IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 22/10/2019
After touring the Middle East, from Lebanon to Iraq, Turkey and Jordan, in search for the top Syrian-led startups in the region, the Startup Roadshow is taking 10 finalist startup teams to pitch at the finals in Amman on 4th November 2019.
The event will be held on November 4th, at the Zain Innovation Campus (ZINC), in Amman’s Business Park, and will host high-profile speakers, entrepreneurs, investors and development practitioners.
Organized for the second year by Jusoor and SPARK in partnership with Startups Without Borders, the Startup Roadshow is the world’s first competition for Syrian entrepreneurs in the Middle East. The competition kicked off in September 2019, scouting and training startup teams in 5 key cities in the Middle East: Beirut, Amman, Erbil, İstanbul, and Gaziantep.
The competition included a series of live digital mentorship sessions, and will conclude in a final pitch competition where 10 finalist startups will battle it out for cash prizes of $15.000 in the first place, and $10.000 and $7.000 for the second and third place respectively. The 3 winners will also get a chance to travel to Amsterdam, and present their startups on the global stage during SPARK’s Ignite Conference 2019.
The 10 startups that will be flying to Jordan for the finals are: Smart Budget (Beirut), Jellyfish (Beirut), Tdallal (Erbil), LeftSaver (Erbil), Therapy House (Gaziantep), Spermly (Gaziantep), Uders (Istanbul), Salt and Sugar (Istanbul), Medicine Box (Amman), and Sufha (Amman).
The Final Demo Day is open to the public, and will feature panel discussions, educational sessions, and a networking event. The event will kick-start with an educational session by Patrick Bosteels, Co-Founder of CoderDojo Türkiye, who will discuss what success looks like for a startup: from incubators, to funding, to accelerators.
After a presentation about the Startup Roadshow, the event will feature a panel on refugee-lens investing and impact investment, featuring prominent figures in the startup landscape in Jordan and the Middle East, including Khaleel Najjar, from Mercy Corps, and Rasha Manaa.
Many studies show that refugees are more likely to start businesses than locals, given the fact that taking the risk of moving to a new country and start a new life is an entrepreneurial endeavor in itself. Seeking to empower their attempts to thrive, the panel will look into how investment firms and individuals can create a positive impact by investing in refugee-led startups to help them secure a stable life and having a direct effect on the local economy, focusing on refugee-lens investing as a new frontier to impact investment.
The panel will also invite key players in the Jordanian and Middle Eastern startup ecosystem, including Oasis500, Flat6Labs, Shamal Start, Propeller, Badia Impact Fund, Silicon Badia, Rimal Capital, 17 asset management, and Tech Wadi.
The panel will be followed by a fireside chat with Karim Samakie, Trainer and Advisor of Jusoor Syria and Saleem Najjar, a Syrian entrepreneur and one of the winners of the Startup Roadshow 2018 .
After the speeches, the 10 championing finalists will take to the stage to pitch their startups, in front of a jury that will award the 3 most promising entrepreneurial endeavors. Up for grabs, there are cash prizes of $15.000, $10.000, and $7.000 for the 3rd place winner, as well as the chance to pitch on the global stage in Amsterdam, during SPARK’s annual conference, Ignite.
For press enquiries please contact Valentina Primo | Startups Without Borders | +39 3898564310 |firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor
Jusoor is an NGO of Syrian expatriates helping Syrian youth realize their potential through programs in the fields of education, entrepreneurship, and global community engagement.
Since its launch in 2011, Jusoor has enabled over 600 university students to complete their degrees around the world. We have enrolled over 7,000 children in our primary schools, giving them the gift of a basic education. We have employed 75 refugees in our schools in Lebanon, safeguarding a key part of the Syrian labor force and investing in refugee communities. And our entrepreneurship program has trained and inspired over 500 young entrepreneurs. By investing in these children and youth, Jusoor is preparing a generation of change agents to be able to return to Syria and play a role in rebuilding every sector of society, from healthcare to education to business to governmental institutions.
Jusoor’s work has been recognized by global institutions and has been honored with the Academic Freedom Award from the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2015 and the Takreem Humanitarian and Civic Services Award in 2017.
SPARK provides access to higher education and supports entrepreneurship development in fragile states so that young, ambitious people can lead their societies into stability and prosperity. SPARK provides a variety of full-service business and entrepreneurship programmes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We believe that sustainable, economic growth is essential for the alleviation of poverty. By offering private-sector development services to young people in conflict-affected regions, we believe that the potential for further conflict is significantly reduced.
ABOUT STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS
Startups Without Borders is a global platform connecting migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to opportunities and resources to build their businesses, wherever they are. Launched in 2018 in Cairo, with hubs across European and Middle Eastern countries, the platform aims to build the startup ecosystem for entrepreneurs on the move, not only changing perceptions on refugees and migrants, but also crystallising a growing entrepreneurial trend amongst refugees and migrants.