It is Sunday night in Amman, Jordan, and the Jordanian startup scene keeps moving full steam ahead at an event called Dealmakers Weekend, organized by Endeavor, a nonprofit that supports high-impact entrepreneurship and Int@j, a nonprofit representing the Jordan IT industry. The cream of the local startup crop were paired up all day in matchmaking sessions with local and international investors in hopes of creating lasting relationships.
One of the startups, Mixed Dimensions (MXD), is representative of the new breed of company emerging from the local ecosystem. Founded in 2009, MXD is a technology and tools provider for platform developers, gaming companies and interactive 3D online application developers. Its co-founders, Muhannad Taslaq and Baha Abu Nojaim, are examples of the diverse entrepreneurs Jordan is producing. Born and bred in Jordan and of Palestinian origin, they are graduates of Jordanian universities and active participants in promoting grassroots technology entrepreneurship in Jordan.
Unlike many startups in Jordan and the region overall, MXD’s vision extends far beyond its home country’s borders. Having begun its journey at the iPARK, an ICT incubator in Amman, MXD was from day one building technology targeted at a global audience. Its flagship product, a 3D asset development tool called GameDraw built for the Unity gaming engine, is used by over 16,000 game developers in 110 countries (as of January 2014). The company has expanded its global footprint, completing the Alchemist Accelerator program in Silicon Valley in August 2013 and venturing into new technology niches within 3D modeling and development.
MXD will become one of the first portfolio companies of the Badia Impact Fund, which announced its first close February 24 with Cisco (as part of our 2011 Venture Capital Commitment to Jordan), European Investment Bank, and King Abdullah Fund for Development.
GameDraw is the flagship product of Jordan start-up Mixed Dimensions. It is a 3D asset development tool built for the Unity gaming engine that is currently used by over 16,000 game developers in 110 countries .
The journey to the capital city of Amman can be daunting for rural Jordanians who require specialty medical care—people like Haifa Abd-El Karim Omoush.
The 34-year-old married mother of five suffers from a treatable cardiac condition. Her local doctor at Al-Mafraq Governmental Hospital in rural northeast Jordan referred her to a cardiac specialist in Amman to confirm his diagnosis and define a treatment plan.
But Haifa missed or postponed critical appointments with the cardiologist because she had no one to care for her children and could not afford to travel to the hospital. Her condition deteriorated.
Haifa’s experience is common in many parts of the world where specialists are in short supply. But now, technology is helping to close this gap in healthcare access.
Healthcare is transforming rapidly thanks to advances in technology and people working together. This evolution was obvious in Jordan last week, when the inaugural meeting of the country’s Healthcare ICT Task Force took place in conjunction with the World Economic Forum Jordan.
The task force is a collaboration between the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, the Information Technology Association of Jordan (inj@j), and Cisco, and it points to the country’s vision to become a regional hub for ICT solutions in the healthcare sector. Read More »
In October of 2010, Cisco and the Jordanian Government formally announced the Jordan Healthcare Initiative; a partnership to improve the country’s healthcare system through the implementation of information and communications technology (ICT).
We are proud to announce the first step in this partnership, a pilot of Cisco’s HealthPresence solution, was opened in June of 2011. The HealthPresence solution, donated by Cisco, provides care-at-a distance technology for patents at Al-Mafraq Governmental Hospital with specialized physicians at Prince Hamzah Hospital in Amman. Read More »
“This trip was worth everything I left behind for it. Now I have 36 sisters.” Thekra Dwairi is one of 37 women to participate in the inaugural TechWomen program funded by theU.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The programpaired women in Silicon Valley with their counterparts in the Middle East and North Africa for a professional mentorship and exchange program at leading technology companies.
Cisco had the honor of hosting the closing session for this 5 week program at its San Jose, CA headquarters. Each of the mentees presented their key technical and cultural learnings as well as their action plans for when they returned to their home countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, West Bank and Gaza.
Loubna Haouam discusses her goals upon returning to Algeria: exchanging knowledge, encouraging women to learn English and providing computer access
The mentees ranged widely in terms of their backgrounds. Some work for international corporations, while others are local start-up founders. Some are world travelers. One woman mentioned that this is her first time out of her hometown! It was humbling to hear about the challenges these women manage on a day-to-day basis. Just applying for the TechWomen program was a challenge for Egyptian participants. The application deadline, February 1, was at the same time that the government shut down the internet—happily, an extension was provided. Read More »