The fourth edition of the Arab Innovation Academy (AIA) is set to take place over a 12-week period during the Fall semester of 2021.

In light of the health and safety restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this edition will be held virtually from 31 August to 23 November. Applications are open until 12 May.

Extensive programme 

AIA is the first and the most extensive entrepreneurship programme in the pan-Arab region and aims to provide aspiring university students and young entrepreneurs with the authentic experience of developing and launching new tech ventures under the guidance of leading global tech start-up mentors.

Additionally, the programme is now officially accredited by Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU). This means that participants who are students of HBKU or are cross-registered at HBKU are eligible to gain credit once they complete both the AIA and the HBKU requirements.

Regular participants will receive a certificate of completion from the AIA. For students enrolled or cross-registered at HBKU should follow the HBKU course registration deadline for the Fall semester, while the rest of the applicants should apply to AIA 2021 before 12 May.

Last year saw Salamtak, the company that developed an online system for the management of chronic diseases, won first place. While, another company Hamza, took the runner-up spot for developing a Grammarly-like programme in Arabic. Third place was secured by Go Star who created a platform for parents to create gamified daily life tasks for children such as cleaning their room or feeding a pet.

Groundbreaking Accelerator programme

The AIA is a hands-on and groundbreaking accelerator programme that was brought to Qatar and the MENA region through a collaboration between Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and the European Innovation Academy (EIA).

Beginning as an exclusive 10-day start-up boot-camp, AIA took place for the first time in 2018 with more than 100 participants from Qatar and the region. The second edition, held in 2019 had more than 160 participants, while last year’s third edition saw almost 200 young entrepreneurs from over 10 countries in the region taking part, demonstrating its rapid growth and popularity.

QSTP Innovation Director Hayfa Al Abdulla said that everyone at QSTP is very much looking forward to the fourth edition of AIA. He said that the fantastic, innovative ideas that have been brought to them in the past three editions clearly show that talented entrepreneurs are in great abundance in Qatar, as well as across the MENA region.

We are eager to welcome all aspiring innovators who would like to take part in this year’s programme and are pleased to announce that applications are now open.

QSTP believes that the virtual setting for the latest edition of the programme will not detract from the many benefits it will bring to all participants. Although the ever-popular in-person networking will be unavailable, participants will have a rich, immersive experience that will prove to be beneficial to future plans and aspirations.

Expert support and guidance will be available throughout the programme, aiding participants every step of the way.

For more information about the programme and to apply, visit

Check out Marhaba’s FREE e-Guides for everything you need to know about Qatar.