Cycle 10 of Qatar Foundation’s flagship accelerator programme to end with a virtual event where finalists pitch ideas to investors

The culmination of the latest cycle of XLR8 for budding entrepreneurs at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation, is taking place on 18 November.

Due to the limitations caused by the pandemic, the 10th cycle of QSTP’s flagship accelerator programme is currently being delivered virtually, and will conclude with a virtual Demo Day.

More than 10 teams, including two contestants from Stars of Science, with whom QSTP has established a successful mentoring relationship – will pitch their various innovative business ideas to potential investors.

Among the teams participating in Demo Day are Lease The Look, an environmentally-friendly online dress and accessories rental platform; OneLife, which aims to bridge the existing gaps in health literacy and allow people with low levels of literacy to take charge of their personal well-being as never before; and Nav Sec, a software solution that prevents the hacking of GPS coordinates data, thereby ensuring on-time delivery of packages.

Members of Qatar’s research, development and innovation ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, students, technologists, industry experts, venture and angel investors, as well as the broader community, are invited to participate in the event by registering online at qstplive.com.

All attendees and viewers will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite team following their pitch presentations, after which the top three winners will be chosen. The event will also be livestreamed on the official Facebook page of QSTP, 5 pm to 8 pm.

XLR8: Technology Innovation Programme

Now five years old, XLR8 is a 10-week technology innovation programme offering intensive training and mentorship, enabling promising innovators to transform tech-based ideas into commercially viable businesses.

Demo Day is the platform for these participants to showcase and pitch their start-up proposals to local and global industry experts, investors and the community at large. This year, a much larger audience is expected for Demo Day, with numbers up from previous years because of the increased access offered by the event’s virtual nature to audiences outside Qatar.

QSTP Innovation Director Hayfa Al Abdulla said the lead-up to Demo Day for the XLR8 programme is always exciting, and the cycle’s culmination of months of hard work by their participating teams and their various mentors promises to be no exception.

Although the social limitations imposed upon us by COVID-19 have led to this year’s programme being run virtually, the entrants have excelled, coming up with a dazzling array of ingenious tech ideas aimed at benefiting us all.

I am looking forward to seeing their pitches and very excited to join the public in voting for their favorite teams. Good luck to all participants!

XLR8 is responsible for the launch of 26 startups to date. Of those, 14 are now incubated within QSTP, nine are incubated outside QSTP, and three have launched outside Qatar. Some 157 teams have joined the programme since inception.

Five startups are now growing beyond Qatar and have secured further investment – Meddy, Stellic, Maktapp, Bonocle, and Wakecap – and the programme already has an established network of 30 experienced mentors in fields including design, marketing, business modelling, and pitching.

QSTP is Qatar’s primary accelerator and incubator for technology development and recognised as an international hub for applied research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

For more information, visit qstp.org.qa