Oasis 500 and Jordan Gaming Task Force Opens Advanced Interactive Game LabBy Oasis 500, PRNE
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
AMMAN, Jordan, May 26, 2011 -
- Donated by HM to Promote Game Development Sector in Jordan
- Monarch Listens to Pitches and Demos by High School Student Teams who
Developed iPhone Tourist Apps for Jordan and Awards Winning Team at the new
Oasis 500 Interactive Gaming Lab.
Stemming from His passion for computer, video games, and mobile apps, and
His vision to support the youth of Jordan and enable a creative ecosystem for
game and apps/software developers in the Kingdom of Jordan, His Majesty King
Abdullah II attended the finalist presentations and demos of iPhone Apps
development competition for high school student teams from around the
"Simply put, Jordan has a Cool King who loves mobile apps and interactive
video games" declares Dr. Usama Fayyad, Executive Chairman of Oasis 500 and
former EVP and Chief Data Officer of Yahoo! Inc. "Where else would a monarch
actually spend an afternoon in demos of iPhone Apps developed by high school
student and then awards the winners personally?" continues Fayyad in a an
interview at the Interactive Gaming Lab that King Abdullah II of Jordan had
just inaugurated and funded 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 5 years with Yahoo! I have not seen
anything quite like this."
Fayyad continues with interview: "Last September, HM King Abdullah asked
me to help with defining an iPhone App development competition for high
school students. My reaction was that we should target university students as
I thought high school level is too junior for development in objective C,"
Said Fayyad who eventually served as a judge in the competition, "The King
looked at me and said: 'No; high school, and we need your help defining it.'
Looking at the results, I must say I was wrong and he was right!"
Participating students, aged between 15 and 17 years, worked in groups of
five to design applications for mobile devices in a competition aiming at
encouraging high school students on embracing the latest gaming and
applications development technologies. The competing teams had one month to
learn mobile apps development and produce a fully-fledged mobile application
that aid tourists during their stay in Jordan. His majesty presented prizes
to the winning team from Amman National School. In attendance where U.S.
Undersecretary of State, Robert Hormats and the U.S. Ambassador to Jordan
Robert Beecroft ( See photo and video footage www.oasis500.net/gaming
The event that took place at the inauguration of an interactive
electronic gaming laboratory that was established under a Royal initiative
with the aim of boosting the production capabilities of a fast growing cadre
of gaming technology companies growing in Jordan. The lab is not only
equipped with machines and resources that are unparalleled in today's gaming
arena, provides training on the essentials of game design, from story to
interface to sound effects to all game developers in the country.
"It's a rare and delightful moment to see a monarch supporting the youth
of his country by attending a competition for high-school students, and
interacting with them throughout 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 Lab is yet
another step to turn Jordan into a regional hub for game developers, noting
that the value of investment in the sector worldwide stands at around USD $80
"With his Majesty continued support for Jordan Gaming Task Force (JGTF),
we managed to attract international and local partners like Sony ,Unity,
NOKIA, Umniah, and Microsoft to help develop Jordan game sector" said Nour
KHRAIS Chairman of JGTF. "We believe Jordan stands a serious chance to become
the Interactive Games development capital of the Middle East."
Jordan's plans to become a beacon for information technology in the
Middle East is gradually uncovering with several partnerships, projects and
investments in startups with companies like Oasis 500 that aims at launching
and investing in 500 technology startups in the upcoming 5 years. Oasis500
gives entrepreneurs investment and acceleration to jump-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 500 Angel Network event held in Amman 2 weeks ago attracted 80
angel investors and VC's with one third coming from outside Jordan to listen
to 6 pitching companies. These companies received investments at terms that
showed they were able to grow their valuation from 3x to 7x in the 100 days
of acceleration spent at Oasis 500.
"Oasis 500 is achieving in its first year of operation in Jordan much
more than Y-Combinator and Tech Stars have achieved in the U.S. in their
start" said Emile Cubeisy, Board Member of Oasis 500 and Managing Director of
IV-Holdings, a VC Investment fund in Jordan. "The plans we are seeing are
comparable to plans and growth rates of startups in Silicon Valley."
Photos & videos are found on www.oasis500.net/gaming
About Oasis 500:
Oasis500 is the MENA region's premier early stage and seed investment
program, which includes entrepreneurship training, mentorship, incubation,
and follow-on and angel investment funds. Set in Jordan, the Program
concentrates on accelerating the transformation of business ideas into
startup companies in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), mobile
and digital media with a focus on entrepreneurs in the Middle-east Region.
Candidates of the Program and their ideas will embody and embolden a
movement that will stir up a new breed of entrepreneur in the Arab world,
ultimately changing its business landscape and the future of The Region for
Oasis500 aims at accelerating the launch of 500 startup companies within
the next five years, with a focus on the Information and Communication
Technology (ICT), Mobile, and Digital Media sectors.
The Jordan Gaming Development Task Force is an open and independent
coalition of Jordan's premier gaming companies, the Task Force's objective is
to advance Jordan's gaming development capacity and help propel the Jordanian
gaming on a local, regional, and international scale.
Photos & videos are found on www.oasis500.net/gaming
For more information, please call, PR Launchers / Tel: +96265520681 - Fax: +96265691863, Email: info at PRLaunchers.com - Web: www.PRLaunchers.com
Tags: Amman, Jordan, May 26, Oasis 500