Momkens’ mentorship program supports projects that are trying to help blind and visually-impaired people. The support can be in the form of technical support and/or financial support. It can also be in the form of advice and connecting with other people that can help or with blind people to give feedback on the prototypes. We have also helped teams apply to competitions and many of them have reached final stages. Momken also supported in the travel expenses to these competitions.
Momken has supported the following teams:
1) Mubser: The team was building a smart wearable belt with a Bluetooth headset for visually-impaired people that guide them to navigate and avoid common obstacles they would face in their daily life. Momken was in contact with Khaled Abushady in Mubser’s team and supported them with a Microsoft Kinect camera.
2) 7awlak: The team’s graduation project in Menoufia University was aiming to develop smart glasses that have: face detection, color detector, and money detection. They also had plans to add RFID, compass, GPS, and Google streets add-on to help the blinds maneuver in the streets and know where they are without getting lost. However these last goals weren’t easy to achieve due to restrictions on using GPS/GSM modules in Egypt at that time. Momken was in contact with Mohamed Makram from 7awlak’s team and had several technical discussions/suggestions. We revised several of the documents they submitted for Made-in-Egypt competition (MIE) whose result was announced on the Egyptian-Engineering-Day (EED) and they reached final stages. They also achieved the first-place in “Tamken” competition.
3) Nabd: The team’s graduation project in Palestine developed a cost-effective Braille printer. Braille printers has been traditionally very expensive and being able to develop it in the Middle East, with good quality and good price, is considered a milestone. Momken was in contact with Yasmeen Ateq from Nabd’s team and supported them by answering a lot of their questions regarding startups. We put them in contact with Amr Saleh, the CEO of integreight, to further share his startup success story with them. We encouraged Nabd’s to apply to MIT Arab Competition and they were selected among 20 winning teams to compete in Kuwait in April 2015 and the 3 winning teams will win $10,000. The team have also won in another competition in Palestine and was awarded $5000.
4) MIH systems: The team developed several prototypes that can be useful for blind people. They have a prototype for “Hope Glasses” that have several useful features to help blind people . They also have a prototype for a white cane that can also help identify currencies based on their physical length. Momken was in contact with Mohammed Islam from MIH’s team and had several meetings with him. We also put MIH in contact with several blind people to give him feedback regarding his prototypes. We encouraged MIH to apply to “EIN” competition in Emirates and supported in the travel costs and MIH won the first prize in the competition.
5) White Cane project, Helwan: In order to design a white cane that can be manufactured from local and cheaper materials and can last for years, Momken initiated a project for the students in the Industrial Design Department, Applied Art School , Helwan University. Under the supervision of Dr. Osama Youssof students were divided into several groups and each group was asked to come up with a new design. Wael Zakaria, the head of the research group within Momken gave an educational session for the students to educate them about the needs of the white cane and the features that a design should have to be a useful product for the blind. Momken will offer a number of rewards for the students after completing the project.