Sunday, May 24, 2009

KOM Showcases Omani Talent at COMEX

Five Knowledge Oasis Muscat-based companies are vying to hit the ground running in 2009 as they pitch their innovative concepts to top executives and investors at COMEX – Oman’s annual ICT exhibition.

From concepts designed to help reduce the spread of CDC H1N1 Swine Flu, to building state-of-the-art WiFi networks through to virtual worlds, serious gaming, and GIS and GPS technologies, the five companies will be “pitching technology with market disrupting potential to local and international companies attending the five-day exhibition,” remarks Mohammed Al Maskari (pictured), Director General, Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM).

“The standard of the five young Omani entrepreneurs is incredibly high and we’re very proud to be able to put these companies in front of top-tier executives and investors. I’m sure that any visitor coming along to the KOM pavilion will be impressed at our extremely vibrant and dynamic tenants,” smiles Al Maskari.

“It’s important that we spread the word about tech excellence in Oman,” comments the KOM Director General. “I can say that the talent we’ll have on show at COMEX is second to none. But we must bring together knowledge silos and develop joined-up strategies to promote the Sultanate’s ICT commercial potential. In this regard, events like COMEX play an important role,” points out Al Maskari.

Since its opening in 2003 KOM has adopted an innovative approach and a gateway policy to ensure that the Park becomes successful by attracting start-ups, early stage businesses and multinationals whose core activity is in the knowledge-based economy, science, technology, environmental, ICT and other such related activities to locate at the Park.

“In order to attract entrepreneurial initiatives with good growth potential, we developed a policy of offering flexible tenancy agreements and attractive rents for pioneering knowledge-based businesses. This allowed new initiatives that would not have previously had the means to get started with the opportunity to grow. Moreover, we assist these businesses to expand into a bigger space with equally flexible arrangements. In the process, KOM provides fledgling businesses with access to free business support to help commercialize their ideas,” remarks Al Maskari.

Alongside the business support it offers KOM nurtures innovation and enterprise in budding entrepreneurs of all ages by playing an integral role with its partners in initiatives such as The TKM – Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition.

The TKM – Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition searches the Sultanate for the brightest entrepreneurs. A RO6,000 cash prize plus an impressive business support package, including 12 months free space at TKM, KOM’s business incubator program, is offered to the winner. “Muscat Geosystems, one of the winner’s of the competition will be exhibiting at COMEX,” remarks Mohammed Al Hinai, TKM Manager. Adding: “Initiatives such as The TKM – Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition really demonstrate how KOM is encouraging and supporting enterprise in the community, going further than just creating employment opportunities.”

Since KOM opened its doors it has created an inspiring environment in which enterprise, business growth, job opportunities, education and skills initiatives are born, nurtured and allowed to flourish - turning what was barren land into a source of both employment and inspiration.

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