Yomken (Arabic for 'it’s possible') is a platform on which designers, prospective entrepreneurs and other innovators can present, develop and finance their product and project ideas. In the course of his Master's thesis about innovation economics, founder Tamer Taha discovered that 90% of Egyptian investments go into innovations in the high-tech industry.. In order to help other innovators get their ideas out there, he designed a platform that combines open innovation with crowdfunding.
In the area of open innovation, “challenges” are announced: for example, “how can we sensibly re-use waste products?” Companies that post challenges offer a reward for the best idea submitted. NGOs that submit challenges do this with the help of a sponsor. According to Taha, the success rate is 70%. Prototypes of the best ideas are presented to potential buyers via's the platform's crowdfunding component. In this way, the innovations can test their market value and potentially obtain funding. As the otherwise normal small return for NGOs that occurs via crowdfunding is legally not allowed in Egypt, Yomken is registered as a for-profit company. The funds raised are therefore advance payments for products that are delivered later. Taha's vision is for Yomken to be a central contact point and platform for simple technical innovations in Egypt.
The platform still receives funding from a range of sources: the seed capital was made up of money from several prizes. In the long term, the platform is expected to finance itself through fees: firstly, the sponsors of challenges pay 10% of the sponsor amount to the company. In trun, NGOs have to complete paid courses in which they learn how to use the internet for their purposes. The course fees are coverd by the government and processed by Yomken via a subsidiary (Istebdaa.org).