Startup news ticker: ArabNet announces the three winners; Bayt launches People Search

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Welcome to Wamda's weekly startup news ticker, which will offer quick announcements and stories relevant to the region. If you have a quick news release to share about your startup, let us know at editor@wamda.com.  

Thursday December 5th, 2013 

twofour54 will be participating in Dubai International Film Festival 2013 

Investment vehicle twofour54 will be attending the 2013 Dubai International Film Festival, which will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The film festival, which serves as a platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at the international level, will take place from 6 to 14 December. twofour54’s creative lab is already involved in ten films that will be screened during the festival, including short films and documentaries.

“twofour54 is so proud of the talented young Arabs who are participating in DIFF and showcasing their films,” says H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, Chief Executive Officer AT twofour54. She continues: “Our increased presence at DIFF this year is a testament to our talent’s ongoing energy and commitment to create more great quality film content. The Dubai International Film Festival is set to be a must-attend for film enthusiasts and I urge everyone to enjoy the great films being screened this year.”


The winners at ArabNet Startup Demo and Ideathon Competition 

The ArabNet conference was held on the 3rd and 4th of December in Riyadh. Startups pitched their ideas during the Startup Demo day and at the end of the conference, three winners were announced.

Feelit, a social network mobile app based on feelings, won the first place; Presella, the online ticketing app, won the second prize; MesCadeaux won third place.


Bayt.com launched People Search 

Leading job portal Bayt.com rolled out a new product called People Search.

Using this new service, users will be able to search for information about other users on the platform. The service comes in two variations: the basic one is free and the premium one is available for a small fee and allow users to add search filters.

For more information on the new product, visit the page here.

- RF


Wednesday December 4th, 2013 

Oasis500 expands regionally and hires a new CEO 

As part of its new strategy to  expand regionally, tech-focused incubator Oasis500 has appointed Yousef Hamidaddin as Chief Executive Officer.

The new strategy includes “partnerships with initiatives, private sector institutions and funds that support entrepreneurship in the Arab region,” Oasis500 announced, “and also includes broadening Oasis500 mentors and investors networks.” As for the new CEO, Hamidaddin previously worked as the CEO of Axiom MENA for Middle East, North Africa and the Muslim World.

Usama Fayyad, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Oasis 500, expressed his belief in Hamidaddin’s capabilities to run the incubator and help it expand across the Arab region in support of tech companies.

- RF


Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 

New USAID project to strengthen education systems in South Sudan 

Palestinian SMS platform Souktel is joining a new educational project that USAID to launch a new project called Room to Learn for six countries: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Haiti, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Sudan.

Souktel will provide the mobile technology for the project, which will target disadvantaged youth, promoting literacy and gender equality. The goal of this program is to “improve access to education for 15 million learners in crisis [zones],” says USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.

“By supporting distance education projects and gender-based violence prevention campaigns, we’ve worked with marginalized communities across the country

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