Startup Weekend Doha, a QDB initiative that actively encourages Qatar’s youth to develop an interest in entrepreneurial pursuits, was also earlier held in April this year at Qatar University.
The latest edition at HBKU saw the active involvement of 40 participants from across Qatar. Spanning a period of three days, it is designed as a platform through which participants discuss, share and develop their business ideas, hence building a knowledge-based society in Qatar.
Participants formed teams, attended brainstorming sessions to help them shortlist a selection of ideas and developed their concepts into workable business models. In their endeavour to build the basis for a feasible project, participants were supported by a team of appointed specialists who discussed the projects with their respective owners to prepare the participants for their final presentations.
The teams delivered their final presentations in front of a panel of judges consisting of four representatives, each representing one of the collaborating partners: QDB, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), INJAZ Qatar and HBKU. Finalist teams were qualified on the basis of their idea’s creativity and innovation, as well as the viability of their proposed project’s development.
QDB head of learning Saoud Abdullah Al Mannai said: “QDB believes in the importance of capacity and potential development as the basis for growing the private sector. Our cooperation with HBKU helped combine practical and academic expertise to assess the quality and feasibility of the projects developed during the weekend.”
Director of the Career Development Centre – Student Affairs, HBKU, Adam Al Saadi said: “It is important that we at HBKU build connections with well-reputed organisations such as QDB that are working to enhance the human capacity of the nation.” Team Ahlan Gifts secured first place; Team Karage came second and Team Wain came third.
QDB executive director of advisory services, Hamad Khamis Al Kubaisi, said: “QDB considers inculcating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst the Qatari youth and future generations as part of its mission. Our programme with HBKU is a component of our larger strategy to encourage economic diversification and encourage a spirit of competitiveness in the private sector.”
The competition concluded with an awards ceremony, where Al Kubaisi distributed prizes to the winning teams. Startup Weekend Doha rewarded the top three teams with cash prizes of QR 25,000 for finalists completing in first place, QR 15,000 for second and QR 5,000 for third.