Last week Oasis500 hosted a corporate matchmaking event where corporations met with startups with a strategic fit to forge partnerships and new businesses opportunities. New corporates joined to interact with startups for the first time.
Amman, Jordan – December 9th, 2015
So, what can we do together?
Jordanian startups and corporations were invited to join Jordan Connect – the first matchmaking event in Amman where the main purpose is to explore the opportunities and benefits of working together. The startups were selected on a set of strategic criteria given by the three corporates.
Speed-dating at Oasis500
Following the matchmaking, the startups were scheduled meetings with the corporates to discuss the nature of their company’s operations and their knowhow, and how this can be translated into a productized offering that the corporate finds of value.
The corporates, willing to provide the startup with access to their data and customers, are taking the step forward in engaging with agile entrepreneurs who are able to utilize the access to market and data to provide solutions. The corporations that attended were Globitel, Microsoft, and Arab Bank. They met with Guru Gates, DigAt, Experts 911, Swipt, Riskopy, Engage Master, Green Wallet, and Financial Engineers.
Successful Corporate Roundtable
Following the meetings the corporates were invited to participate in a corporate roundtable. Here the active telco, Umniah, joined the other corporates for a discussion around the role that corporates play in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jordan.
Ziad Al-Masri, CEO of The Tank stated “The Tank’s main objective is to identify trends and to gain exposure for the startups that we work with”. Umniah’s involvement in the startup ecosystem was initially a CSR initiative that progressed to a couple of investments in startups. Yousef Hamidaddin, CEO of Oasis500 highlighted the opportunity that corporations have, with specific regards to telecommunication providers: ” Telecoms have tons of data, a large customer base, and a geographic footprint that can be leveraged”.
Tareq Alabed, Alternative Channels Development Manger at Arab Bank voiced Arab Bank’s direction of wanting to “…conduct more business with startups in the region to sway away from their traditional perception and go into the sphere of digital banking. This in turn would facilitate ecommerce related transactions and increase awareness with regards to the matter and would have an effect on the economy that we would like to study”.
Ayman Affaneh, Engineer and Evangelist Lead at Microsoft indicated Microsoft’s programs that extensively engage startups.” Microsoft assists independent software vendors and startups expand via it’s partners in return for 20% of their profits. We provide them with account managers that handle operations and payments globally”.
Jordan Connect will return periodically
Having attracted new corporate players to the interaction with startups while engaging existing players, Jordan Connect was considered a great success. The organizing team will keep track on the follow-on rate of meetings in the months to come. Furthermore Jordan Connect will occur again periodically with plans to involve more corporations from various sectors with a regional focus.
Jordan continues to be a hub for some of the region’s most aspiring entrepreneurs. Involving larger private sector entities to work with them is essential to their access to market and sustainable growth. Similarly more corporates realize the benefit and need to explore new technological solutions. This creates the perfect ground for more startup-corporate collaboration in Jordan.
Oasis500, VentureScout and Startup MENA would like to thank everyone involved in the first Jordan Connect.
Interested parties can get in touch with Faisal Al Bitar or Majd Afaghani for further information about the next Jordan Connect.