Wamda, the Mena region’s leading entrepreneurship platform, has graduated the second cohort of Wamda X, its grant-based fellowship programme. In an online event conducted over two consecutive days on 29 and 30 April, 15 startups pitched to the wider investor community. The startups presented solutions across industries such as foodtech, sportstech, Software as a Service (SaaS) and financial technology (fintech) among others, with substantial representation from across the region including, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia.
The four-month Wamda X programme was designed to support budding entrepreneurs and early-stage startups by offering them access to the Wamda platform of growth hackers, a network of very high calibre mentors, in addition to a financial grant provided to each company.
More than 650 startups applied from across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and beyond, who underwent a rigorous selection process including phone and in-person interviews. The successful candidates were selected based on their industry experience, their business ideas and ability to solve for market inefficiencies.
"We are proud to see the immense progress the startups have made over the last few months, which is a testament to their commitment and extensive understanding of their industries’’ said Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman at Wamda. ’’Even in a time of crisis, the fellows have managed to maintain resilience and focus on the opportunities ahead, we are glad to see them maintain an agile approach as the landscape of the technology ecosystem transforms and accelerates across the Middle East and North Africa region.’’
The 2020 cohort launched on 14 January in Dubai and progressed through three core stages of the programme: XStart, XSolve, and XScale as the fellows continuously worked on growing their businesses with the help of Wamda’s growth team, seasoned mentors, partners, as well as many more industry experts.
The ‘Global Grad Show Track’, an innovation and social impact acceleration programme for graduate projects, ran as an extension to the second cohort of the Wamda X programme in partnership with the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, A.R.M Holding, and Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3). The track included four startups from around the world, with representation from countries including Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Italy.
The online event featured an overview of the programme, an introduction from Fadi Ghandour, followed by the 15 pitches from the startups who were then asked questions from an audience comprising investors and other key stakeholders from across the region.
The first cohort of the programme ran in February 2019 and graduated SafarPass, a business travel management tool and Caravan, an on-demand bus service based in the UAE.