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Student startups: AIAP signs pact with NBC

MUSCAT: The Academic Innovation Assistance Program (AIAP) based in SQU and supported by The Research Council, has signed an agreement with the National Business Centre (NBC) for incubation of three students’ startups. The AIAP startups, to be incubated by NBC, include those specialising in software design development, jewellery designing and augmented reality in hospitality sector. The agreement was signed by Dr Salim al Harthi, AIAP Co-Director and Malak al Shibani, Director of NBC. It envisages provision of office space, training and awareness programmes, and business and legal counselling.

The startups began as innovation projects developed by students of Sultan Qaboos University and received support and mentorship through AIAP. Dr Sami al Kharousi, AIAP Co-Director, said: “The startups we selected for incubation have reached a stage where they needed to get their products and services commercially viable and visible to the customers, that’s where we started linking with NBC”.

“We are truly happy of the incubation agreement because it is in favour of startups development and in line with national vision of the country to support and empower Omani young entrepreneurs to generate jobs and contribute to the economy,” Dr Salim al Harthi AIAP Co-Director, said.

The NBC incubation facility provides access to office space, networking with entrepreneurs, consultants and investors, receive regular counseling, and specialised training in the field of finance and administration.

Commenting on the event, Malak al Shibani, Director of NBC, said: “We provide a platform for young Omani entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and other necessary skills to enable them to sustain and advance their companies”.

Nawar al Kalbani, student and owner of Execution and Excellence Company, also expressed her excitement to join the incubation programme, stating, “It’s a great opportunity to learn from other startups and benefit from the resources provided including training and interaction with experienced professionals.”

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