Amr Shady (born March 7, 1976) is an Egyptian-Canadian serial entrepreneur and data science engineer with over 16 years of experience in building and scaling companies. He is the co-founder & CEO of the US-based AiNGEL Corp. He is also co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Egypt-based TA Telecom, which he started at the age of 22, driving multi million dollars in annual revenue with only $50,000 in early stage funding. TA Telecom is recognized as a Deloitte Fast Technology 500 company, a Red Herring Global 100 and dubbed by the Financial Times as a “local hero.”
Amr Shady Wikipedia
Shady invented several mobile tech products including Buzz (mobile content delivery platform), Mazady (mobile-based auction service), Reveel (US patent-pending analytic tool for SaaS), Unmask.ai (personality intelligence based sales directory), AiNGEL (artificial intelligence that helps early stage investors make better investment decisions). He also introduced mobile-based donations to Egypt through MegaKheir App, which raises millions of dollars every year serving the country’s charitable sector.
Shady graduated from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a Master of Science degree in Business Analytics. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Canada’s Dalhousie University, which he joined at the age of 16. He earned his high school diploma from the Manor House in Egypt.
Upon graduating from Dalhousie University, Shady ran the Egypt operations of his father’s electromechanical company for three years until he decided to pursue something more innovative. He decided to venture into the mobile industry and pursue his own entrepreneurial venture, and tap into the disruptive potential of mobile technology.
Shady co-founded AiNGEL Corp. in 2016 with two of his friends at NYU's MSc program in business analytics. According to its website, AiNGEL utilizes a patent-pending algorithm in identifying the next game-changing startups ahead of time. It promises venture capitalists early detection of the next big startup such as Uber or Facebook, providing founders with the necessary investment that would bring their idea to life. In a media interview, Shady explained that the tool works because it's based on a proprietary machine learning algorithm coupled with an extensive feature set of the startup founders.
Shady co-founded TA Telecom in 2000 as a mobile advertising provider, which was then called "3al SMS". A report titled ‘Customer Analytics, Agility, and Corporate Partnerships How TA Telecom Expanded Beyond Egypt’, which was released in May 2016 by the Wamda Research Lab in collaboration with Endeavor Egypt, explores how TA Telecom scaled over the years. The company idea was inspired by the growing adoption of mobiles phones in Egypt, which prompted Shady and a close friend to create a mobile advertising solution that would allow businesses to reach their clients via text messages. The solution appealed to advertisers who reached their clients directly without having to go through the tedious traditional advertising route which cost more time and money.
A year later, the co-founders quickly entered into the Value Added Services (VAS). The turning point started at a carnival at the American University in Cairo (AUC), where Shady and his friends setup a booth to build a data base for their mobile advertising business. The team was approached by former Vodafone Marketing Director Hatem Dowidar who invited them over to his office to explore future opportunities. The co-founders capitalized on this opportunity and pitched a VAS service that engages soccer fans in a game where they answer questions through SMS and gain points. The idea appealed to Dowidar, landing TA Telecom its first partnership with Vodafone Egypt. "The product was a success, quickly validating [TA Telecom's] intuition that VAS would be profitable."
Shady’s business grew over 17 years from pitching the idea of mobile-advertising in Egypt, to kick-starting Value Added Services (VAS) in the country, to introducing multiple mobile technology products that serve businesses, NGOs and end users. In 2012, TA Telecom began developing mobile applications, and ventured into Big Data and predictive analytics. Revenues grew 560 percent over five years (2009 – 2014), ranking on both the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Africa (2014) and Fast 500 EMEA (2015). The company expanded in the MENA and South Asia regions with operations in Egypt, Nigeria, Afghanistan, UAE, KSA, Libya, Rwanda, Cameroon, Morocco, and Sudan. With services now reaching around 36 million users, the company processes around 1.4 billion transactions on its mobile content platforms annually and produces 1.5 million push alerts. TA Telecom grew rapidly between 2006 and 2013, quadrupling in size between 2006 and 2008 and doubling between 2011 and 2014. Staff size has also increased from 15 employees in 2006 to around 70 in 2016.Speaker, "International Entrepreneurship and Emerging Trends in Data," Gigaom Structure Data 2014, New York.
Speaker, VAS Africa, Johannesburg, June 2014.
Panelist, "Game-Changing Global Entrepreneurs," Milken Institute Global Conference 2012, Santa Monica, California.
Speaker, Endeavor Egypt 2012, "Overcoming Failure".
Keynote address, "Youth, Employment, and Revolution in the Middle East," FPD Forum 2011, World Bank, Washington D.C.
Quoted in "Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags," authored by Linda Rottenberg.
Featured in The Financial Times, "Cairo: Egyptian talent and wealth are concentrated in the capital," September 2015.
Cited in Wired, "Forget Amazon, drone delivery will take off in Africa," February 2014.
Interviewed by CGTN Africa, "Amr Shady's TA Telecom is one of the fastest growing tech companies in Africa," 2015.
Interviewed by Business Day TV, "SME Zone," South Africa, January 2015.
Interviewed by iTech, "Entrepreneur Amr Shady and the US-based Reveel Project," 2015.
Featured in World Stories, "Emerging Stars," Deutsche Welle, 2013.
Featured in How We Made it in Africa, "‘Thinking big’ key to tech CEO Amr Shady’s success," November 2014.
Quoted in Reuters, "Viettel to invest $1 bln on 3G telecoms network in Tanzania: officials," October 2014.
Featured in How We Made it in Africa, "Meet the Boss: Amr Shady, CEO, TA Telecom," November 2014.
