April 25, 2024

Mahmoud Rabie – both a mentor to Aspire Leaders Program alumni and a collaborator as founder of Innovate Academy – has a journey full of continuous learning, growth, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge. From his beginnings as a researcher studying for his PhD in materials science to transitioning into innovation consulting, entrepreneurship, and mentorship, Rabie demonstrates an unwavering commitment to self-improvement and helping others achieve their goals.

A Journey of Resilience

Born in Egypt, his thirst for learning was evident from an early age. While pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Cairo University, he dreamt of making grand changes in the field of materials science. Hhe hoped to create innovative technological advancements.

After deciding to study abroad in Germany in 2000, he enrolled in a one year, intensive German course. While completing his undergraduate senior project in Germany, he saw a sign that read: would you like to know the chemistry and physics behind materials? This encouraged him to apply for a master’s in materials science in Germany. However, after applying for three years, he continually got rejected for scholarships. With funding for only one year, he went to Germany and applied for many scholarships to continue to study. Eventually, he received the Erasmus Mundus scholarship to complete his master’s in 2007. 

He cites the ability to persevere and not be afraid of failure as what aided him in this journey.

“I define myself as a passionate learner,” he said. “I learn things, but I also learn from people. During the learning process, I allow myself to make mistakes and develop from them.

He has now mastered multiple languages including Arabic, English, German, and Dutch.

During his PhD at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, he also went to Madrid, Spain to conduct research for several years. After completing his PhD in 2013, Rabie realized that a career solely in academia might not provide the stability he desired, especially with a new family to support. This realization led him to pursue an MBA and a career in innovation management consulting. Innovation management allowed him to apply his scientific expertise in new domains.

However, his journey was not without challenges. A difficult period in his personal life only strengthened his resolve.

“I said, ‘Okay, I will move to Egypt and think about my next entrepreneurial move,’” he explained. In 2020, he traveled back to Egypt. With a lot of time to think during the COVID-19 pandemic, he came up with the idea for Innovate Academy. 

Entrepreneurial Pursuits to Empower Others

Innovate Academy aims to bridge the gap between what students learn in educational institutions and the practical skills required in the job market. “I found the opportunity to fill this gap by providing training for soft skills like leadership, communication, emotional intelligence – as well as technical skills that are never taught in school but are essential for career success,” Rabie said.

His passion for mentorship stems from his desire to help young talent avoid mistakes he made and find their path more efficiently. “I mentor in order to make it better for the young talent, so they don’t repeat my mistakes,” he said. “I want to share tips with them that could have helped me when I was their age.”

In his role as a partner and mentor with Aspire Institute, Rabie finds inspiration in every interaction. “One word in one meeting can inspire me for the next five years,” he shared. 

The diverse backgrounds and experiences of Aspire’s alumni and staff constantly challenge him to explore new perspectives and innovative solutions.

He firmly believes that every individual has the potential to make valuable contributions if given the right support and encouragement.

Looking ahead, his vision extends far beyond his own ventures. He hopes to collaborate with organizations like Aspire Institute to develop programs and tools that empower individuals facing economic, social, or other challenges.

With his infectious energy, empathy, and a wealth of cross-cultural experiences, Mahmoud Rabie stands as a shining example of a true mentor and valuable Aspire Global Partner – someone who is deeply invested in the growth of others while continuing to learn and evolve themselves.

“Development and learning is always a work in progress,” he stated.


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