Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Nama, announced the winners of its eighth wave of LeanStartup Program (LSP) at Demo Day. 13 out of the original 46 startups that joined LSP 8 pitched to a panel of judges, investors and key partners on the 20th of May at the QBIC Campus under the sponsorship of QNB.
Demo Day 8 contained business ideas in the fields of marketing, F&B, fashion, sports, industrial, cultural, ICT, trading, health and education. Additionally, startup ideas in the field of tourism fell under the QBIC Tourism specialized incubator, guided by Qatar Tourism Authority, whereas ideas in the area of technology belong to the Digital and Beyond specialized incubator, powered by Ooredoo Qatar.
Throughout the 10-week program, entrepreneurs worked on developing their ideas and building prototypes in preparation for Demo Day using the Business Model Canvas as part of the ‘lean’ methodology. 7 startups were incubated at QBIC and will be receiving mentoring services, office space and most importantly financial support to start their businesses.
This Demo Day was an opportunity for QBIC to introduce new activities and events including a QBIC Alumni Network and a Mix and Match Networking Session where aspiring entrepreneurs with business ideas presented them to an audience in hopes of finding a business partner. Moreover, QBIC continues their ‘Investors Pitch’ sessions. These sessions provide a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a panel of potential investors.
Incubated entrepreneurs from previous waves also had the opportunity to present their accomplishments at Demo Day 8. Each startup was given 60-seconds to share their exciting success stories with the attendees as well as family and friends. Moreover, the entrepreneurs were given stands in order to showcase their startups’ products and services outside the main hall.
Qatar Development Bank CEO and QBIC Chairman Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa commented on this occasion saying: “After almost three years of success we are thrilled to be hosting the eighth edition of Demo Day. We are capitalizing on this opportunity not only to announce the incubatees who successfully completed the eighth wave of our renowned LeanStartup Program, but also to celebrate and showcase the success of our existing entrepreneurs.”
Al Khalifa added: “With the number of our incubated startups rapidly increasing, I can confidently say 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 more particularly SMEs in Qatar; and through that we’re aligning ourselves with Qatar’s wider national vision.”
Aysha Al Mudahka, QBIC CEO said: “At QBIC we strive to continue providing our entrepreneurs with opportunities that will help them grow, which is why we utilize QBIC Demo Days to constantly introduce new activities and events. This Demo Day we introduced the QBIC Alumni Network as well as a Mix and Match networking session and an Investors Pitch session. I’m hopeful that a very fruitful year is on the horizon for QBIC, and I can definitely say that we are well on our way to establishing the next QAR 100 million companies in Qatar.”
Khalid Majed Al Naemi, AGM SME Banking Group Corporate and Institutional Banking at QNB said: “QNB Group is pleased to sponsor this important event. As the largest bank in Qatar and the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa, our Group is always keen to support the creative ideas of our upcoming Qatari business men and women. Through this sponsorship, our Group aims to empower and support our national entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprise owners, who are contributing to the development of our national economy and building a brighter future for us all.”
Incubated companies will be expected to complete a three-month probation period, where they will be setting milestones that ensure the idea fulfils QBIC’s requirements to undergo a successful launch. They will then activate their startups and introduce their products and services to the local market while continuing to develop within QBIC for two years.