Despite being only 23 years-old, Chaimae El Mahdaoui has a list full of incredible achievements. Part of the winning team of the Arab Innovation Academy 2019, Chaimae is also a youth activist, speaker at TEDxyouth, and founder of Salamat-e, a mobile application that provides prevention and vaccination tools against communicable diseases for travelers.

Chaimae is one of the young minds who are making a positive impact on the planet. 

In this interview, Chamaie El Mahdaoui shares her experience at the Arab Innovation Academy and the challenges of being a young entrepreneur.

1. Hey Chaimae! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a cancer biologist, entrepreneur, and ballet teacher. I love traveling and sharing positivity on my social media channels. I am passionate about life and believe that every day is an opportunity to enjoy and experience new things.

Entrepreneurship is one of my biggest passions in life, as I see it as the best tool to contribute to changing the world.

2. What were the expectations for AIA?

When I was selected for AIA, I had three main goals: to learn from a new experience, meet other entrepreneurs, and exchange ideas about my project. While at AIA, I discovered that the program went way beyond that. 

During the program, not only did I have access to an incredible international team that helped me improve my project, but I had also the chance to meet mentors who were always available to support us. Our mornings were so energizing that we never felt stress during the day.

I ended up having a great team, amazing mentors, incredible friends from different parts of the world, and a strong project idea…plus, of course, the first-place prize of the Arab Innovation Academy!

3. What was your biggest challenge?

Understanding each team member’s entrepreneurship approach. It’s true that entrepreneurship is a global movement, but each one of us has our own culture and perspective. As CEO and leader of the startup, I had to set a vision and mission to be able to work in harmony with my team members and stay on the same page. 

Another challenge was the tech part—Salamat-E is a mobile app, so finding a developer was another challenge of the project.

4. What was your best #aiamoment?

Every moment was very special. If I have to choose just one that I consider the best, I can’t avoid mentioning when they announced us the winners of AIA 2019; it was unforgettable. It was such a great achievement for our team, mentors, and the countries we were all representing. 

The Arab Innovation Academy 2020 is around the corner! Follow us on Instagram!