Al Shukeiry:

The partnership between AWJ Innovation and Oman Technology Fund aims to boost investment in the outcomes of the entrepreneurial development in frontier technology program (.nxt)

On the evening of the 31st of May, Oman Technology Fund (OTF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AWJ Innovation (Sustainable Technologies and Innovation Development (STID)), with the aim of investing in the outcomes of the entrepreneurial development in frontier technology program (.nxt), by providing potential training and employment opportunities. Moreover, OTF is aiming to create potential Investment opportunities to support feasible projects and entrepreneurial ideas within the Fund’s investments in the fields of technology and innovation, which is scheduled to last for two years, which can be extended accordingly.

The MoU was signed by Ismail bin Ibrahim Al Harthy, acting CEO of the Oman Technology Fund & Eng. Humoud bin Sloum Al Shukeiry, Vice President of Projects and Operations of AWJ innovation.

On the sidelines of the event, Eng. Hamoud Bin Sloum Al Shukairy, Vice President of Projects and Operations at AWJ Innovation, explained that the third phase of the (.nxt) program comes as an intensive virtual practical training bootcamp for a period of five weeks, which is dedicated to developing 100 young Omani entrepreneurs and startups as part of the program.

Al-Shukeiry elaborated that, at the end of this stage, participants are expected to develop the skills necessary for entrepreneurship through learning experience based on training workshops, interaction with mentors and successful pioneers in the startups and entrepreneurship, forming teams, as well as innovating in their companies’ ideas, and working to turn ideas into reality. Besides building relationships with successful entrepreneurs and experts in various fields.

The entrepreneurial development in frontier technology program (.nxt) extends for a period of nine months for each batch. It began in October of 2020 and shall end in July of 2021 and is divided into three progressive phases.

The first phase included 1,200 participants, and it lasted from (October – December / 2020), the participants in this phase received training in emerging technologies.

The second phase included 700 participants, and it lasted from (January – May 2021), at this stage the participants choose one specialized path and go deep into it to obtain a specialized certificate in those selected skills and techniques, as well as 10 different virtual live courses in entrepreneurial and soft skills by Local and international experts in addition to the constant mentoring of the participants by the company and global partners.

The third phase will include 100 participants, and it will run from (June – July 2021). It is a project application bootcamp. During this phase, the participants are divided into teams and work on entrepreneurial ideas and their development and then apply them on the ground with guidance from local and global mentors in the field of business development and how to convert the idea to a marketable feasible commercial project. It is worth mentioning that the participants will be informed of the opportunities available for the inputs of the ecosystem in the region and they will work to form their own business teams, which will help them to pitch for their business ideas in a period not exceeding 10 minutes in front of the panel of committees and investors. Based on the business idea and performance, the top three teams will be awarded cash prizes for specific tasks to be achieved, and in-kind support to further develop their ideas and bring them into reality.