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GIST Startup Boot Camp Winner Targets Underserved Financial Market 

August 30, 2017

Amidst applause from fellow entrepreneurs, Jordanian-based startup Tanda was named the first place winner at the 2017 GIST Startup Boot Camp in Amman, Jordan. Tanda, who was one of 29 startups to participate in the four-day boot camp, presented their financial technology business to an expert panel of judges during the final demo day.

The Boot Camp winner was announced by keynote speaker Nina Vaca, who is the CEO of Pinnacle Group, a global technology and workforce solutions company. Demo Day, held on the last day of the GIST Startup Boot Camp, provides a chance for participants to present their startups to a panel of judges with the opportunity to win money for their ventures. 

Tanda, started by Bisher Assamak and Ghaith Assamak, allows users to engage in collaborative financial savings. Subscribers to Tanda can collaborate together and establish a money pool that is disbursed periodically between members. Already a financial practice offline, Tanda brings the money pool online through its free mobile application. Tanda was awarded $2,000 USD for winning first place at the GIST Boot Camp. 

“The 2017 GIST Boot Camp winner is the company that understood the demand that financing is an underserved and tremendous opportunity,” said Vaca. “They are poised to capitalize on just that.” 

The boot camp ran from August 26 – 29, and offered teams of entrepreneurs hands-on learning experiences. Teams attended sessions and lectures that focused on subjects such as customer development, customer discovery, channel economics and structuring a pitch. Along with the sessions and lectures, entrepreneurs also participated in presentations that include feedback from peers and mentors. The camp also offered one-on-one office hours with mentors who worked with teams to improve their startups.

“It was a wonderful experience,” said the Tanda startup team. “The supervision was great. The criticism and all of that, it helped us modify [Tanda] into something that can actually be sent to the market. We’re really looking forward on implementing our plan.” 

The second place winner of the boot camp demo day, Yallah Food, is a website that provides online food ordering at discounted prices by offering a menu of three different dishes from different restaurants and kitchens each day. Yallah Food was awarded $1,000 for taking second place.  

The Spirit of GIST award was given to Electric Bicycle for learning the most from the GIST Boot Camp. 

A key part of the boot camp in Jordan included real world opportunities for entrepreneurs to test the skills they learned from the lectures. As part of their boot camp participation, entrepreneurs were required to leave the building and actively engage in customer discovery interviews in order to learn more about their target markets.

“We’re working with Jordan entrepreneurs, trying to get them to the next level and their companies ready for their market,” said Ayse Zamboglu, mentor in resident at Venturewell and one of the instructors at the boot camp. “I’m proud of the female entrepreneurs, they’re really doing their part.” 

The GIST Initiative understands entrepreneurs need resources and support to succeed, and through online programs and boot camp workshops around the world, GIST is giving innovators the opportunity to learn how to turn their business ideas into a successful venture.