The Information Technology Authority (ITA) in Oman, represented by Sas Center for Entrepreneurship launched of the first cohort of Sas Accelerator powered by Google Developers Launchpad program. 7 tech Omani promising startups joined the accelerator, which is considered the first in Oman and the MENA region.
The first cohort, which will run for ten weeks, will be an intensive business and technology-based accelerator program for the 7 tech startups selected. The program will be facilitated by 40 renowned experienced international Google Developers Launchpad mentors and selected local subject matter experts.Hamood Dawood Al Hamadan, Director of Sas Center for Entrepreneurship, ITA, said “We are proud to launch the first Sas Accelerator cohort. Sas team has leveraged on our extensive experience in the local startup ecosystem and that of Google Launchpad and its network to build a program that will support the selected startups and their founders to enhance their product / market fit. We believe the program will contribute to the further development of the ecosystem and ICT industry in the sultanate.”
We also have partnered with Dentons and PwC which will support the program through legal and financial expertise”, he continued.
"We are very happy to be in Oman, collaborating with Sas Center for Entrepreneurship to support the Ecosystem and the startups. Launchpad is our premier program to support startups. We are bringing many mentors around the world to provide mentorship to local startups. This is a continuation to our efforts over the last few years by landing the GDGs and supporting multiple initiatives like the youth ideathon, and others." said Salim Abid, Developer Ecosystem Regional Lead , Google MENA.
As part of the program, on the 17th June, a mentors workshop was conducted with the local mentors to introduce the program and to set the goals and common understanding of mentoring mechanisms for startups and the different methodologies to support them.
The startups in the first cohort will be going through three phases of the program, starting with Phase One “Explore”. It focuses on the startups further discovery of their business, team, product and customers, in addition to setting their target goals from the program. This will be provided through design thinking, Founders’ lab, and Objective Key Results (OKR) workshops.
With the implementation of that phase, they will be moving forward to phase two “Learn”, which aims to grow the startups knowledge with practical implementation in terms of technology, marketing, legal, project management and financials to further fine the tune with the development of their business.
In phase three "Exhibit", the startups will be preparing their investors pitch with the help of experts and finally pitch in front of investors at Demo day scheduled on September 2019.
The 7 tech startups which joined the first cohort of the accelerator are:
Buraq24 Buraq24 is a free app that connects on demand needs like Breakdown recovery vehicles, Gas, Water and Goods Transport.
Hona "Hona" is the digital marketing platform that distributes exclusive offers and promotions for all products and services provided by different merchants.
Anawen Anawen is a solution catered to businesses that do last mile delivery which comes on the form of a localized delivery management system.
iTrans iTrans is a technical solution providing a complete platform where users can request an online shipping/delivery service for their products.
To Be Done
TBD is a platform that provides companies a solution to matching the right candidates (jobseekers) for the available vacancies in the company.
Zayr Zayr is a travel platform that gives travelers an opportunity to feel part of a new culture and helps them experience Oman's locality.
Wareed A online platform that offers health and medications information for patients.
It is worth mentioning that the program aims to contribute to boost the ecosystem by involving local mentors as subject matter experts and further support the increase of investors’ interest in tech startups locally.