Start-up training and investment programme plans to go regional

AMMAN — Oasis 500, a fund that supports Jordanian start-up technology companies, plans to expand its operations to include other Arab countries in two months, according to its chairman, Usama Fayyad.

“After the fund’s success locally in training and investing in dozens of start-ups, we will expand abroad and start implementing the programme in the Arab world,” he said in a recent interview with reporters.

Since its launch in August 2010, the fund has invested in 44 start-ups in the fields of ICT, digital media, and mobile services and trained more than 350 start-ups in this field, according to Fayyad. The fund plans to train 60 young Jordanian entrepreneurs this month, and will soon announce investments in about seven start-ups, he added.

“In 2012, we will continue training and investing in pioneering start-ups and young people.”

Highlighting the fund’s achievements since its creation, Fayyad said it has created a network of mentors including about 200 experts and companies, in addition to an Angel Investors Network of about 300 local, regional and international investors.

Entrepreneurs who wish to benefit from Oasis 500’s programme submit applications and, if accepted, begin the programme by receiving training on the behavioural competencies of successful entrepreneurs, how to build a business model, and how to market their plans to turn them into businesses.

Those who excel in the training programme and have investment-ready ideas immediately proceed to the first round, receiving JD10,000 in seed funding and being incubated at the Oasis 500 offices at the King Hussein Business Park, according to the programme’s website.

They are also provided with work space during the three-month incubation period, in addition to Internet access and mentorship.

After the completion of the first round, participants are short-listed to compete in the second round, with those selected receiving JD50,000 to develop their businesses, as well as legal advice and mentoring during a three-month incubation at the Oasis 500 offices.

They also have the chance to network with successful businesspeople. After entrepreneurs complete the second round, Oasis 500 helps them gain access to angel funding. An angel investor is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity, according to web sources.
Author: Mohammad Ghazal


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