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A Motorcycle, a Prototype, and a Powerful Dream Took This 18-Year-Old Entrepreneur To the MIT Competition

“I always loved riding on two wheels. The small footprint, air rush and lean give me the feeling of freedom,” says Mostafa Refaie, the 18-year-old founder of Vision Bird, one of the youngest startups competing at this year’s edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition.

A cars and motorcycles enthusiast, an audiophile, and photographer, the young entrepreneur decided to team up with other fellow students to develop a prototype helmet when his parents denied him the chance to ride a motorcycle. “For me commuting in a motorcycle is like skiing to work and always have been eager to get my hands on the handlebar to enjoy it,” he tells BarakaBits. “However, as I turned eighteen, my parents refused the idea as it’s risky. But I couldn’t let it go and decided to create something that would change the community’s idea about motorcycles,” he says.

Together with his young partners Youssif Seisa, Hany Salama and Omar Abo Al-Soud, he developed a prototype to increase safety on the roads. “If the helmet is the car interior for motorcyclists, then how is it possible that it does not have any sort of entertainment or safety features other than protecting my head after crashing?”. It was this question that sparked VisionBird.

“We faced a lot of barriers during the creation of the prototype: how to fit all of this equipment into a snug helmet? Are the sensors going to detect the expected region? How to get the required hardware? We have to program the helmet to show an easy and fast recognizable figures, so that at the blink of an eye it could save the rider from a tragic accident,” he explains.

Their project VOUND has already won the third place in the idea track at last year’s MIT Arab Startup Competition, which there are aiming to win this year. “It is undeniable that we want to take the crown, yet we think that whether we win or loss still we are winners. It is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Having the opportunity to meet different teams, professionals and new ideas is a treasure for us,” the young entrepreneur says.

For more information: Keep up with the MIT Competition on Twitter at @MITEFarab

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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