The final ceremony of the third edition of the OPEN STARTUP TUNISIA (OST) was held on 18 January 2019 in the City of Culture of Tunis.
OST, the Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation for Students Program, is the result of a public-private partnership involving Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the United States Embassy, the BIAT Foundation, Africinvest, Columbia Global Centers and GoMyCode. At the end of the ceremony, the TUN-UP team won the final.
Open Startup Tunisia is a national competition bringing together high-potential students from several Tunisian academic institutions in various disciplines: Trade, engineering, agriculture, medicine, architecture… This strategic choice of multidisciplinary approach is the particularity and richness of the programme. Indeed, OST’s objectives are to develop the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation among students and to encourage a greater openness of the university to the entrepreneurial environment.
For this edition of the OST programme, the 90 selected students benefited from a content-rich programme developed jointly by Columbia University and the actors of the Tunisian entrepreneurial ecosystem. They benefited from a 3-day bootcamp, mentoring sessions throughout the programme by an academic coach and a practitioner coach for each team.
After four months of work, and at the end of this competition, six teams of students participated in the final to defend their project ideas before a reference jury. The project ideas proposed are innovative, ambitious and revolve around the 2030 objectives defined by the United Nations based on technology.
The TUN-UP team won the first prize by winning a week of immersion in the ecosystem of Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering School and pitching its project in the Columbia Venture Competition (a Startups competition).
This team proposed a project idea that consists of extracting pepper seeds to produce oil for the cosmetics or food industry. In second place, the FARCHA team offers an insole that generates heat from recyclable materials. The 3rd team is ATHENA which presented a platform that helps companies to create Mixed Reality training for their employees quickly and at a lower cost.
Open Start-up Tunisia, which is a pre-incubation programme for innovative ideas, is part of the BIAT Foundation’s strategic approach, which extends from the dissemination of entrepreneurial culture to the confirmation of the entrepreneurial path.