Start-ups set to battle with ideas at OmanXChallenge

13 August 2020

MUSCAT: Participants have begun to register for the Omani Startup Challenge this week until September 3, 2020 with the objective to create solutions for the energy sector.

Organised by the Phase Ventures, the winners of the Omani Startup Challenge will be automatically selected to participate in the SparkLabs Energy Accelerator and will be eligible for seed fund for their go-to-market process.

“We are looking out for teams who can build software solutions to solve some of the most difficult challenges facing our corporate partners – PDO, OQ and others.  Now it could be even others who had already been working on projects and they could come on the same day even and present it.  But I would recommend they register early so they can utilize the mentoring sessions and maybe refining their project on the technical side or the pitch itself.  Some of the mentors are founders from our portfolio companies, others from our own team and representatives from the software world before their pitch,” said Abdullah al Shaksy, CEO of Phaze Ventures.

The pitch day is September 3rd and the teams by then should present a functional software proof of concept in front of the judges.  The pitch battle will be on and the winners will be declared on the same day. The link for participation is available on all of their social media platforms @phazeventures.

The winning team of the OmanX Challenge will be admitted to the third cohort of the SparksLabs Energy Accelerator Program where they will be supported to take their concept to the next level into a minimum viable product alongside commercial partners.  In addition, they will be awarded a grant of RO 10,000 to fund continued business development, as well as opportunity to receive up to RO 100,000 in equity investment at the end of the Accelerator Program.

According to the organizers all it takes a team of two to five people, an internet connection and skills.

“We are quite excited to see what the teams are going to come up.  We are a venture capital firm and we have also started the first energy focused energy start up program in the region three years ago and this year we are looking for digital solutions that are highly transformative.  We are partnering with Petroleum Development Oman and OQ.  OQ has a broad portfolio and PDO has the upstream core business and now with the announcement of EDO we are obviously looking out at the renewable sector and other areas as well,” he said.

The spectrum could range from core business like exploration for PDO or support function of finance and administration, Information Technology, infrastructure, legal and so on.

“I think all of these areas are disrupted now.  So we have been keen to identify the brightest startups form around the world to sole some of the problems.  The challenge that we announced a week ago is specifically focused on Omani talent.  So not only does the winner get RO 10,000 but they get to work with corporate and develop their project into a commercial viable product,” added Al Shaksy.


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