartprof secures US$50k investment from UM6P Startgate and Plug and Play

MOROCCO – Smartprof, a Moroccan tutoring startup, has received US$50,000 in investment after graduating from the third cohort of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) Startgate and Plug and Play Morocco startup competition.

Smartprof, founded in 2021 by Hamza Faiz, Mustapha Faiz, and Ali Faouzi, is an on-demand tutoring software for school-aged pupils.

UM6P Startgate and Plug and Play Morocco (PnP) have spent the last three months mentoring 12 Moroccan startups in an effort to strengthen the country’s developing startup ecosystem amid local and international concerns about an economic downturn and funding cuts.

During the PnP Batch 3 Expo Day in Casablanca, 12 startups showcased their concepts to partners and managers of significant venture capital funds present in Africa.

On Wednesday, July 6, aspiring young entrepreneurs and graduates from the first and second batches in April 2021 and March 2022, such as Chari, Jobop, and WafR, attended the event to learn about new creative concepts in Morocco and provide their support.

The list of selected startups for this expo comprised both freshly started and reasonably established firms that deliver digital breakthroughs in the domains of education, health, real estate, retail, and tech industry, with a special emphasis on themes connected to the development of smart cities.

Smart Prof, the winner of the Startgate and PnP Batch 3 competitions, got US$50,000 for their inventive tutoring marketplace, which connects K-12 kids with tutors pursuing higher education.

“This event is an opportunity for us to look back on what’s been done in the last two years to enable the local startup scene and pursue our ambitions in building an integrated ecosystem that offers concrete opportunities to local talent,” Aziz El Hachem, North-Africa Director at Plug and Play said.

Yassine Laghzioui, UM6P’s Head of Entrepreneurship and Venturing, stated that the university is “seeking to put Morocco and Africa at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

“We are putting the current challenges of the African continent as the pillars of our mission statement,” Laghzioui added, noting that the main challenges burdening the continent’s development are food security, sustainable exploitation of natural resources, digital inclusion, and access to health care.

Throughout the exhibition day, the 12 businesses expressed a desire in expanding their operations to Western Africa, particularly Francophone Africa, signalling a significant shift in the Moroccan entrepreneurship sector, which was previously focused on Europe.

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