RAIN Support program

We’ve designed a virtual programme of activity that will bring together UK startups, corporate innovation specialists, academics and business leaders to share what they’ve learned with counterparts in Oman through mentoring and workshops.

We are calling all Omani Innovators, if your startup was created through Covid-19 or addresses the below challenge areas, we hope to work together to ensure the sustainability of your innovation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are we?

Plexal is an innovation centre and coworking space, established by Delancey, that specialises in forging connections between industry, academia, investors, startups and scaleups to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society.

 

Al JABR, is an Omani company that focuses on startup development and corporate innovation with the aim to build a regional hub for startup development, bridge startup innovation with corporate ambition and create new access channels to capital it being Financial, Human & Intellectual

What is the RAIN accelerator program? 

RAIN (Rapid Innovation) is a 6-week accelerator program focused on Omani start-ups which is designed to help you grow your start up with speed. Through the program you will meet global experts who will take your through curated masterclasses, one on one mentoring sessions, and access to a wide network of likeminded entrepreneurs and founders. 

The objective of the program is to identify and support the most ambitious, forward thinking start-ups in Oman who are responding to the challenges that Covid-19 has presented in the areas of Digitising Business, Digitising Education and Digitising Communities.

Who runs the programme? 

The programme is delivered by a consortium led by Plexal and Al JABR. 

 

Plexal is an innovation centre that specialises in forging connections between industry, academia, investors, startups and scaleups to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society.  Plexal was established in the UK, turning the site of the Olympic Games to a hub of innovation for East London. Plexal now operates globally and leads several flagship innovation programmes, including the LORCA cyber accelerator. 

 

Al JABR is an Omani company that focuses on startup development and corporate innovation with the aim to build a regional hub for startup development, bridge start up innovation with corporate ambition and create new access channels to Financial, Human & Intellectual capital. 

Who is it for?

This program is for early-stage Omani start-ups who have some traction in the marketplace, and the potential to deliver significant growth and impact. We also welcome applications from established organisations who have developed new products and services that respond to the economic and social challenges caused by the pandemic.

What makes our program unique?

To enable innovators to focus their solutions and increase impact, the programme will deliver a proprietary six-week support package that will rigorously test the scope of the innovation and its go-to-market strategy.  Participants will receive support to clarify and communicate their solution to customers in a compelling way. 

 

In addition, participants will receive: 

  • Weekly 1-2-1s with an experienced innovation manager  

  • Exclusive masterclasses delivered by globally leading innovators 

  • Academic support from Imperial College London 

  • Matching with mentors who can provide specifically relevant advice 

  • Introductions to influential partners in the Oman innovation ecosystem 

What can I expect from the program?

  • We aim to deliver an extensive six-week growth program tailored to the business needs of the start-ups, that will rigorously test the scope of the innovation and shape its go-to-market strategy. Participants will receive support to clarify and communicate their solution to customers/ stakeholders in a compelling way.

  •  

  • Depending on the stage of your business, you can expect support in refining value proposition, challenging assumptions, developing your MVP with a structured roadmap, best practices for partnerships, sales, growth, accessing customers, investors and government.

  • The main structure of the program will be a mix of:

  • Weekly 1-2-1s with an experienced innovation manager 

  • Exclusive masterclasses delivered by globally leading innovators

  • Academic support from Imperial College London

  • Matching with mentors who can provide specifically relevant advice

  • Introductions to influential partners in the Oman innovation ecosystem

  • Access to online exclusive content and frameworks to help grow your business

  • A customised growth journey and growth plan to help achieve goals set at the beginning

When is the deadline?

Please register before 14th January 2021

What do we need to register?

You will need yours and your startup’s contact information, plus a brief description of your innovation. 

When will we hear back after registering?

We will confirm if your application has been successful by the 22nd January 2021.  

Who are the mentors and experts?

We have handpicked a reputable board of renowned innovation experts, founders and business leaders across all the relevant sectors to help you with your growth. (check mentors page)

What is the timing of the program?

Working hours tailored to your best fitted timing as it is a 1:1 sessions.

When will the Program Start?

Monday 1st of February 2021.

Am I eligible?

Your business will need to be registered in Oman, and you will need to fall into one of the following categories of Digitising Business, Edtech, SocialTech and Fintech.

What is the duration of the program?

6 Weeks.

What is my commitment?

  • We suggest attending masterclasses once a week and arranging your mentoring with experts and 1-1 growth clinics based on availability. 

  • Although there is no definitive number of hours or mandatory timeframes you need to adhere to, we suggest 3-5 hours a week to get the most out of the program to help you grow and benefit from the program methodically.

Where can the program support you in?

  • This will be a different journey for each company depending on the stage of their business but below are a few examples to demonstrate what you can expect:

  • If you are an established store-front business looking to pivot your business online, we can support you to create an online presence.

  • If you are an individual / company with a new product or service idea, we can support developing the proof of concept or minimum viable product.

  • If they are a start-up operating in any of our three target areas, we can help you with their strategy on how to scale and form new partnerships.

  • Create a plan for further development and growth beyond the program

What happens after the programme?

  • Our program aims to equip start-ups with the right contacts, content and platforms to flourish and grow to the next stage of their business. 

  • Our goal is to bring together Omani experts and ecosystems closer to the UK ecosystems and experts to provide the best growth program for Omani start ups with the ambition to deliver on an annual basis.

Who will be working with me on the programme? 

  • You will be working with a handpicked group of renowned innovation experts with expertise across multiple domains including: 

  • CXO advice 

  • CTO as a service 

  • Business growth 

  • Revenue scaling  

  • Fundraising  

  • Innovation strategy 

  • Digital transformation 

  • Social enterprise 

  • Virtual reality engagement 

  • Cybersecurity 

  • A range of indicative biographies are featured below.  We can also match and provide access to a wider network to meet specific requirements. 

  • Berta Pappenheim, Co-founder of The CyberFish Company – experienced in building organisational resilience and building a start-up company 

  • Bruno Sussat, Business Strategy Lead at Plexal – experienced in proposition development, go-to-market strategy and operating model design, ex-EY 

  • Dave Rowley, Commercial Director at Plexal – experienced in commercial strategy, new business development and new proposition development, ex-Barclays 

  • Kushal Puri, Head of Growth at Licel – experienced in business strategy, investment raising and growth planning, ex-KPMG 

  • Ouaise Abdel Razig, Security Specialist at Heimdal – experienced in new business development and resilience building to be able to handle cyber crisis situations 

  • Russell Gundry, Director of Innovation programmes at Plexal – experienced in developing new products and services and innovation strategy, ex-Capgemini 

  • Tommy Ekman, Innovation Engagement Lead at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - experienced in user experience and interface design and raising VC funding 

Who runs RAIN Program?

  • The programme is delivered by a consortium led by Plexal, a reputable global innovation centre in the UK, that acts as a nexus, connecting start-ups, industry, investors and academia. Plexal carries a track record of delivering ambitious global innovation programmes and accelerators across all industries and markets.  From the Omani side we have Al JABR who focus on start- up development and corporate innovation, aiming to bridge start up innovation, with corporate ambition to help speed up the deployment of new technology and needs for the current climate.

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