Oasis500 launches Omraan, a funding competition for startups working to solve urban problems

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As it intensifies its effort to spread entrepreneurial culture in the region, Jordanian tech-focused incubator Oasis500 launches its first global competition and its first activity completely focusing on urbanism, “Omraan”.

In collaboration with New Cities Foundation, Oasis500 looks to encourage global aspiring entrepreneurs to present innovative tech ideas that would contribute to solving urban problems in Arab cities, in the context of a global contest for urban tech startups.

“We welcome all ideas that work towards transforming Arab cities into smart cities that rely on technology to enhance citizens’ lifestyles,” says Omar Al-Sharif, marketing manager at Oasis500. Some examples Al-Sharif mentioned to us are mobile applications that give information on traffic jam, e-waste recycling, green energy, and others.

And what the competition’s website calls as “urban technologies” encompasses technologies in the ICT sector related to mobile, web, cloud, e-commerce, gaming, entertainment, enterprise software, digital news, digital advertising, and social networks.

These urban technologies like wireless traffic sensors, smart streetlights, and solar-powered ovens are improving the quality of life in cities around the world by making them more efficient, sustainable and inclusive. Why not bring them to our region?

For qualifying startups, the USD $30,000 seed investment funding consists of a $12,000 cash investment along with $17,000 in in-kind services through Oasis500’s acceleration and incubation program.

Acceleration in Amman will involve coaching and mentoring from the Oasis500 team, industry experts, and a group of 300 international mentors, many of whom work in Silicon Valley.

The 100-day acceleration and investment program will be followed by 6‐9 months of incubation either in Amman, or the following partner cities: Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Manama, Cairo and Beirut.

The Oasis500 team aims at giving this opportunity to as many startups as possible, thus is ready to invest in every idea they think has potential, “at the end of the da this prize is an investment from us in those companies,” says Al-Sharif.

Here's more on how to apply.

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