Archive for the ‘News’ Category
As part of the INJAZ Egypt Company Program in 2011, over 1000 university students from across Egypt have formed start-up companies. On Saturday, September 24th, the top 500 of those students, organized in 22 teams from 11 Egyptian universities, will be taking part in a trade fair and will be competing for 10 seed funds plus incubation from corporations such as Mobinil, Exxon Mobil and Abraaj at “Dare to Dream: Empowering Egypt’s Young Entrepreneurs 2011“.
The “Dare to Dream” competition is an annual one that is organized by INJAZ Egypt; This year’s edition is sponsored by Mobinil, and will be held at the American University of Cairo.
The 10 winning teams/companies will receive a share of the 285,000 LE (around $US47,000) contributed by the adopting companies. The startups will also be mentored by their adopting corporation to get legally registered and become financially sound, profitable and sustainable.
The King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) has announced the setup of a new fund, a first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, to finance small and medium technological firms, according to a report by Arab News.
KACST’s Badir Technology Incubator signed a cooperation agreement with The Investor for Securities Co., a boutique investment banking firm, to set up the fund. The agreement was signed by Prince Turki bin Saud, vice president for research institutes, and Abdullah Al-Fowzan, chairman of The Investor for Securities Co..
In a statement on the occasion, Muhammad Al-Suwaiyel, president of KACST, said the agreement would boost the Kingdom’s technological development.
Microsoft announced the launch of “Yalla Apps“, a regional Windows Phone 7 developer portal that Microsoft hopes will serve as an accelerator for the creation, availability and submission of local Windows Phone 7 applications from the developer community across the Middle East and Africa region (MEA), in addition to enabling them to be part of the growing global Windows Phone 7 developer community.
Through Yalla Apps, local developers can submit, participate and distribute their applications through the global marketplace for Windows Phone 7 and move towards monetizing their applications and creating new revenue opportunities.
Yalla Apps will also offer developers the opportunity to download Windows Phone 7 application templates, sample code and components to get a quick start in their application development. Moreover, developers can also upload their own code and share it with the community either on a free or paid basis.
National Net Ventures, better known as N2V, and one of the top internet groups in the Middle East, have been on an investment roll lately, announcing three new investments in regional startups within the past couple of weeks alone.
The three startups cover three different areas, following N2V’s strategy to diversify their portfolio of internet properties and expand regionally and globally to cover new areas of interest for users in the Arab world.
The percentage of respondents in the UAE accessing the Internet for shopping increased from 29% in 2009 to 42% in 2010 according to the results of a recent MasterCard survey on online shopping.
Results of the fourth survey on online shopping conducted by MasterCard also revealed that growth in the UAE is led by consumers within the age group of 25-44 years, while those in the 35-44 years age group also purchased more items and more frequently than others.
Involvement with online shopping also increased among women in the UAE, with 40% of respondents accessing the internet for online shopping in 2010, compared to 33% in 2011.
Categories leading the growth in the UAE in 2010 include airline tickets (74%) and hotel bookings (66%), followed by home appliances and electronic products (32%), clothing & accessories (34%), restaurants/home delivery of food (32%) and supermarkets/superstores (32%).
Palestinian entrepreneur Hassan Hamdan, Co-Founder of Optimal Technology Solutions and recent graduate of Modern Science and Art University, has been awarded the “Lessons from the Edge Award” in the 2010 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) Competition.
The award was given as a specialized category within the GSEA, a program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the premier competition for students taking a full course load of classes while running a revenue-generating business.
He also came up as the Overall Second Runner Up in the competition, chosen from among 2000 student entrepreneurs from 44 countries; and earlier this year, he was picked as the Middle East Regional Champion by GSEA.
The World Economic Forum in Marrakech yesterday witnessed some really interesting news from Intel Capital, which announced 3 new investments in the Middle East; UK-Lebanon based Nymgo, as well as Jordanian companies Jeeran and ShooFeeTV.
This investment marks a second round of investment from Intel Capital in both Jeeran and ShooFeeTV (both also IV Holdings portfolio companies), after the previous investment that was announced in May of last year.
The investment in Nymgo also marks Intel Capital’s expansion of its portfolio in the Arab world to a total of eight companies: Nymgo, Jeeran, ShooFeeTV, Conservus, Pulse Technologies, Vertex Animation Studio, NeuString and Sphere Networks.
Dubai Silicon Oasis, the integrated free zone technology park, has launched a new big project in the UAE, the ‘DSO Technology Incubator’.
The incubator’s goal is to support new start-ups and encourage entrepreneurs in the field of technology by stimulating the development of successful companies, and chart a new avenue for investment in technology in the Arab region.
The incubator comes as part of DSO’s hi-tech ecosystem and the six technology sectors that remain the focus of the technology free zone.
Saudi Arabia’s second mobile operator Mobily (Etihad Etisalat) has launched a new project dubbed “Mobily Developers Community” that aims to help developers build mobile applications and software that support Arabic content.
It’s been a hot topic in almost every web or mobile event in the region that there is a big lack in Arabic applications and content, and Mobily hopes this project will play a role in enriching the offering of Arabic content available.
The program is focused on encouraging developers, both professionals and hobbyists, as well as software companies, to unleash their talents and develop quality apps with valuable content for the different smartphone platforms. They also wish for it to become a club for Arabian software talent where members can get their hands on all the resources they might need to create innovative mobile apps.
Du, UAE’s second mobile operator, has just launched a new big online project branded Anayou, which seemingly aims to position itself as a central destination for users. Some are describing it as a social networking service, and even though that’s the biggest piece of it, there are other pieces to this puzzle that Du seems to be putting together.
The first thing that you’ll notice from Anayou, before even getting to know what it does and doesn’t do, is how slick and neat it looks; it’s a well designed service that stands out from many of the other services that were previously launched in the region in the same area of focus.
Anayou offers a variety of features, covering the different functionalities you’d expect from a social network like finding and connecting with your friends, following their updates on Anayou as well as on services like Twitter and Facebook, leave comments (shout outs) on their profile pages, as well as messaging them in private.