Interviewed by Silicon Africa, "How Mobile Technology Is Changing The Art Of Giving In Africa," September 2014.
Interviewed by Wamda, "Secrets for Scaling a Mobile Services Company to Success: Amr Shady of TA Telecom," 2012.
Featured in Diginomica, "Megakheir lifts mobile donations during Ramadan in Egypt," July 2014.
Featured in Communications Africa, "New Report Suggests Africa's Mobile Market is on the Brink of Change," December 2013.
Interviewed in Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), "Investing in Arab Entrepreneurs," Winter 2013.
Featured in Global Trader, "Upwardly Mobile," October 2013.
Interviewed by Entrepreneur Country, "Amr Shady, CEO of TA Telecom, On Standing Up for Africa and the Middle East," September 2013.
Interviewed by Business Monthly, American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt magazine, "Tapping the Line," May 2007.
Featured in ABC7 San Francisco, "International Entrepreneurs Flock to Bay Area," March 2011.
Featured in The Middle East magazine, "The road to 'High-Impact' entrepreneurship in the Middle East," December 2011.
Shady founded RefuKids in December 2016, an initiative to help refugee orphans and children of war torn countries. The initiative aspires to alleviate the suffering of child refugees through technology. "Beyond the humane need of this initiative, if we do not help alleviate their physical injuries and psychological distress, we leave behind children who will grow resentful to the world and people around them, and at worst make them easy recruits for extremist groups like ISIS," says RefuKids on its website description.
In 2010, Shady founded MegaKheir Foundation to harness the potential of mobile technology in supporting charitable causes in Egypt. The Foundation's primary product is a mobile donations platform and application that raises funds through SMS to more than 40 NGOs and charitable causes in the country. MegaKheir is the charity arm of TA Telecom and according to Diginomica, it raised USD 1.67 million in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan 2014, for several charitable organizations that work on fighting cancer, hunger, poverty, heart disease and many other causes. The 57357 Children Cancer Hospital and the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, which offer free health care in their respective fields, are two of many organizations currently raising funds through MegaKheir.
In addition to fundraising for charities through the MegaKheir mobile App and text donations, the Foundation also provides other mobile products and services for charitable initiatives. This includes developing a mobile app that assists the visually impaired in identifying paper money, and another Arabic-language app (Kalami) that helps autistic children enhance their communication skills. In June 2016, two of TA Telecom's products, Mazady and MegaKheir, joined forces to create an SMS-based mobile charity auction called Mazady FelKheir (Auction for Good). The first charitable auction featured the tie of renowned heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub, which was sold at around EGP 26,000 for the benefit of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation that treats cardiac patients for free in Egypt.
Shady is an active member of the Endeavor network, which promotes entrepreneurship in emerging markets. He launched TA Telecom Catalyst in 2014, offering advising and mentorship for startups in the MEA region. Through the Catalyst, Shady partners with prominent organizations to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region. He is active with organizations that employ technological innovations for uses that benefit society. Shady serves as a mentor with Flat6Labs and the Lift-Off Initiative, supporting thousands of entrepreneurs in the region. He connects with ambitious young people at regional entrepreneurial events, delivering talks and educational workshops.Technology paints a brighter future for Africa, May 25, 2015, Bizcommunity.
Mobile apps lift health mindfulness, March 17, 2015, Bizcommunity.
Mobile Revolution Revitalizes Africa’s Workforce, May 1, 2015, TA Telecom Blog.
Africa's Mobile Market: Untapped Potential for Global Investment, Dec. 8, 2014, CPAfrica.
Investing in Africa: Hitting highs and lows on a rapidly developing continent, June 19, 2014, Venture Beat.
Moto E Won’t Make A-Grade in Africa Just Yet, May 16, 2014, IDG Connect.
Africa and venture capital: How VCs can help 12 of the world’s 20 fastest-growing countries, Oct. 18, 2013, Venture Beat.
2000: Co-founded TA Telecom (TAT) in Egypt as a mobile advertising agency
2001: Produced first VAS application, a game for soccer fans in Cairo with Vodafone Egypt as the main client
2006: Launched BUZZ!, a VAS content platform
2005 - 2014: Entered markets in UAE, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Libya, Rwanda, Tanzania
2010: Founded MegaKheir, a mobile donations platform that serves Egypt's charities as part of TAT's CSR
2014: Co-invented Reveel, a data analytic tool that measures the performance of subscription-based services and predicts growth
2016: Launched Mazady, an SMS-based auction service that sells consumer products at discounted prices
2016: Launched Unmask.ai, an artificial intelligence-based mobile application that unlocks customers personality traits and provides salespeople with deal-closing tips
2016: Earned his Master of Science degree in Business Analytics from New York University
2016: Co-founded AiNGEL Co. in Silicon Valley
Winner of the 2015 Red Herring Global Top 100
Outstanding Mature Business Finalist at the 2015 Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship
Winner of the 2015 Red Herring Europe Top 100
Winner of the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA
Top 4 on the 2014 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Africa
Winner of 2013 Mobile Merit Award for best Service Delivery Platform
Selected as part of Synergos’ Top 50 Egypt Pioneers Program
Endeavor Global member – selected from a pool of 29,000 applicants to join this elite network of high-impact entrepreneurs from emerging markets
Named one of “Five ‘Young World’ Tech Innovators to Watch” by Internet Revolution
Ranked 8th on the 2011 Arabia Fast Growth 500
Ranked 8th on the 2011 North Africa Fast Growth 50