Successful Tunisian tech entrepreneur aims to ignite innovation across African

Successful Tunisian tech entrepreneur aims to ignite innovation across African
Karim Beguir, CEO of InstaDeep. Source: Beguir's X account

In 2014, Karim Beguir started his AI company InstaDeep in Tunisia with just $2000 and two computers. Less than a decade later, it was sold to Germany’s BioNTech for roughly $700 million. 

"For the first time, we saw that a start-up launched in Africa with very limited resources could become a major international player," Beguir told the AFP. 

InstaDeep, a company that harnesses artificial intelligence to help businesses in decision-making processes, first gained international attention during the pandemic. 

That’s when it teamed up with BioNTech, the firm that developed, in collaboration with Pfizer, the first COVID-19 vaccine approved in the U.S. Beguir’s technology reportedly assisted BioNTech to identify dangerous variants two months before they appeared.  

Since being bought by the bio-tech giant, Beguir and his team are working on cancer vaccines and other projects that include making Germany’s airports and rail systems function more efficiently and predicting cricket invasions in Africa. 

Beguir hopes that his success can inspire African nations to look beyond energy exports to fuel growth. 

"Thanks to the movement that we have helped start, young Africans can hope of being part of tomorrow's innovation and technology, and in particular AI, which is the technology of our generation," he told AFP.

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