Umniah and Plug and Play have launched an Acceleration programme under the “U Start” Umbrella in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID Jordan) and the Information and Communications Technology Association (int@j). This initiative has been organized to support emerging technology businesses in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
As “U Start” Umbrella coincides with Umniah’s innovation platform under its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) programme, the initiative will give emerging technology businesses the chance to accelerate the growth of their emerging business and win a trip to Silicon Valley, California where they will obtain valuable knowledge to be used in the local market. Emerging technology businesses will be able to register their companies starting from July 3rd 2013.
Ihab Hinnawi, Umniah’s CEO, said, “This programme is the first of its kind and will add a new building block to the development of the ICT sector. In turn, this will help emerging technology businesses achieve greater success in the ICT sector, as well attract global investments and pave the way for future partnerships.”
Muhanned Khairy, Director of International Operations at Plug and Play, stated, “We are very enthusiastic about launching the project for the first time in Jordan. It is no secret that Jordan has one of the most talented communities in the region, and it’s time to give it the attention it deserves.”
USAID’s Director, Office of Economic Development and Energy, Paul Bruning, highlighted this project as “A concrete example of the U.S. government’s initiative to expand entrepreneurialism in the MENA region. Local emerging technology businesses can enter a competition that will give them the chance to fly to Silicon Valley to obtain valuable knowledge.”
Int@j’s CEO, Abdul Majeed Shamlawi, stressed on the importance of international partnerships by saying, “The Human Resources Sector can capitalize on the opportunity to obtain useful information and guidance, notably in the initial phases of establishment.”
Umniah stressed that all ICT-based companies registered in Jordan are welcome to join. After signing up, companies will go through two stages of filtration and evaluation, which will be concluded by selecting the most eligible companies to take a three-month course in Silicon Valley. While there, emerging technology businesses will benefit from the expertise of renowned companies.
Plug and Play—a leading business accelerator—has set the following guidelines that have to be met for companies to qualify: the company must be registered in Jordan and established for more than a year; the project must show distinctiveness and be applicable in the local market; considerable consumer demand must be seen; and how investments would help the business expand its operations.