In the past few years, MENA startups and corporations kept their distance, holding on to the assumption that corporates are too traditional for startups’ taste, and startups are not serious enough for corporates. Earlier this year however and while the entrepreneurship ecosystem started to mature as a whole we started to see a natural rapprochement. Corporates see benefits from fast moving innovative startups and startups see big opportunities in partnering with larger companies to scale their reach.
This year we’ve seen some real changes in the scene. Both startups and corporates are in agreement that they have mutual benefits to work together.
One of the first regional corporates to pioneer efforts in this direction, is Jordan’s telco: Zain.
One year later, Zain launches the Zain Innovation Campus (ZINC), an incubator equipped with the latest technologies, a first of its kind in the country. Through ZINC, Zain aims at incubating entrepreneurs and startup owners fostered by closed strategic partnerships with experienced players in the field, as well as similar business platforms both in the region and in the world, including the American 500Startups, which is one of the biggest incubators worldwide, and the British Coventry University, a global hub for entrepreneurship and innovation support and incubation.
This year, Zain is also the first corporation to pilot Traxn and launch it under their CER activities. Traxn is a program announced by Wamda last week, to accelerate high growth startups by leveraging corporations’ resources.
“Our partnership with Wamda to launch Traxn stems from Zain’s commitment towards being an active partner in supporting the entrepreneurship scene in Jordan. Through our participation in Traxn, we will provide startups with the opportunity to accelerate their businesses through various forms of support and will deploy our resources and network of partners in addition to our social media platforms to contribute in sustaining and scaling their projects,” says Ahmed Hanandeh, CEO of Zain.
Through Traxn, Hanandeh hopes to “assist startups and allow them to strengthen their presence locally in Jordan and provide access to other regional or global markets.”
You can apply to Zain’s Traxn program here.