Jordan-based early stage fund Oasis500, along with urban innovation firm New Cities Foundation is planning to accelerate around 20 Indian technology startups. Both of them will also invest $30,000 in each of the startups, as part of their acceleration and investment program called Omraan.
In order to qualify, startups must provide technological solutions to urban problems via mobile, web, cloud, e-commerce, gaming, entertainment, enterprise software, digital news, digital advertising, and social networks. Both idea-stage (paper plans) and early-stage startups (already have a prototype or some traction) are eligible to apply for the program.
"We are excited to provide a platform to India for incubating, promoting and scaling urban technologies in the Middle East, from which cities around the world can also learn," said John Rossant, chairman, New Cities Foundation.
The $30,000 seed investment will consist of a $12,000 cash investment, along with $17,000 in services that include daily coaching, strategic planning, mentorship, as well as access to the market and an angel investment network through Oasis500's 100-day acceleration and incubation program. The fund will acquire 8 to 15 per cent stake in the startups.
Acceleration in Amman (in Jordan) will involve coaching and mentoring from the Oasis500 team, industry experts, and a group of 300 international mentors, many of whom work in the Silicon Valley. In addition, the city board has approved to Amman being an open lab for the startups to test their products. The city will also provide these startups with access to data, and validation/adoption platforms.
The 100-day acceleration and investment program could be followed by 6â€9 months of incubation either in Amman, or partner cities which include Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Manama, Cairo and Beirut.
Oasis500 claims of having around 84 startups under its belt, and the biggest mentors and angel investor's networks in the Middle East and North Africa. Some of its successful portfolio companies include real-time bill payment system Madfoo3atCom; e-commerce platform ShopGo; online oriental media services Gallery AlSharq; education firm Little Thinking Minds; digital animated content firm Curlstone; gaming company Tamatem; and online music firm i3zif, among others.