7 startups selected to receive QDB’s smart funding of up to QR100,000 at Demo Day

As many as 12 projects — ranging from drones for refinery inspection as well as public safety and security agencies, online educational portal to apps for automobile repairs — yesterday sought seed capital from Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to better commercialise their ideas and capture more markets. The 12 local startups competed to mark the culmination of the new wave of graduates from its transformational LeanStartup Programme (LSP). These were showcased at the fifth edition of Demo Day, organised by Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), owned by QDB, where the developers and founders/co-founders extensively used artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and other technologies, indicating the scientific temperament among the budding entrepreneurs.


Qatar’s startups celebrate their win at the QBIC Demo Day.

Each of the projects, with clear idea on their expected revenue streams, have the potential to value-add to the growing economy of the country. The business ideas presented covered a variety of fields including e-Commerce, technology, logistics, Ed-Tech and e-Sports. Of the 12 projects, seven were adjudged winners, who will receive smart funding up to QR100,000 each, rent-free office space for two years, in addition to continuous coaching and mentoring to help support and grow their business. The winners are Aytech, whose technological solutions help public safety and security agencies increase their situational awareness; Onjiz, an intelligent work management application; GBus, an app for school bus management; Not Busy Now solutions; Merwad (online designer shop), Qutsheet (construction industry related) and Print Le.

“The past 10 weeks have been a rewarding experience for all the participants in QBIC’s latest wave. To succeed, entrepreneurs require passion and determination to reach pivotal business growth and we’re here to help them reach their potential,” said Hamad bin Dashin al-Qahtani, general manager of QBIC. Highlighting that throughout the past five years, QBIC has helped grow and accelerate the businesses of tremendously talented entrepreneurs, he said, “I hope to see more aspiring entrepreneurs follow their lead in transforming ideas into reality.” In the last five years, QBIC has incubated as many as 160 companies with total revenues exceeding QR55mn. Qatar has been witnessing expanded database of successfully incubated companies, a senior official of QDB said, adding it would go a long way in supporting the country’s diversification efforts. In addition to its flagship LSP, QBIC recently launched several specialised programmes, including the Lean Coach Programme, Lean Manufacturing Programme and Lean Fashion Programme.

As QBIC strives to expand entrepreneurial fields, the recently launched Lean Fashion Programme — which will be delivered in both Doha and Milan, Italy — is created to equip designers and entrepreneurs alike with a holistic understanding of conducting business in the fashion industry. QDB chief executive Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa said its strategy has always been to develop a proactive mindset for young nationals towards entrepreneurship. “It is no secret that the new generations’ vision of Qatari entrepreneurs is different and that they are eager to join the entrepreneurial system by establishing startups which are designed to succeed locally and internationally,” he said. QBIC’s LSP is the most successful programme of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, empowering entrepreneurs by providing them with business tools, hands-on experience and expert know-how to successfully bring their business ideas to life, in line with QBIC’s mission to develop Qatar’s next QR100mn companies.

Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times