The Innovative Startups and SMEs Fund (ISSF) – the largest investment fund of its kind in Jordan – has provided financial support worth USD 250,000 to the CORE@HTU incubator and accelerator, a component of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Excellence (CIEE) of the Al Hussein Technical University (HTU), elevating its operations to better assist technology startups. Delivered as of February 2021 over a duration of two years, this step underscores the mission of the ISSF to promote a fundamental shift within the local entrepreneurial and innovation landscape.
The CORE@HTU serves as a prime example of a university-based incubator and accelerator, achieving promising results and engaging with national and global partners. With the committment of the ISSF, the CORE@HTU will be able to further develop, validate, modify and scale its models, consequently steering other educational institutions towards more creative, dynamic, responsive and investment focused forms of entrepreneurial support. The collaboration will also allow the CORE@HTU to build on its initial success with regards to creating jobs, growing 21st century skills and technologies, increasing mobilization of risk capital and improving Jordan’s innovation and entrepreneurship ranking. During the first cohort with the ISSF, the CORE@HTU seeks to bolster women representation with up to 22% female founders.
“The ISSF plays an instrumental role in supplying funding for aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage Jordanian SMEs, especially those demonstrating ambitious vision and high growth potential, whilst advancing the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by prompting the establishment of technology startups that attract investors,” commented ISSF CEO, Laith Al Qasem. “By supporting the CORE@HTU, we are actively enabling it to expand its scope and present enhanced services to female and male tech entrepreneurs, thus empowering them to transform their ideas into investable projects.”
In turn, CIEE Director, Dr. Yazan Hijazi, stated, “The support offered by the ISSF is closely aligned with the approach of the CORE@HTU incubator and accelerator, which aims to assist local tech startups and equip both female and male entrepreneurs with specialized skills that are based on design thinking and customer centricity. We also strive to foster a practical entrepreneurship and innovation mindset amongst emerging companies, thereby generating jobs and boosting the capacities of youth to build and develop technological solutions that bridge market needs and are economically feasible within the local and international arenas. We are proud of this strategic partnership with the ISSF and look forward to positively impacting Jordan’s rising entrepreneurial scene.”
The ISSF is registered as a Jordanian private shareholding company. The objective of the ISSF is to support and elevate Jordan’s entrepreneurial and innovation landscape by facilitating the establishment of new investment funds that serve the ecosystem; making direct investments in innovative, export-oriented and scalable local startups; as well as implementing initiatives that improve the capabilities of Jordanian entrepreneurs and startup teams through training, capacity building and targeted incubation and acceleration programs.