Three Winners of Pitching Event Conducted by Umniah and Plug and Play go to Silicon Valley

Three Winners of Pitching Event Conducted by Umniah and Plug and Play go to Silicon Valley

As part of its support of emerging ICT companies, and in conjunction with its partner Plug and Play, Umniah has conducted a pitching event for its technology acceleration program’s first wave, starting in October 2013 in Silicon Valley; the first-wave of the program received 70 applications.

The Jordan-Silicon Valley Bridge programis the first of its kind in the Kingdom and has received support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Jordan and the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan (Int@j).

The first day of the event included an introduction to Plug and Play and Silicon Valley, followed by presentations by the 15 most eligible companies that were later shortlisted to three winning candidates.

Winning candidates were then announced by both Umniah and Plug and Play teams. On the second day, a workshop on business and fundraising strategies was organized with the winners.

The winning companies were: Cheezu, a platform-agnostic photobook company that enables users to curate their customized albums from various social media networks; CurlStone Studios, an IP-focused entertainment company headquartered in Jordan with offices in the Philippines;and Mixed Dimensions, a 3D-modeling and 3D-printing company.

Winners were declared by Mohannad El- Khairy, the Director of International Operations at Plug and Play; Abed Shamlawi, int@j’s CEO, Mahmoud Abu Zannad, Director of Enterprise and High Value Segment at Umniah, Bashar Hawamdeh the CEO of MENAITech, and Emile Cubeisy the Investment Manager at Silicon Badia.

The second day included workshops setup by Plug and Play for selected companies to provide them a better understanding of Silicon Valley and more details on what the training program entails.

Umniah supports such initiatives as they are in line with the telecom company’s Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), are beneficial to the Kingdom’s knowledge economy, as well as helping create more knowledge-based jobs in the Kingdom.

Ihab Hinnawi, Umniah’s CEO, commented on the occasion saying: “We look forward to seeing the success of this initiative and hope to reach out to as many emerging companies as possible. Initiatives like this help local pioneers benefit from the technological proficiency that Silicon Valley is known for.”

Hinnawi emphasized that Umniah will continue to move forward with the “U Start” initiative which aims to bridge Jordan to Silicon Valley. Umniah believes in the importance of giving sound guidance to the future leaders, especially in the ICT sector as it has proven lucrative over the past several years.

Mohannad El Khairy, Plug and Play’s Director of International Operations, said, “The creativity and global mindset seen in the submitted projects, gives us a great sense of pride and hope in Jordan’s future. Though many of the projects submitted deserve Plug and Play’s attention, we are only able to select three winning projects. We look forward to building on this great partnership with Umniah andint@j– our goal is to one day help Jordanian startups in their home country as well.”

Abed Shamlawi, Int@j’s CEO said, “It is int@j’s pleasure to highlight such a wonderful initiative as it gives youth a way to express their creativity in a purposeful and productive way.”

Plug and Play is a leading startup accelerator and investor in Silicon Valley, with the mission to provide high-tech startups with the right environment and resources to launch and grow their companies globally. Plug and Play established partnerships with countries from around the world, with the intention to bridge them and their startup ecosystems to the Silicon Valley.

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