Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) has announced its sixth wave of LeanStartup winners, marking their two-year success in a celebratory, special edition Demo Day.
In addition to highlighting some of QBIC’s entrepreneurs’ most prominent success stories, 16 start-ups pitched to a panel of judges, investors and key partners on the May 23, 2016, at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC), under the sponsorship of QNB for the third consecutive time.
QBIC incubated eight startups, two of which will be incubated under the specialized QBIC Tourism incubator.
Demo Day marks the end of the 10-week LeanStartup program, giving successful entrepreneurs a chance to be further supported and incubated at QBIC.
The event witnessed business ideas varying from tourism, technology and IT to fashion and education from competing entrepreneurs. Specialized incubator QBIC Tourism, which was established in partnership with QTA, officially launched in January this year, continues to offer entrepreneurs with tourism-related business ideas specialized support to develop products and services that enhance the Qatar tourism experience, by providing them with unique business development tools and access to insight and guidance from QTA decision-makers.
Private sector & SME boost
Qatar Development Bank CEO and QBIC Chairman Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa commented on the occasion, saying: “We’re pleased for not only announcing brand new incubatees who successfully completed our renowned LeanStartup program, but also for being able to share the success of our existing entrepreneurs in this special celebration of Demo Day. With over 52 startups currently incubated at QBIC, I can safely assert that with the help of our partners and by unifying our efforts, we’re playing a central role in developing the local private sector and SMEs in Qatar.”
He added: “QBIC’s pivotal and encompassing role proves that it is greater than a center that provides specialized incubation services; QBIC stands as an educational platform, actively involved in enlightening entrepreneurs in Qatar by hosting regular Speaker Series sessions, open days, trade fairs, and common purpose programs, aligning itself with Qatar’s wider national development.”
Maximum networking opportunities
The celebratory event offered a space to existing QBIC startups in an effort to maximize their exposure and network opportunities. Emerging companies showcased their products and services in a trade fair to visitors and passers-by. It also gave the podium to some of the most successful, existing entrepreneurs who shared their personal experiences and entrepreneurial journeys with the audience.
Aysha Al Mudahka, QBIC CEO, said: “It’s an overwhelming feeling to witness the successes achieved by QBIC startups throughout the two short years since our first Demo Day commenced. We’re thrilled and proud to be expanding as a leading entrepreneurial hub in Qatar and the region, responsible for the growth and development of the private sector. We anticipate that soon, entrepreneurship will be comfortably viewed as a legitimate career choice amongst many Qataris of all ages, bringing us one step closer to achieving our mission of developing the next QAR100 million companies in Qatar.”
Khalid Majed Al Naemi, AGM SME Banking Group Corporate and Institutional Banking at QNB, said: “We’re always pleased to be the official sponsors of QBIC’s Demo Days. After our participation in three consecutive Demo Days, it’s not surprising to see the range of ideas evolve to better serve our local economy. We’re genuine supporters of initiatives that develop the public market, and after six successful LeanStartup programs we’re confident that QBIC is not far from achieving its mission of developing the next QAR100 million companies in Qatar.”
Incubated companies are now expected to complete a three-month probation period, where they will be expected to set milestones that ensure the idea fulfils QBIC’s requirements to undergo a successful launch. They will then activate their startups and introduce their products or services to the local market.
To read more on QBIC’s incubated companies, visit their website at www.qbic.qa
Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) is the largest mixed-use business incubator in the MENA region. QBIC was founded by two of Qatar’s leading government institutions supporting local entrepreneurs: Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and the Social Development Center (SDC). QBIC’s goal is to develop the next QAR100 million companies in Qatar. QBIC empowers entrepreneurs to start and grow companies by incubating, developing, connecting and investing.
One of QBIC’s flagship initiatives is LeanStartup, turning innovative ideas into start-up businesses. LeanStartup is a 10-week entrepreneurial program that provides real world, hands-on learning experience on how to successfully launch a company.
A partnership between QBIC and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) resulted in the creation of QBIC Tourism, Qatar’s first tourism incubator, specialized in addressing gaps in the tourism industry locally and support startups and SMEs in this field.
Find out more at www.qbic.qa
The QNB Group’s presence through its subsidiaries and associate companies extends to more than 27 countries across three continents providing a comprehensive range of advanced products and services. The total number of employees is more than 15,300 operating through more than 640 locations, with an ATM network of more than 1,400 machines.
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