Monday, December 07, 2015

Taking Over Best Practices: Three Tech Hubs Evolving Outside the U.S.

We finally found out all that we’ve been struggling to discover about remarkable yet somewhat off-the-beaten-track tech destinations, and thus wind down the research. Let’s come take a look at tech business ecosystem of Jordan now!

#3 Jordan: a Monarchy Protégé, a MENA Tech pioneer, and a GDP Foremost Producer

Gaining momentum in the international tech industry arena, Jordan can rightly be claimed one of the richest Arab world's tech goldmines. Armed with the royal blessing and investments, the country’s tech hub emerged into a constitutive sector of the state economy that raises about 12% of its GDP, hosts 300+ startups and 600+ tech companies, and offers 84,000 jobs.

Queen Rania
Source: arabianbusiness.com


As a landmark in Jordan’s tech success story one can note the $175 million sale of Maktoob Internet portal to Yahoo in 2009. Encouraged to the utmost, Jordanian monarchy hurled itself to leverage the tech hub development and nurture local talents into a potent generation of entrepreneurs. That’s what a sovereign ruler should be like nowadays: Queen Rania pays her respects to social media with her YouTube channel and Twitter account and gives a helping hand to business newcomers through the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (QRCE). 


Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship
Source: fb.com

Doing their best to prove that Jordan is more like a country of brilliant minds than of natural resources, local authorities contribute to establishment of communities and organizations like Jordan Open Source Association, Amman Tech Tuesdays, and GeekFest.
A significant part of the credit in forming a healthy and strong startup ecosystem goes to Oasis500, which is nothing but a pioneer in the MENA region. A true investment accelerator, the institution provides companies with enough support and funding to make their plans a reality attracting a flow of international players that now amount to 20%. The partner accelerators include tech giants like Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, HP, Oracle, Ericsson, let alone private banks and equity, as well as several business angels. 

Oasis500 members
Source: oasis500.com

To start or not to start-up in Jordan? There are several major factors to consider before venturing out to Jordan. First, potential “angels” are extremely risk-averse and thus seemingly disinterested in venture investment capital. Second, the societal and environmental support are not easily obtained as well. Third, as it goes with a number of startups, the lack of know-how in business and financial modeling, as well as in marketing and project management, often becomes a disruptive factor.

Got some suggestions on the topic? Let's discuss in comments!