Updated: Oasis 500 a Startup Accelerator to Launch By August 2010 In Jordan

3 Jun, 2010

Update: here is the list of the board of directors:

Usama Fayyad, Ph.D. Emile Najib Cubeisy Managing Director of IV Holdings, Ambassador Karim Kawar, President of Kawar Group, Nashat T. Masri, Founder and Partner of Foursan Group, Hussam Khoury ex-President and co-founder of Maktoob Inc, Aiman Mazahreh President of STS, Walid Tahabsem, President & CEO, Integrated Technology Group. Tarik I. Awad, Tarik I. Awad is the Executive Director of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD)

Last year was a turning point for the technology and internet industry in the Arab world when Yahoo acquired Maktoob, so I might call it “The Start Year”. This year we are seeing more programmers to fund and support startups in different Arab countries.

In Jordan and the Arab world in general there are only a few business plan competitions from organizations such Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, ASTF, and MIT Arab Business Plan Competition.

Many bright entrepreneurs won the competitions, but many of the business plans remained on the shelfs as no seed funding was available. To that end Dr. Usama Fayyad, Former Chief Data Officer of Yahoo and current Chairman of Arab portal d1g told ArabCrunch today he is launching Oasis 500 to address the gap of seed and early stage funding shortage.

Oasis 500 is a type of accelerator similar to Y Combinator as it offers funding and incubation. Oasis 500  aims to push 500 startups in Jordan in 5 years and will offer several programs starting with training courses for entrepreneurs with ideas.

The courses will include business plan development, marketing and sales etc. and would last for 4- 6 weeks.

According to Usama the training program will start around August of this year and will take a quota of around 100 entrepreneurs for several rounds every year ( any one with a tech idea according to Usama.) At the end of each program Oasis 500 will choose 10 ideas to invest in with an average of 10,000 Jordanian Dinars per idea and provide incubation (offices) for a period of 2 months.  If the startup is qualified there will be additional investment of an average of 50,000 USD.

Oasis 500 will also bring an umbrella for all the angel networks in Jordan so that startups can more easily pitch to them.  So an additional capital investments can go from 100,000 to 500,000 USD depending in the company or deal.

Usama told AC that Oasis 500 will be closing its first fund, of about 6 million USD in September this year.

Next week more details about the Oasis program, who is behind it, their qualifications, criteria, etc. will be posted when I interview Ussama in few days again.

#Image by Mathias M

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  1. Usman Sheikh  |  June 3rd, 2010 at 4:42 PM #

    This is a really interesting initiative. I think the Middle East and South Asia needs a lot more of them. Haven spent the last 2 weeks in Singapore the government is making a major push for such corporations and you can already see the difference.

    Wish the venture the very best.

    Usman Sheikh

  2. fatin khwarizmi  |  June 3rd, 2010 at 8:35 PM #

    I think most Arabic countries start to understand the importance of supporting the young minds in every field not only entrepreneurship or business specialists , that a great step that we should achieve , as a social media ,we are playing a great role to spread this young enthusiast ‘s ideas & to expose them to the light so that they can get enough chance !

    thanks Gaith for that rich article

  3. Omar Aloyoun  |  June 3rd, 2010 at 9:12 PM #

    I have read many news stories that the Oasis 500 fund is created by his majesty king Abdallah II and to be run and managed by Ossama Fayyad as he will be appointed as the fund head.

  4. salleh  |  June 12th, 2010 at 3:40 AM #

    how to join this initiative? or are there already identified the 500 startup?
    can other muslim country involve? i’m from malaysia.

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