Muscat: Venture capital firm Phaze Ventures and Microsoft deepened their commitment to supporting Oman’s economic vision on the third day of Comex 2022 by announcing the expansion of their partnership to empower startups and entrepreneurs in the Sultanate.
The two companies signed a new Memorandum of Understanding that will see Microsoft support startups and entrepreneurs which the Omani venture capital group identifies to develop the necessary foundational capabilities for their business ventures to scale and grow with Microsoft Cloud.
Under the agreement, Microsoft and Phaze Ventures will work together on a roadmap and go-to-market plan to promote and accelerate the growth of the country’s small business and startup ecosystems by driving bottom-line business value and accelerating innovation. Additionally, Microsoft will guide Phaze Ventures-sourced startup leads to register for the Microsoft for Startups program and invite eligible startups to Microsoft’s available skilling workshops.
As part of the collaboration, Phaze Ventures will consider Microsoft Azure as the preferred cloud platform for current and future startups and entrepreneurs regarding the Microsoft Founders Hub programme and continuously sync with Microsoft on upcoming business ventures.
“Like Phaze Ventures, Microsoft understands that the impact of the startup sector on an economy can be astronomical as they significantly contribute to employment, development and growth,” said Mohammed Al-Wahaibi, Co-Founder of Phaze Ventures. “This partnership with Microsoft will enable us to ensure that entrepreneurs are able to continue to fuel innovation and enhance Oman’s competitiveness.”
The government of Oman has prioritized the development of entrepreneurship to advance local capabilities in innovation and creativity, and increase the competitiveness of Oman’s economy, both regionally and globally in line with its Oman Vision 2040 strategy. This has led the Sultanate to significantly ramp up its efforts to support its startup and entrepreneurship community. According to the startup data platform, MAGNiTT, Oman’s startup ecosystem secured 12% of the total deal count for H1 2020, 11% growth year-on-year.
“Oman’s startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem has showcased significant resilience and is expanding steadily as the country pursues its vision to become an innovation hub,” said Sheikh Saif Hilal Al Hosni, Country Manager at Microsoft Oman and Bahrain. “As a trusted partner in the Sultanate’s digital transformation, it is our ambition to empower startups and entrepreneurs across Oman to harness technology that will power their innovation, enable them to scale and grow, and ultimately facilitate the development of a competitive, diversified and integrated economy.”
Comex is the largest technology, communications, innovation and digital transformation show in the Sultanate of Oman. Microsoft participated in the event as the official Digital Transformation Partner and demonstrated its industry-leading technological innovations under the theme of “Embracing Future Technologies”.