The competition will conclude with a Final Demo Day in Amman, where winning startups will be awarded up to $15,000 in funds.
The Startup Roadshow, organised by Jusoor and SPARK, in collaboration with Startups Without Borders, has partnered up with Techstars to host a five Startup Weekend Refugee Editions, prior to their flagship competition.
Seeking to implement entrepreneurship as a means of self-realisation for youth across the Middle East and North African region, the events invite entrepreneurs from Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Syria to gather for 54 hours in an immersive weekend where they get the opportunity to network with mentors, leading industry experts and other fellow entrepreneurs, and turn their ideas into businesses.
Following the format of Techstars Startup Weekend, the events will be hosted in Amman, Beirut, Erbil, Gaziantep and Istanbul aiming to give entrepreneurs the chance to form teams, enhance their business ideas and turn them into viable startups by pitching to a jury of expert leaders.
The events will run simultaneously between August 29 and September 8, kicking off with the first weekend in Jordan, hosted at ZINC in Amman’s Business Park. Entrepreneurs in Erbil will kick off Startup Weekend on the same date, in partnership with Careem, Zain, and Re:Coded. Beirut follows on August 30th, kicking off the marathonic 3-day event at Antwork, in partnership with Nawaya and Techfugees.
Entrepreneurs in Turkey will have 2 consecutive Startup Weekend events, with Gaziantep kicking off on August 30th and Istanbul on September 6th, in partnership with Stage-co.
“We are very excited, not only to host the Startup Roadshow again, but also this series of Startup Weekend events involving the community of local entrepreneurs. We hope to lay the foundations of a true collaborative event, where Syrian youth and the host community can build startups and impact society as a whole together,” says Dania Ismail, Board Member and Director of Jusoor’s Entrepreneurship Program.
The roadshow, which begins on September 7th, will tour across 5 cities in the Middle East, with 5-day bootcamps and a semifinal pitching event held in each city. Passing through Amman, Beirut, Erbil, Istanbul and Gaziantep, the competition will conclude with a Final Demo Day in Amman, where winning startups will be awarded $15,000 for the first prize, $10,000 for the second prize, and $7,000 for the third prize. The three winners will also get an all-expense-paid trip to Amsterdam, to pitch on the global stage at the Ignite Conference 2019, held by SPARK.
"Supporting refugees to start their own business not only supports them to become financially independent. It creates value for their host community and improves social relations between refugees and the host community. This is why we are heavily invested in boosting refugee entrepreneurship," says Yannick Du Pont, Director of SPARK.
For more information on how to apply, click here.
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