As a child, Nada Donia found that her lectures and studies lacked interactivity, which made it difficult for her to stay engaged. Later, as a university student, she dreamed of establishing a business to improve the manner in which children are taught, by making curricula more interactive. Nada thought to herself “If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much would a video be worth?”
After graduating from the German University of Cairo (GUC) with a degree in mechatronics engineering, Nada launched her first startup, Nawwar, a media production house for online education that produces educational videos using motion graphics.
In 2018, Nada participated in “Meet Silicon Valley Program”, as a startup founder. The program was implemented by Injaz Egypt, in partnership with TechWadi and is sponsored by the US Embassy, and Nada became a member of the Egyptian State Alumni Community established by the US Embassy.
During this program, Nada realized Nawwar’s shortcomings and the difficulty of scaling it up, and hence took the decision to close the business.
The experience was a first step towards the establishment of ‘Guided’, a female-led EdTech startup co-founded and currently managed by Nada.
Realizing that often-times parents find themselves at a loss when seeking learning and development opportunities for their children, given the difficulty of finding and scarcity of reliable and updated information on services available that offer educational programs for children, Nada created ‘Guided’ to meet these challenges.
Through Guided, parents can find the necessary details on educational activities taking place in various subjects such as Science, Arts, Music, and Sports. The EdTech also offers series of innovative educational videos led by experts in different fields such as Art Therapy and Storytelling.
Having faced challenges in understanding the business model, which differed from the Nawwar model, and in access to finance, Nada applied for entrepreneurship programs, and Guided was incubated through Eitesal Business Nurturing Initiative (EBNI) incubation program, supported by the USAID’s SEED Project in June 2019.
Through the incubation program, Guided received training to build the startup’s understanding of the business model, in addition to €12.5K in funding over 1.5 years through equity free seed funding, which enabled Nada and her team to develop and launch their platform.
Then during a pitching competition judged by entrepreneurship experts; organized by Imagine, a startup development program funded by the GUC; and held at the University of Marburg, Germany, Guided won first place.
Since its official launch in June 2019, the startup has been recognized by the Global Forum for Education and Learning (GFEL) in Dubai, as one of the Top 50 Companies in Education, which provided Guided with excellent exposure within the MENA region.
Currently, Guided’s Facebook page has 6.7K likes, and its educational videos have reached 66K views and 650 sign-ups. So far the startup boasts 12 bookings for events. In the five years to come, Nada hopes to scale-up and expand Guided, and integrate it into university programs across Egypt.
Nada’s dream of creating an interactive and enjoyable method of learning for kids became a reality.
“Guided is currently considered one of the Top 50 Companies in Education by the Dubai Global Forum for Education and Learning”