Innoventures has announced the winners of the third cycle of its Startup Reactor Accelerator – run in partnership with VC4Africa. Cash prizes worth 10,000 Euros were awarded to three Egyptian startups at the event “Startup Nova – Entrepreneurship Explosion,” held at the Cairo Marriott in Zamalek.

First place and 5,000 Euros went to ZeroWaste Technologies for their CanBank project, that encourages people to recycle cans in exchange for phone credit. The second cash prize, 3,000 Euros, went to Tripdizer, a one-stop app that helps travelers arrange their trip in one place. The third prize went to Perligos, an online gate that allows customers to solve their complaints by connecting them to the right people in the business.

Hesham Wahby, CEO of Innoventures, gave a welcome speech, introduced the winners and walked the audience through the Startup Reactor program. Following the introduction, keynote speaker Wael Fakharany, Managing Director Egypt and Senior VP of Careem, expected that 2017 will have good news for startup ventures in Egypt regardless of the political scene in Egypt and urged developers and startups to turn the problems they see in Egypt into solutions.

“There are too many problems in Egypt that would make you not willing to wake up, but for you as startups, every problem is a new project that you can work on and find a scientific solution to it.” He stressed that listening to criticism is a must and that the only way to improve any project is by going to the real world and listening to the criticism, a step he described as courageous one and a necessary one.

Following the speeches, the startups encompassing diverse industries, from waste management and ICT to virtual reality and tourism, pitched for about four minutes each to a panel of judges. It consisted of Hossam Heiba, Managing Director of Orbis Capital, Alina Vinogradova, Head of Programs and Partnerships at VC4Africa, David Van Dijk, Co-Founder and Director General of ABAN, Osama Sorour, Chief Strategic Officer of Giza Systems, Gehan Fathi, Investment Banker, Dr. Hazem El Tahawy, the Managing Director of Mentor Graphics MENA Region, Amr Sadek, Vice Chairman of Total Access Group and Wael Fakharany.