Resulting from His passion for PC, computer games, and mobile software applications, and His vision to support the youth of Jordan and enable a creative eco-system for game and programmes / programme developers in the Kingdom of Jordan, His Majesty King Abdullah II attended the finalist presentations and demos of iPhone Programs development competition for highschool student groups from around the dominion. “In simple language Jordan has a Cool King who loves mobile programs and interactive video games,” declares Doctor. Usama Fayyad, Executive Boss of Oasis 500 and former EVP and Chief Info Officer of Yahoo! Inc. “Where else would a sovereign really spend an afternoon in demos of iPhone Apps developed by high school student and then awards the winners personally?” continues Fayyad in an an interview at the Interactive Gaming Lab that King Abdullah II of Jordan had just inaugurated and bankrolled through the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), “In my long career from my days at NASA-JPL through Microsoft through Seattle and Bay Area startups and my five years with Yahoo! I've not seen anything quite like this.” Fayyad continues with interview : “Last Sep, HM King Abdullah asked me to help with outlining an iPhone App development competition for high school scholars. My response was that we should target university scholars as I believed high school level is too junior for development in objective C,” Said Fayyad who ultimately served as a judge in the competition, “The King looked at me and claimed : ‘No ; highschool, and we need your help outlining it.’ Having a look at the results, I have to say I was wrong and he was right!” Participating scholars, aged between fifteen and 17 years, worked in groups of five to design applications for mobile devices in a competition aiming at encouraging school students on embracing the newest gaming and applications development technologies. The competing groups had one month to learn mobile software apps development and produce a fully-fledged mobile application that aid holiday makers during their stay in Jordan. His majesty presented prizes to the winning team from Amman National College.
In attendance where U.S. Undersecretary of State, Robert Hormats and the U.S. Envoy to Jordan Robert Beecroft (see photo). The event that took place at the inauguration of an interactive electronic gaming laboratory that was established under a Royal initiative with the purpose of boosting the production capabilities of a quick growing cadre of gaming technology firms growing in Jordan. The lab is not only outfitted with machines and resources that are unparalleled in the present day's gaming arena, provides coaching on the necessities of game design, from story to interface to sound effects to all game developers in the country. “It's a rare and pleasant moment to see a sovereign supporting the youth of his country by attending a contest for high-school scholars, and interacting with them all though their demos.” – Commented Nour Khrais Founder of Maysalward, a leading game development company in Jordan and the lead organizer of the competition.
Funded with support from the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), and Managed by Jordan Gaming Task Force and Oasis500, the Laboratory is one more step to turn Jordan into a regional center for game developers, noting that the value of investment in the sector worldwide stands at approximately $ $80 bn.. “With his Majesty continued support for Jordan Gaming Task Force (JGTF), we were able to attract international and local partners like Sony,Unity, NOKIA, Umniah, and Microsoft to help to develop Jordan game sector,” said Nour KHRAIS Boss man of JGTF. “We suspect Jordan stands a pretty serious opportunity to become the Interactive Games development capital of the Middle East.” Jordan’s plans to become a beacon for info technology in the Middle East is continuously uncovering with one or two partnerships, projects and investments in startups with companies like Oasis five hundred that aims at launching and making an investment in five hundred technology startups in the upcoming 5 years. Oasis500 gives entrepreneurs investment and acceleration to kick start their business on an international level with seed funding, mentorship, incubation and acceleration, and access to angel investors with the support of big players from silicon-valley such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. The Oasis 5 hundred Angel Network event held in Amman 2 weeks back attracted 80 angel speculators and VC’s with one 3rd coming from outside Jordan to listen to 6 pitching corporations.
These companies received investments at terms that showed they managed to grow their valuation from 3x to 7x in the hundred days of acceleration spent at Oasis 5 hundred. “Oasis five hundred is achieving in its first year of operation in Jordan far more than Y-Combinator and Tech Stars have accomplished in the U.S. In their start,” said Emile Cubeisy, Board Member of Oasis 500 and MD of IV-Holdings, a VC Investment fund in Jordan.
“The plans we are seeing are the same to plans and growth rates of start-ups in Silicon Valley”. About Oasis five hundred Oasis 500 is the MENA region’s premier initial stage and seed investment programme, which includes entrepreneurship training, mentorship, incubation, and follow-on and angel investment funds. Set in Jordan, the Program focuses hard on accelerating the transformation of business concepts into start-up corporations in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), mobile and digitized media with a spotlight on entrepreneurs in the Middle-east Area. Applicants of the Program and their ideas will embody and embolden a movement which will whip up a new kind of businessman in the Arab world, at last changing its business landscape and the future of The Region for the better . Oasis500 aims at skyrocketing the launch of 5 hundred start up corporations in the next five years, with attention on the Info and Communication Technology (ICT), Mobile, and Digital Media sectors. About JGTF The Jordan Gaming Development Task Force is an open and independent coalition of Jordan’s premier gaming firms, the Task Force’s aim is to advance Jordan’s gaming development capacity and help push the Jordanian gaming on a local, regional, and international scale.
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