The start-up GBArena takes first place in the French Tech Ticket program

success story
The start-up GBArena takes first place in the French Tech Ticket program
02 February 2017 / Logiciel / Conseil / SSII, Générale, Microélectronique / IOT, Média
Support into the Belle de Mai incubator in Marseille

As the top winner of the second edition of French Tech Ticket, the Egyptian start-up Game Battle Arena moved into the Belle de Mai incubator in Marseille. For one year, the company will receive financial assistance and participate in a support program organized by the incubator and Provence Promotion to develop its online game platform and conquer the European market. Place your bets…

Clash Royale, Battlefield 4, Fifa16 and League of Legends are worldwide smashes with the under-20 crowd! Winners of international online tournaments now make money. Seeing the enormous potential of e-sports, in late 2015, Samer Wagdy and Bishoy Mesdary founded GBArena in Cairo. At the age of 24, these engineers developed a platform to connect players with game organizers.

"Gaming and e-sports today operate with their own tournaments and sponsors just like real sports teams. They generate tremendous revenue. We created this tool to help organizers find brands. The platform also offers players a community where they can follow tournaments, cheer each other on and talk about gaming," explain Samer Wagdy and Bishoy Mesdary.

Because it works on an international playing field, the start-up submitted an application for the second edition of the French Tech Ticket program. Jackpot! As the first-place finisher, in late January 2017, GBArena joined the Belle de Mai incubator in Marseille. "In Egypt, a friend told us about French Tech Ticket. We asked to be admitted to the Marseille incubator because of its specialization and the urban environment, which is conducive to growing our business in France and Europe," add the leaders, who are bursting with excitement.

In the French Tech-certified incubator that specializes in helping innovative companies in the information and communication technologies sector, the company will develop its R&D with financial backing from the government to the tune of €45,000. They plan to channel the funds to making technical improvements to their site, which will open to the general public in mid-March.

Easing their integration into the local ecosystem

Provence Promotion, as a partner of the Belle de Mai incubator, will hold the first of 12 master classes in English to help foreign companies enter the French market. A session focused on the culture of entrepreneurship. The agency also handles the practical arrangements related to GBArena's relocation. "We have been warmly welcomed. The team at Provence Promotion helped us find an apartment and open our bank account," they added.

A "help desk" tackles administrative formalities like residence permits.
The winning company will receive one year of free consulting with a mentor in the form of a one-hour meeting every two months. This gives them access to advice from a local business leader who also works in new technology.

Because Marseille will be the European Capital of Sports in 2017, it is an auspicious year for the start-up to make new connections with sponsors and reach out to a new audience. After all, the Marseille gaming community just keeps getting bigger. "With 30 million players (51% women, 49% men), France is the third-biggest gaming country in Europe and seventh in the world. This relatively new market brimming with gaming enthusiasm holds a lot of potential, especially in Europe," note Samer Wagdy and Bishoy Mesdary. In Cairo, GBArena employs a staff of six, including partners Mustafa Zaza and Hussein Raafat. 
Photo: Samer Wagdy and Bishoy Mesdary