Oman Tech Fund And 500 Startups Launch Wadi Accelerator

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MENA entrepreneurs, here's a new accelerator to help you execute the business idea that you have been mulling over. Oman Tech Fund (a fund powered by Oman's sovereign fund) and global startup accelerator 500 Startups have partnered to launch Wadi Accelerator, a US$15 million seed stage program open to upstarts from the wider MENA region. Led by Managing Director Sharifa Al Barami, the four-month program "will primarily invest post-product [in ideas] with some user traction and evidence of product/market fit."

Open to enterprises across sectors, Wadi Accelerator provides access to mentors, training sessions on building a startup, user acquisition, growth hacking, etc., and also offers the teams access to their co-working space and partner (500 Startups') resources. According to a statement, Wadi Accelerator is funded by OTF (which will oversee startup selection and investment), and the program's curriculum will be powered by 500 Startups. The program's first cohort will culminate in a Demo day open to investors from across the region, expected to be in March 2018.

Sharifa Al Barami, MD, Wadi Accelerator with other officials at launch of Wadi Accelerator. Image credit: Wadi Accelerator.
"We are proud to work with 500 Startups, a global accelerator network that brings international expertise and experience of running startup programs around the world to Oman," says Al Barami, commenting on the synergies expected from the partnership. "We have selected talented founders from around the MENA region, and looking to accelerate their growth together with 500 Startups mentors." Wadi Accelerator has already selected five teams for the first batch and will be announcing the names of the companies separately, notes Al Barami. "The value Wadi Accelerator offers is far beyond the funding as we also provide selected teams with the global expertise, world-class mentors, understanding of the Omani and MENA markets, and strong partnerships on the ground," she adds.

The application to Wadi Accelerator's next cohort will open in December. To know more about the program, visit their official page here.

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