OAB’s Innovation Hub Returns in its Second Edition Virtually

Muscat, 7 March, 2021: Following the huge success of its first Innovation Hub, OAB announced the launch of the second edition of the hackathon, which will be the first-of-its-kind to take place virtually in Oman on April 2, 2021. The 24-hour challenge will provide a remarkable opportunity for participants from three categories, namely students, Fintech/professionals and OAB employees, to showcase their capabilities and innovative ideas. Anyone wishing to participate can simply register via www.oabinnovation.com.

The first Innovation Hub was launched successfully in 2019 and saw the participation of more than 350 participants across 70 teams. Nine of the participating students joined the Bank’s innovation internship for a period of six months and four of them were offered employment opportunities at OAB.

Rashad Al Musafir, CEO of OAB, stated, “The world is very dynamic and it is our responsibility, as an established financial institution that is passionate about innovation, to pave the way for future generations. By enabling young people to turn their ideas into practical solutions, together with the support of experts in the field, we open a world of opportunity. We look forward to seeing individuals, both within and outside the Sultanate, taking part in the Innovation Hub 2.0 and presenting us with innovations that will shape the future of banking in Oman.”

The Innovation Hub 2.0 will begin at 12:00 pm on Friday, April 2 and will continue until 5:00 pm the following day, Saturday, April 3. All participants will have 24 hours to develop their innovations and POCs, alongside the support extended by several experienced companies supporting the event, including GBM, Phaze Ro, and Phaze Ventures. The virtual hackathon will also include a wide range of speakers and entrepreneurs in the field of financial technology from different countries, who will share their vision for innovation, their journey and success stories and how they have set themselves apart from competitors. These inspiring stories and several other activities will all be available to participants joining the Innovation Hub 2.0.

Leen Al Atassi, Head of Innovation at OAB and the supervisor of the challenge, said, “This year’s edition of the Innovation Hub will focus on two themes, innovation in Fintech and Tourism. During the challenge, participants from each of the three categories will have to develop their ideas and turn them into a prototype within 24 hours. Due to the current prevalent conditions, we have made the Innovation Hub 2.0 virtual, utilizing an online platform to allow all participants to collaborate with their team members and work collectively. Each team from all the categories will then present their ideas to a panel of judges.”

“With regard to the prizes for the hackathon, the winning student team will join a paid innovation internship programme for 6 months at our Innovation Lab, which is the first-of-its-kind in the local banking sector. They will be able to continue working on their idea and turn it into viable practical products or solutions, under the direct supervision of experts from the Bank. In addition, they will receive a cash prize and a chance to be employed by OAB. The winning team from the Fintech category will receive a cash prize, as well as potentially be awarded a contract by OAB to implement the solution and be launched into the market. The OAB staff winning team will be able to join the Innovation Lab to work on their ideas and benefit from the vast expertise provided by the Lab. All participants will receive a certificate of participation that will add value to their CV. The participation is open to the public, and those interested can enter individually or form teams with up to five members.” Leen Al Atassi added.

In the upcoming weeks, OAB will be organising several virtual workshops for students, in order to help them prepare for the Innovation Hub 2.0. The last date for registration is on March 30, 2021.

The Bank has a rich and proud history as one of the first financial institutions to be established in the Sultanate. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 55 branches and representative offices with 160 ATMs spread across Oman. OAB provides a complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate banking and investment clients.