Apps from Adversity: Egypt’s Revolution Spawned Startups

Recall that Time Magazine’s person of the year for 2011 was the protester.  From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street,  decentralized demonstrations rocked the foundations of entrenched societies across the globe.  These protesters were able to harness technology  in order to coordinate, disseminate information, and stay fluid in the face of opposition.  In Egypt, where the revolution toppled a 30 year long regime, protesters developed a number of brilliant methods for communication using their mobile devices to overcome the shutting down of phone and internet service across the country.

Two years later, those innovators who developed apps out of necessity are now at the forefront of an explosion of tech startups developing tools for decidedly less combative needs.  One app started as a way to use bluetooth to coordinate movements among protesters, and is now being retooled as a way to overcome high network traffic on an average day.   Other startups are developing new ways of collaborative learning, digital convenience, and are using technology to ensure that a post revolution Egypt can stay solid going into the future.


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