Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) launched the second edition of their Arab Innovation Academy (AIA) this week, bringing together over 160 aspiring ‘techpreneurs’ from Qatar, MENA along with representatives from India and Russia – the most recent Year of Culture partner countries, an exchange programme that aims to promote Qatar to an international audience.

In addition to having over 80 students from Qatar representing 26 different countries, AIA delegates and participants hail from numerous other countries including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Oman, and Yemen.

AIA, the first and largest entrepreneurship programme of its kind in the region, is a strategic and exclusive partnership powered by QSTP and the European Innovation Academy (EIA), the world’s largest extreme entrepreneurship programme. This unique programme is aimed at equipping entrepreneurs in the Arab region and the global community with the skillset to build their start-up in just ten days. During the AIA, participants are introduced to an accelerated mode of experiential learning, including how to develop and launch new tech ventures in a real marketplace, with genuine customer feedback.

The opening of AIA was attended by QSTP Executive Director Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh and EIA President Alar Kolk.

According to Saleh,  the initiatives they have taken and the projects they are engaged in revolve around their commitment to the process of research, development, and innovation. With leading programmes like AIA, he said that they encourage talented youths to take the next step and propel their ideas to the stage of practical implementation.

We aim to develop an innovative mind-set among our talented youth to nurture an unprecedented and competitive environment in the MENA region. More importantly, we believe that investment in our region’s talent pool is the key to achieving long-term economic sustainability and prosperity.’

As part of this hands-on and groundbreaking initiative, participants will be introduced to cutting-edge methods and tools related to the entrepreneurship journey, from team formation and ideation to pitching venture capitalists and angel investors, tactics that are accredited by leading global universities, and endorsed by QSTP, Google and Amadeus.

AIA also offers participants access to an extensive global network of prominent experts, mentors, and speakers from premiere organisations in the fields of tech entrepreneurship and innovation.

The first edition of AIA accepted over 100 participants from 11 countries to come together and develop their techpreneurial ideas. This year, AIA selected more than 160 participants from a pool of over 900 applicants, to learn from 25 speakers and 37 mentors and investors, all representing 30 different nationalities, for its second edition in Doha.

The first day of the AIA saw alumni from the previous edition share their valuable experiences with the 2019 cohort in a moderated panel discussion. The budding entrepreneurs will also benefit from sessions offered by speakers from Silicon Valley and the University of California in Berkeley, all with the intention of driving the collective entrepreneurial sparks of the young participants.

Check out this link for more information about the Arab Innovation Academy.