The Amman-based early stage and seed investment company, Oasis500, launched a global competition for tech startups who focus on solving urban problems. Named ‘Omraan‘, the competition will award the successful startups with $30,000 worth of investment each, $17,000 of which consists of in-kind services like incubation in partner cities for 6 to 9 months.
Organized in cooperation with New Cities Foundation and the Greater Amman Municipality, the Omraan competition is open to all startups from round the world with new technology ideas that tackle urban challenges. The intention is then to incubate them in Middle Eastern cities.
According to the official website, the competition will aim to address to the Middle East’s soaring urban problems, such as urban poverty, congestion, and growing informal settlements, all due to rapid urbanization during the last two decades. Organizers highlight some problem categories that need urgent attention like transport, energy, smart-city applications and environment and solids waste management, but do not restrict the candidates to only these areas. Applicants are free to explore other urban challenges and provide their own unique solution categories.
Apart from the clear description of the problem that the startup business will try to solve in the market, the contestants are also required to present a robust revenue model and assessment of viability in the relevant market.
Acceleration will involve coaching and mentoring from the Oasis500 team, industry experts, and a group of 300 local and international mentors, many of whom work in Silicon Valley. The 100 day acceleration and investment will be followed by 6-9 months of incubation in Amman or any of the other partner cities including Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Manama, Cairo and Beirut.
Those who are interested in joining the game may apply by filling in the form here