Syrian Entrepreneur Saleem Najjar, founder of Sharqi shop, took home the first prize in the Early Stage track. Ibrahem Ahmed, on the other hand, won the first place in the Idea Stage track, with his startup Fadfed.
Syrian-led e-commerce platform Sharqi Shop, and health-tech Fadfed have won the Startup Roadshow competition in Jordan, held on October 11th. The Startup Roadshow, organised by Jusoor and SPARK, is in the midst of its tour across five cities, setting off to discover the next generation of Syrian entrepreneurs in Turkey and the Levant region.
The competition aims to discover Syrian visionary and ingenious youngsters with the potential to create new realities, offering entrepreneurs not only training and mentorship, but also perks such as Google Cloud Services, Facebook Ads, co-working space membership, and free design for their Pitch Deck.
Syrian Entrepreneur Saleem Najjar, founder of Sharqi shop, took home the first prize in the Early Stage track. His startup is an e-commerce platform that offers customers an online one-stop shop for handicrafts in Jordan. “My partner at Sharqi and I were inspired by the Syrian artisans we met through the Syrian community in Jordan," Najjar says. "After having several talks with them we realised that their main concern was being unable to reach potential customers or sell their products in Jordan, as they didn’t have sales or distribution channels."
Sharqi Shop currently features 400 items made by 40 artisans, both Syrian refugees and Jordanians. The startup is part of Oasis500, the leading seed investment company and business accelerator in Jordan. “We’re hoping to get a lot of exposure in Netherlands, and competing for the financial prize would be a great experience. We want to explain how refugees can help people find a job and sell their items,” he says.
Ibrahem Ahmed, on the other hand, won the first place in the Idea Stage track, with his startup Fadfed, a bot-powered platform for people to access mental health care and life coaching services in the region. “Fadfed is an electronic application that creates safe spaces for people to express what they feel away from people’s judgment, through a smart chatbot that we will develop to respond to users. In addition, there is another path within the application that allows users to make an appointment for a psychologist or a life couch,” Ahmed explains.
At the end of the five stops, which took off on September 22nd, two winning teams from each city will get the chance to pitch in a Startup Battle at the SPARK Ignite Conference in Amsterdam, for a chance to win the first prize. Currently, the Roadshow is training entrepreneurs in Gaziantep, Turkey, and will head off to Istanbul for its fifth and last bootcamp on October 20th.
Main Image: Winners of the Startup Roadshow in Amman.
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