The Information Technology Authority (ITA), represented by Sas Centre for Entrepreneurship, announced on Sunday the launch of the first cohort of Sas Accelerator powered by Google Developers Launchpad programme.
As per a statement, seven promising Omani tech startups joined the accelerator programme, which is considered the first in Oman and the MENA region.
The first cohort, which will run for ten weeks, will be an intensive business and technology-based accelerator programme for the seven tech startups selected. The programme will be facilitated by 40 renowned experienced international Google Developers Launchpad mentors and selected local subject matter experts.
Hamood Dawood al Hamadan, director of Sas Centre for Entrepreneurship, ITA, said, ‘We are proud to launch the first Sas Accelerator cohort. Sas team has leveraged on our extensive experience in the local startup ecosystem and that of Google Launchpad and its network to build a programme that will support the selected startups and their founders to enhance their products. We believe the programme will contribute to the further development of the ecosystem and ICT industry in the sultanate.’
He added, ‘We also have partnered with Dentons and PwC which will support the programme through legal and financial expertise.’
‘We are very happy to be in Oman, collaborating with Sas Centre for Entrepreneurship to support the ecosystem and the startups. Launchpad is our premier programme to support startups. We are bringing many mentors around the world to provide mentorship to local startups. This is a continuation to our efforts over the last few years by landing the Google Developer Groups and supporting multiple initiatives like the youth ideathon, and others,’ said Salim Abid, developer Ecosystem Regional Lead, Google MENA.
As part of the programme, a mentors workshop was conducted with the local mentors to introduce the programme and to set the goals and common understanding of mentoring mechanisms for startups and the different methodologies to support them.
The startups in the first cohort will be going through three phases of the programme, starting with ‘Explore’. It focuses on the startups further discovery of their business, team, product and customers, in addition to setting their target goals from the programme.
This will be provided through design thinking, Founders’ lab, and Objective Key Results (OKR) workshops.