Business Today Egypt met with Ahmed El Boukhary, Badgewell’s CEO, and its founder Hady Rashwan.
Badgewell, currently being incubated by NUTech Space with the support of IBM, is a digital badging and business solutions company that builds and operates digital badging and certificate platforms. They provide an educational multi-sided platform that offers digital badging and education credential management. Relying on IBM Blockchain Platform, Badgewell also provides recommendations for their users regarding potentially useful badges. They aim to have all badges and certificates from international entities integrated, verified and issuable by Badgewell. Business Today Egypt met with Ahmed El Boukhary, Badgewell’s CEO, and its founder Hady Rashwan.
What is the story behind your startup? Why did you choose this field?
We were exploring the best ideas that have a real impact on human development when we came across a TechCrunch article in 2016 discussing the future of learning, professional development and career progression. The article inspired a year-long study of potential applications that could capture the new trends in education and employment, and we started working on a solution that could spark massive improvement in how learning and professional experience could be organized and processed using artificial intelligence, so that we can help give people better recommendations about learning and career choices.
How does your project help the community? What is your contribution to society?
Software, and particularly artificial intelligence, is taking over the world, as some people may love to say. Digital transformation in education helps the community in several ways. Firstly, it helps organize learning data in a way that can be beneficial to learners, educators and employers and help all parties take informed decision when dealing with their strategic goals. Secondly, digital transformation helps increase the market efficiency and accelerate talent and skill matchmaking. Thirdly, digital transformation helps establish credibility through instant verification of educational and professional credentials of applicants. Fourthly, it helps establish a paperless registration, attendance and certification process which increases the efficiency and reduces the cost of education. Finally, by storing educational credentials digitally, there is an amazing opportunity to analyze learning data at the government and enterprise levels, which eventually enhances overall policymaking and economic development.
Why do you believe what IBM is doing is important for startups? How did IBM help your project?
In order for entrepreneurs to embark on their journeys and have an impact, they deal with a great amount of risk and uncertainty. With the support of large corporations, such as IBM, startups can reduce their technology risk dramatically by capitalizing on the experience, toolkits and processes of technology pioneers to bring faster and more secure applications to the market. At Badgewell, we utilized IBM technology to bring our blockchain infrastructure to the market very quickly, thereby saving days and probably weeks of development work. We have also used IBM cloud services to run several technology trials that would have taken more resources to conduct, had we chosen to run our trials using the conventional methods.
What is your advice for Egyptian youth who aspire to become successful entrepreneurs?
There is a prevailing notion that startups are mostly about great ideas, which is often untrue. Successful startups are founded on great execution. A mediocre idea with great execution is likely to be more successful than a great idea with a mediocre execution. Similarly, when it comes to technology and markets, many technology entrepreneurs, blinded by their excitement, vision and innovative design, miss the main point – which essentially is to solve a real-life problem. So, a great piece of advice would be to use the technology to serve the market, not vice versa.