Omani “Upgrade” Start-Up Initiative Announced Winners


The closing ceremony of “Upgrade” took place at the Omantel headquarters in Mawalih under the patronage of HH Sayyid Taimur Bin Assad Bin Tariq Al Said, Assistant Secretary General for Communication at TRC.

The “Upgrade” initiative aimed to identify promising graduation projects and turn them into start-ups. Nine ambitious projects participated. Only three of them managed to reach the third evaluation phase: the Bee App – Transforming the Retail Industry, Anaween – a Personal Mobile Delivery Management Application, and an Augmented Reality System for Tourism in Oman.

Each of them would receive seed funding and three years of incubation period at SAS for entrepreneurship of the Information Technology Authority. The winners would take tailor-made classes to improve their commercial, financial, and technical skills. In addition to that, entrepreneurship consultancy would be provided as well. The participating multinational companies would offer the winners project-related training. The young entrepreneurs would also have to preserve the intellectual property rights to their inventions.

Dr. Ali Al Shidhani, Director of Research Centers at TRC pointed out that announcing the winners was an important milestone and now the real work could start. Khalid Al Huraibi, Acting CEO of the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Development ‘Riyada’ was also satisfied with the results. According to him, the “Upgrade” initiative added value to the whole society, not only to the winning teams.

On behalf of Omantel, Mohammed Yahya Al Salmi, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at Omantel, said:

We are looking forward to see these projects in reality as start-ups that enrich ICT sector in Oman and support the Sultanate’s efforts towards the digital transformation, broadband Internet and communications networks and hence, create a positive change in the community.

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