Cairo – The Venture Lab (V-Lab), the university-based accelerator of The American University in Cairo (AUC), has been recognized as MENA’s Top Challenger by UBI Global World Rankings 2021-2022 of business incubators and accelerators. UBI Global, a Swedish-based innovation intelligence company and community specializing in assessing and mapping business incubators and accelerators, has released the list of the top challengers as assessed by its World Benchmark Study 2021-2022. The regional Top Challenger Award is granted to incubators and accelerators that stand out among respective regional peers and offer exceptional value for their startups and the local ecosystem.

“Following a rigorous data-driven approach, we assessed and benchmarked incubation organizations across the world,” says Joshuah Sowah, head of research at UBI Global. “Our study is in tune with the multiple facets of the international incubation ecosystem and illustrates critical challenges and opportunities the participating organizations face.”

Ayman Ismail, founding director of AUC Venture Lab and Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at AUC School of Business, said: “At AUC Venture Lab, we work hard to offer our entrepreneurs a world-class experience during and after the program. Our offerings have expanded gradually over the years to serve entrepreneurs at the different stages and ensure they get the support they need to survive challenges, develop their businesses and grow as founders. We are grateful to UBI Global for recognizing the quality of our work and helping us showcase our growing community’s impact.”

The MENA’s Top Challenger Award marks the eighth international recognition for the V-Lab and the fifth from UBI Global. The first university-based accelerator in Egypt also celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Since its founding in 2013, AUC V-Lab has been committed to helping entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale their innovative startups while providing a platform for the AUC community to engage with entrepreneurs. To date, the V-Lab has supported thousands of founders to turn their business solutions into viable, scalable, investment-ready tech startups. The incubator graduated more than 300 startups from its flagship accelerators that created 12K+ job opportunities and raised more than 5 Billion EGP in funding across fintech, logistics, ed-tech, F&B, e-commerce, mobility, green economy, health-tech and more.


For the full World Rankings Report 2021-2022 of business incubators and accelerators, visit

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Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the Arab world. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions and study abroad programs.

The University offers 40 undergraduate, 52 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both the region and the world.

An independent, nonprofit, politically non-partisan, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.