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Budding Techpreneurs Pitch New Start Up Ideas at QSTP Demo Day

QSTP XLR8 programme

Thirteen aspiring startups were given an opportunity to pitch their ideas to members of the local tech community during Demo Day of the 7th cycle of Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) XLR8 programme, held recently at QSTP.

The flagship two-month accelerator programme at QSTP – part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI) – offers training and mentorship to participants, to help them bridge the gap between creation and commercialisation , to successfully develop their products into a market viable solution.

QSTP Demo Day

On Demo Day, graduating teams presented their ideas to an audience of seasoned technology professionals, investors, and industry experts. The event is designed to give XLR8 participants hands-on experience of pitching their start up ideas in order to attract potential investors and launch their startups.

Welcoming participants and members of the local tech community, QSTP Executive Director Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, said that three years ago, they began the programme to inspire and cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship in Qatar. He said that they envisioned the programme to have significant impact not only on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Qatar, but across the region.

XLR8, among many other QSTP initiatives, is a testament to the confidence we have in our local talent. I am very proud to say that graduates of the XLR8 programme are already attracting significant investment, as they expand their start ups into the international market.’

This year’s cohort included 13 teams that were shortlisted to join XLR8 after a highly-competitive selection process by QSTP.

During the two-month programme, participating teams received guidance from mentors who specialise in the commercialisation of tech-based innovations, and have years of real-life, hands-on experience in what it takes to launch and grow tech-based start ups.

Baha Malaeb, a member of the team who developed R F Que, a B2B e-commerce app that helps businesses connect with suppliers, said that the XLR8 programme really helped in developing their idea.

The concept of ‘Demo Day’ is interesting, because, while it’s the last day of the XLR8 programme, it’s also the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey. The steps Qatar is taking to nurture an entrepreneurial ecosystem are impressive and I am thankful for its support, especially to the younger generation.

After the pitching sessions, local tech community members were able to network with fellow attendees and visit the display booths of the graduating teams.

Since its inception in 2015, over 300 participants have graduated from the XLR8 programme and has helped launch 19 startups, two of which have secured follow-on investment and are operating in both the regional and global markets. Through the programme, QSTP contributes to Qatar’s journey towards a more sustainable and diversified economy, in line with the broader vision of Qatar Foundation.

For more information on QSTP programmes and events, visit their website at qstp.org.qa. 

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