Unveiling new investment track for established businesses
Amman, 28th January 2013 – Oasis500, the MENA region’s premier early stage investment company and technology start-up accelerator program, held on Monday 28th January, 2013, a press conference at the Company’s new accelerator facility NAJEM, during which it announced its new partnership with the British Embassy in Amman. The press conference was attended by Ambassador Peter Millett, British Ambassador to Jordan; Dr. Usama Fayyad, Executive Chairman of Oasis500 and former Executive Vice President and Chief Data Officer of Yahoo! Inc.; representatives from Oasis500 and the British Embassy; as well local media representatives.
By virtue of the partnership, the British Embassy will be supporting Oasis500’s technology entrepreneurship training Boot Camps over the course of the next six months. The British Embassy will also provide assistance to Oasis500 to expand its outreach to encompass additional governorates across Jordan whilst placing a special focus on female entrepreneurs.
As part of its expansion plans, Oasis500 will also be assigning ambassadors across different parts of the Kingdom to represent the Company and carry out set tasks that will enable Oasis500 to attract entrepreneurs from across different governorates. Oasis500’s first assigned ambassadors are the Fooq Al Sada team, a creative online Arabic community that provides original and high quality content in video and text format such as shows and sketches, and a content sharing platform. Fooq Al Sada originated in Irbid and will be the Company’s first ambassador in the Irbid Governorate. Oasis500’s ambassadors will also include the ME Graduates team, a company that connects students in the Middle East with universities abroad and facilitates the application and relocation process through an online service and software. Both Fooq Al Sada and ME Graduates were accelerated by Oasis500.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude towards the British Embassy for their ardent support in helping Oasis500 further strengthen Jordan’s standing as a regional hub for entrepreneurship and positively impact the national economy. Ambassador Millet’s strong emphasis on placing a special focus on female entrepreneurs and expanding the Company’s reach to encompass all the Kingdom’s governorates has been crucial to our operations,” commented Dr. Fayyad. “We have seen great demand and success by companies founded by females and we continue to over-index on female entrepreneurs in attendance at the entrepreneurship training boot camps as well as in the companies selected for investment by Oasis500."
In turn, Ambassador Millett said, “The British Embassy is delighted to renew its partnership with Oasis500 after providing funding to support four Boot Camps in Amman and Irbid last year. The impressive results from those training sessions and the enthusiasm of the participants have convinced us to continue our support this year. I believe that Oasis500 has a vital role to play in supporting Jordan’s aspiring entrepreneurs and empowering young men and women across the Kingdom to succeed in creating and bolstering job opportunities in today’s challenging business environment.”
During the press conference, Dr. Fayyad also announced that Oasis500 will be launching a new business investment track for established technology companies, in partnership with major Venture Capital and investment firms including Accelerator Technology Holdings (ATH), WAMDA and MENA Ventures. The new business track is aimed at enabling established companies to further accelerate and grow their businesses locally regionally and internationally, as well as receive follow-on and Series A investments from Oasis500. The amount of investment can go up to USD $500,000 for businesses that provide a proven business case. Interested ICT companies that have a proven record, a prototype or proven market product can now apply to Oasis500 by submitting their applications to www.oasis500.com/grow.
Commenting on the Company’s new business investment track, Dr. Fayyad stated, “We are excited to be launching our new business investment track which will aid us in targeting a new segment of Jordanian SMEs, helping to accelerate established companies in order to reach growth rates that enable them to attract venture capital investments. This program will allow us to invest in existing technology companies with the help of our partners ATH,MENA Ventures and WAMDA. These partners will support Oasis500 in evaluating strong candidate companies for this program and fast-tracking them towards much larger investment capital."
Oasis500 is the first development and investment company of its kind in the MENA region. It aims to support entrepreneurs by providing them with funding and training in an effort to accelerate the transformation of business ideas into start-up companies in the ICT, digital media, and mobile technologies and content sectors. Oasis500 aims to facilitate the launch of 500 start-up companies within the next five years, which will create an incentive for aspiring entrepreneurs and generate job opportunities within the world’s fastest growing sectors. Since commencing its operations in September 2010, Oasis500 has successfully secured investments for 55 technology companies, in addition to a number of other investments that were unmatched by any investment fund in the region.