Oasis500 and New Cities Foundation launch OMRAAN

Applicants will have to submit a brief statement explaining their idea followed by a detailed presentation.

July 15, 2014 3:48 IST | India Infoline News Service
New Cities Foundation and Oasis500 announced the launch of Omraan in India, a global competition for tech start-ups and innovators rewarding the best urban technology ideas with US$30,000 worth of seed funding and a 100-day acceleration program in Amman, Jordan.
Omraan, meaning “building” in Arabic, is a unique initiative aimed at identifying and rewarding aspiring Indian entrepreneurs who are developing promising technologies that tackle urban challenges, with a particular relevance to urban environments in the Middle East. Through a combination of seed funding and acceleration, Omraan’s mission is to nurture the most creative and forward-thinking technology startups from across the globe, and develop their ideas into concrete projects that solve challenges facing all cities.
Indian technology startups and innovators are invited to apply at www.omraan.me. Applicants will have to submit a brief statement explaining their idea followed by a detailed presentation. Best applications will be interviewed by Omraan jury members over Skype/phone and the applicants will have to give a 10-minute pitch presentation to be considered for the award. In order to qualify, start-ups must provide technological solutions to urban problems through mobile, web, cloud, ecommerce, gaming, entertainment, enterprise software, digital news, digital advertising, and social networks. The contest will be divided into two batches with winners of the first batch announced in early October 2014 and second in February 2015 respectively.
For qualifying startups, the US$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. In recognition of the creativity that Omraan will bring to the city of Amman and the wider MENA region, Aqel Biltaji, Mayor of the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has pledged his support to the initiative.

John Rossant, Chairman of the New Cities Foundation, said: “The New Cities Foundation is proud to be launching Omraan in collaboration with Oasis500 in India. This unique initiative is an important milestone in the Foundation’s history: over the past four years, we have developed a dynamic network of urban innovators, thinkers and decision-makers spanning the globe. We are now excited to provide a powerful platform to India for incubating, promoting and scaling urban technologies in the Middle East from which cities around the world can also learn.”

Yousef Hamidaddin, CEO of Oasis500, stated: “Omraan has an ambitious goal to attract and develop the best and brightest tech start-ups from around the world to the Middle East. We are confident that our collaboration with the New Cities Foundation, Greater Amman Municipality and King Abdullah Fund for Development will lead us to achieve our goal and to make exciting new discoveries and create the smart cities of the future.”

H.E. Aqel Beltaji, of the Greater Amman Municipality, said: “We are very excited about the opportunity to join forces with Oasis 500 and contribute towards achieving a 21st Century vision for Amman as a model knowledge city in the MENA region. We support innovation that will lead to smart solutions for urban challenges facing Amman and other cities in the region and are proud to provide a real-world lab for innovators from around the globe.”
Applications will be assessed jointly by a jury of experts that include Oasis500 and the New Cities Foundation on a rolling basis. The panel of judges will be announced shortly.

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