QBIC posts 225% jump in applications

Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC) has witnessed a 225% increase in applications from 2016, and a 47% increase in applications from the eighth wave to the ninth wave of its flagship Lean Startup Programme (LSP). In a statement, QBIC, founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Nama, said that for the first time, more than 100 startups were chosen to take part in the LSP’s 10-week journey.

*

Al-Mudahka and al-Khalifa: Taking part in Qatar’s economic diversification drive.

QBIC’s most recent outreach campaign called on budding Qatari entrepreneurs to take part in diversifying the country’s economy to establish self-sufficiency. The successful initiative reached out to nationalism within the Qatari population, and ended up greatly contributing to the record number of applications QBIC received over the past few months. QDB chief executive Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa, who is also QBIC chairman, said, “We’re so proud of how far QBIC has come and we’re thrilled by the increased interest from our fellow aspiring Qatari entrepreneurs, as this confirmed that our campaign’s message was powerful enough to make a difference.

“It’s our duty as an organisation to lend a helping hand to every budding Qatari entrepreneur, who are tirelessly persevering in the efforts of growing and developing his or her country’s economy, which is why we were able to accept the largest number of startups to our Lean Startup Programme.”  The centre will continue to take on promising entrepreneurs of all ages with innovative ideas, as well as provide them with the coaching, financing, and support they need in order to establish successful startups. Recently, QBIC hosted a ‘Speaker Series’ session with the co-founders of Evergreen Organics.

Jawaher Alfardan and Ghanim al-Sulaiti shared their journey and experiences with the participants of the ninth wave of the LSP who were about to embark on their own journey of learning and success.  Alfardan is also the founder of Niya Yoga, while al-Sulaiti is the founder of Botany: The Vegan Alchemist. QBIC has been hosting ‘Speaker Series’ sessions with reputable local, regional, and international speakers since its establishment. With their most recent outreach initiative having such a powerful message, QBIC was keen to keep up the momentum by hosting successful local Qatari entrepreneurs for this ‘Speaker Series’ session.

QBIC CEO Aysha al-Mudahka said, “We’re honoured to have Ghanim al-Sulaiti and Jawaher Alfardan join us for this ‘Speaker Series’ session to help us inspire the leaders of tomorrow. It’s very important for our LSP participants to see local entrepreneurs like themselves who have made it in the market, and are greatly contributing to the development of their country’s economy. Setting them as an example is the perfect send-off for our aspiring entrepreneurs into this transformative 10-week programme and we can’t wait to see their ideas come to life.”

This diverse wave of the LSP includes business ideas in the fields including tourism, marketing, light manufacturing, ICT, and F&B. Additionally, startup ideas in the field of tourism will fall under the QBIC Tourism specialised incubator, guided by Qatar Tourism Authority, while ideas in technology will fall under the Digital and Beyond specialised incubator, powered by Ooredoo.  Throughout the 10-week programme, entrepreneurs will work on developing their ideas and building prototypes in preparation for ‘Demo Day’ using the ‘Business Model Canvas’ as part of the ‘lean’ methodology.
The entrepreneurs will be pitching their refined business ideas to a judging panel and potential investors during the ‘Demo Day’ event marking the end of the programme on December 9.