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Sas48 hosted by ITA, Bank Muscat showcases enterprising ICT initiatives

The Sas48 contest organised by the Information Technology Authority (ITA), represented by Sas Centre for Entrepreneurship, and in cooperation with Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, witnessed 120 participants distributed into 19 teams who worked on creative ideas in mobile app and web development field in 48 hours. Eng Ahmed bin Hassan al Dheeb, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Deputy Chairman of ITA’s Board of Directors, presided at the concluding ceremony in the presence of Dr Salim bin Sultan al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, Waleed al Hashar, Deputy CEO of Bank Muscat, and a number of ITA’s and Bank Muscat Management Team members.

After the demo show of developed projects, the jury committee announced the winners. The first prize of RO 3000 went to Zafafee app, which offers services for wedding celebrations such as nearest beauty centers, henna makers, dress designers and food catering. The second prize of RO 2000 went to Tawleefah app, which is a platform gathering various service providers for daily requirements where consumers can reach them under one roof. The third prize of RO 1000 was won by ‘Bitter Twitter’ app which offers information and analysis about the reputation of organisations based on user reviews and comments on social media channels.

In addition, some projects were selected by the jury committee and awarded special prizes among. The winners included “Besecure” app which provides security and privacy services using artificial intelligence. “Bitter Twitter” was selected for excellence in technical development. ‘Quick Parking’ is a mobile app that enables users to pre-book a parking slot in crowded shopping malls. “Oman Encyclopedia” is a simplified mobile encyclopedia which enables users to read, search and share information about Oman. “Bonet” app facilitates communication between hearing impaired people and the community by translating sign language into text or audio or vice versa. The Sas48 contest was held for three days from November 1-3 at Bank Muscat head office.

On this occasion, Omar bin Salim al Shanfari, Deputy CEO of ITA for Operations, said: “Through Sas48 challenge, we aim to encourage entrepreneurs to develop their creative ideas in ICT fields into successful products and services. We will spare no effort at Sas Centre for Entrepreneurship and other specialised centres to support these talents in this dynamic and vital field. We congratulate all the winners and thank Bank Muscat for their support and cooperation to make Sas48 a success.”

Waleed al Hashar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said: “Bank Muscat is proud to join hands with ITA to host the Sas48 contest. The synergy between the bank and ITA will help promote SME initiatives in the ICT sector in Oman. Bank Muscat has initiated a series of unique programmes benefiting SMEs in Oman and is committed to complementing government efforts in strengthening the role of SMEs, particularly in the knowledge-based sector to support the economic development of Oman.” In this edition of Sas48 contest, 370 candidates registered and 120 were selected for the next phase. Out of the 120 participants, 60 developers, 25 designers, 35 project managers and marketers distributed among 19 teams participated on the implementation of 19 ideas.

The contest is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship by encouraging young Omanis to turn their innovative ideas into reality and establishing Omani companies in the ICT field, website and mobile applications development in particular.

The cash prizes will be allocated to pursue courses and consultancies by the winning teams to develop their projects. The winners also have the opportunity to join the Sas Centre for Entrepreneurship at ITA, which seeks to incubate and establish Omani companies in the ICT sector. These incubated companies will be provided with a range of services and facilities, including an equipped office at Knowledge Oasis — Muscat, technical consultancies as well as monitoring, training, accounting, financial, marketing and legal services, government support and financial assistance.

Source: OmanObserver
  • sas48
  • ITA
  • Bank Muscat
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