NEXUS Program - Cohort Two
Thank you for your interest in the NEXUS program. Applications are now open!
DEADLINE EXTENDED : MARCH 31, 2022
The NEXUS program aims to support tech / tech-enabled startups and innovative SMEs that are ready to expand into regional and international markets through a phased cohort approach with specific target markets in the MENA Region. NEXUS will include the following:
Market Access Readiness Services (MARS) Phase: Applicants will apply to join the first cohort for receiving MARS that provides tailored coaching and technical assistance to startups and SMEs towards preparation of their capacity to expand in the regional or international markets.
Market Access Penetration Grants (MAP) Phase: Based on the assessment of the technical needs of firms to enter the market, a MAP Grant will provide cost-sharing grants to support the specific activities of the selected Startups and innovative SMEs. The MAP Grant will initially target the participants of the MARS phase. Not all firms participating in the MARS phase will necessarily qualify for grants.
The financial support for individual firms can reach up to 70% of eligible costs, with a total up to USD 25,000 per firm. Women-owned/managed businesses meeting the eligibility criteria will be eligible for an extra 10% of the cost-sharing percentage (up to 80% instead of up to 70% of eligible expenditures), not exceeding USD 25,000 per firm.
Eligibility Criteria for the NEXUS Program:
(Must meet all the criteria)
- Be a company legally registered, and operating in the West Bank and Gaza; or in the process of legal registration; or committed to register with the Ministry of National Economy;
- Be operational for at least 3 months prior to applying to the program;
- Annual revenue not to exceed USD 5,000,000 for previous years;
- Proposed project’s environmental impacts are minimum or non-existent.
After potential Beneficiaries passed the initial eligibility criteria, an evaluation of their application will be conducted, to be admitted to the NEXUS program. A NEXUS Evaluation Scorecard (Annex III) will be used to assess the applications of the firms applying and decide if they are admitted to or rejected from the program. The passing score for program eligibility is 70/100.
Eligible applicants must meet and demonstrate the following requirements:
- A well-defined and plausible innovation vis-a-vis its technology or business model that could do what is claimed (refer to definition below of “innovation-based” on the “Oslo Manual”, 3rd edition, 2005).
- A demonstrated viable and scalable business model, with a well-defined and plausible market and customer base (including having a defensible competitive advantage and/or market differentiator).
- A startup or innovative SME must have a Minimal Viable Product with initial validated customer traction and/or generating revenue.
- Management team credentials: demonstrated leadership and management experience; demonstrated level of expertise relevant to the markets and technologies being pursued; clear roles and responsibilities for the team.
- The startup or innovative SME clearly displays intent to reach new market(s) including by having potential leads, partnerships, or closed deals in other markets.