On February 12, nine startups led by over 50 students from across Tunisia pitched their ideas for innovative start-ups in the 5th edition of the Open Start Up (OST) Tunisia. The winning team “Skills 21”, developed a digital platform that matches university students and young professionals with Tunisia’s leading startups and corporations. The “Skills 21” team is now set to travel to New York City in April for a week of immersion and participate in a pitch session at a Entrepreneurship Festival organized by Columbia University’s Business School and Engineering School. Three other teams “Hwita”, “Travaris” and “Pedalo” received financial support to launch their projects.
Through support from partners including the U.S. Embassy, this year’s OST program reached more than 200 students who have been working in teams through a series of virtual boot camp that started in October 2020. The students were able to benefit from coaching by renowned Tunisian and international mentors from the entrepreneurial ecosystem as they developed their pitches for the competition.
Since its inception in 2016, OST graduates have gone on to launch 40 viable startups that hired more than 120 employees. All OST alumni are either still in school or gainfully employed with 33% working in startups and more than 40% working in the private or non-profit sector