Oasis500 holds 8th angel network event during global entrepreneurship summit in Dubai

Oasis500, the MENA region’s premier early stage and seed investment company, held its 8th Angel Network Event during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). The GES is a leading Summit for innovation, entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized mall and medium-sized businesses across the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Oasis500 hosted its 8th Angel Network Event at the Summit in an effort to build a culture for early stage investment in the region.

The 8th Angel Network Event provided 10 promising start-ups from Jordan with a platform to pitch their business ideas in front of potential angel investors from across the Middle East and the world.

The 10 chosen entrepreneurs have previously taken part in previous Oasis500 Boot Camps that offered intensive training workshops and professional guidance.

These fast-growth and investment-ready entrepreneurial start-ups were from across the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), digital media and mobile technologies sectors.

The start-ups that pitched their ideas at the 8th Angel Network Event included: Gallery Al Sharq, a website that sells oriental media services such as images, sound effects and videos; Jamalon.com, an online portal that sells both Arabic and English books; and Sajilni.com, an event discovery platform and e-ticketing engine for all types of occasions. Also presenting their ideas were: Gweet, the first online service in the Middle East that provides a regional network of alternative accommodation for rent; Zaytouneh, a digital library of high quality short cooking videos; and Shopgo.me, an e-commerce platform developed to establish e-stores at affordable prices across the MENA region.

Arabiaweddings.com, a comprehensive bilingual e-commerce website that caters to Jordan and the Arab World’s wedding industry; Feesheh, the first online store in the Middle East offering a wide range of music instruments and equipment at competitive prices; Littlethinkingminds.com, which produces educational multimedia products such as applications, DVDs, CDs and flash cards for children; and Abjjad.com, a social network for book enthusiasts that allows avid readers to create reading lists and share book reviews and recommendations with friends, were amongst the start-ups that participated in the 8th Angel Network Event.

Held at the Dubai World Trade Center on 11th and 12th December, 2012, the GES was hosted by Entrepreneurial Ventures of Arabia (EVA) under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Launched in 2009 by US President Barack Obama, this year’s GES builds on the resounding success of the Summit over the past three years.

The Summit’s agenda featured various discussion panel topics such as Sharing Global Best Practices in Entrepreneurship and SME Development and Womenpreneur Focus: Thinking and Building Big, amongst others. The Summit also hosted a GES Exhibition for small and medium-sized businesses, institutions, banks, technology suppliers and government entities.

Dr. Usama Fayyad, Chairman of Oasis500 and former Executive Vice President and Chief Data Officer of Yahoo! Inc. partook in two discussion panels entitled Incubating Innovation: Structuring a Sustainable Ecosystem for Tech Startups, as well as Ever Failed? Fail Again. Fail Better. Turn Failures into Fortunes. Dr. Fayyad previously participated in a discussion panel entitled Evolving Entrepreneurship during the 2012 Global Arab Business Meeting which was held on 9th and 10th December in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

“Holding our 8th Angel Network Event during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai has added great value to our efforts to support entrepreneurship in Jordan and across the region. We were impressed by the presentations of our 10 promising Jordanian start-ups and believe that they are great models for innovation and undeterred ambition that deserve an expanded network of support from the region and the world. At Oasis500, we continuously seek to highlight aspiring male and female Jordanian entrepreneurs, particularly from the Kingdom’s different governorates, and are confident in their ability to compete and succeed on both a regional and international level,” commented Dr. Fayyad.

The Summit also featured a Grow Your Business 2012 Regional SME Competition and Awards event which targeted start-ups seeking to take their growth to the next level, in which eight shortlisted companies pitched their propositions to a judging panel and investors.

The Competition was open to start-ups in the ICT, digital media and innovation sectors, and the top three winners received cash awards of Dhs100,000, Dhs50,000 and Dhs50,000, in that particular order, in addition to professional mentorship.

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