Orange Corners Innovation Fund (OCIF) Awards 27,500 Euros to Several Iraqi Startups
June 5, 2023
Baghdad, Iraq - The Orange Corners Innovation Fund (OCIF) Awards ceremony in its second Cycle was held at KAPITA headquarters in Baghdad.
During the ceremony, six startups were presented with a prestigious opportunity, offering them equity-free investment through grants and loans. Track 2 investments of OCIF were in the form of awards totalling EUR 27500; a EUR 13,750 grant and a EUR 13,750 Interest-Free Loan.
The OCIF program consists of four stages: Stage 1 kick-starts the OCIF program through an orientation session to introduce the graduates of Orange Corners Baghdad from cohorts 1 to 4 to the program. As well as launching an application form for the graduates. Stage 2 is where the committee shortlists 10 startups from the 19 that applied. Stage 3 has three workshops that have been arranged for the shortlisted startups to generate a business plan, loan payback plan with an accounting manual, and a pitch deck. Stage 4, the finalists were judged by a jury consisted of Mr. Mujahed Waisi - Founder and CEO of KAPITA Business Hub, Mr. Mike Spis - Programme Advisor Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, Orange Corners Innovation Fund, Ms. Raisa van Eijndhoven Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Advisor at RVO, Marwan Ahmed - VP of Commercial Development and People at Miswag, and Mr. Hayder Zeyad - Senior Investment Associate at KAPITA Business Hub.
The six winners were announced the following day during the ceremony, and they were:
Tanweer - a startup working on smart solar systems.
Step - an agribusiness startup.
Kawenter - a startup that has a mobile application for online traveling services.
Geomatica - a startup that offers spatial data collection, processing, and analysis using state-of-the-art drones, specialized sensors, and AI technology.
SAFR - a startup that serves as an online travel agency.
Nabu Games - a startup specialized in Board Games and reward systems.
As part of KAPITA’s mission to be committed to facilitating and supporting the access to finance scene, the OCIF program, in collaboration with the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy, is one example of KAPITA’s commitment to provide access to finance to the graduates of the Orange Corners program. KAPITA’s core values are to support the development of the private sector in Iraq, and access to finance is an integral part of pushing the private sector forward.
Mujahed Waisi - Founder & CEO of KAPITA highlighted “The current changes within the financial sector are truly intriguing. We find ourselves in a pivotal moment for Iraq's market; a time that presents both exciting opportunities and significant challenges. Nevertheless, this new era opens up a realm of possibilities for our young people and entrepreneurs, further motivating them to exert greater efforts into their ventures.”
Mike Sips - Programme Advisor Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship - Orange Corners Innovation Fund Highlighted “young Iraqi entrepreneurs have a very strong drive to make their business succeed against all odds”
Raisa van Eijndhoven - Programme Advisor at OCHQ commented during her speech “I want you to know that the culmination of this program does not signify the end of your journey as entrepreneurs. Instead, it represents a significant milestone, and you should be incredibly proud of reaching this stage.”
About Orange Corners Innovation Fund:
“OCIF” is a program by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Netherlands implemented by KAPITA with NBI being the banking partner for the program. The program aims to support emerging fund managers with capital to invest in early-stage startups and stimulate innovation and improve access to finance for entrepreneurs across Africa and the Middle East.
The OCIF program will support the Orange Corners Baghdad incubator; another program by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Netherlands and being implemented by KAPITA. OCIF aims to support the incubatees with grants, investments and a set of investment readiness training. The program will be available to incoming cohort five incubators and previous cohorts of OC Baghdad.
The program will consist of two types of investments; Track 1 and Track 2. Incubatees in OC Baghdad will be entitled to a monthly stipend and a grant for services. Track 2 investments will include a larger investment for outstanding incubatees that will consist of a grant and a zero-interest loan.
About KAPITA Business Hub:
KAPITA is a private sector development company that aims to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through investment, research, incubation/acceleration, and market development programs.