Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) – part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI) – announced the launch of ELV8 today. It is an exciting new business accelerator program that aims to help Qatar-based tech startups expand into international markets. Applications for the program will be open from 19 September to 16 October 2021.
The first and only program of its kind in Qatar, ELV8 will be delivered by QSTP in partnership with the globally-renowned Plug and Play, the world’s largest innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, and investors, which is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California.
ELV8 is designed for registered tech-based startups that are located in Qatar that have an existing product or service. Applicants will have demonstrated significant growth in their customer/user base and have a defined strategy for moving into international markets with clear potential to scale globally. The program is available to startups that have previously secured funding from investors and are preparing to raise, or have already closed, their Series A round.
After a thorough screening of all applications, a total of 10 startups will be shortlisted for the program. QSTP will conduct a comprehensive evaluation process to assess the business strategy and growth potential of these shortlisted startups. Two startups will then be selected for incubation at a Plug and Play location in one of the 35 cities worldwide across five continents. The exact venue for each placement will be determined by the vertical industry in which the individual startup operates and the specialty of each Plug and Play office.
QSTP’s Tech Venture Fund (TVF) will invest in the two chosen startups, with each one receiving investment to support their expansion abroad. A group of team members will relocate, with the business maintaining its HQ in Qatar. The first three months of the program will be dedicated to mentoring the startups for international business growth whilst the remaining nine months will focus on taking their offering to international markets and increasing their customer base.
Beginning 31 October 2021, ELV8 will be a year-long program which will further strengthens QSTP’s comprehensive value chain of innovation and entrepreneurship-based activities. A natural progression of existing QSTP initiatives such as the highly successful XLR8 program, ELV8 provides intensive mentoring and business support for existing tech-based startups – including those that are already incubated by or work with QSTP. Participating businesses will rapidly grow and establish themselves in international markets via an overseas placement, as well as a range of networking opportunities with international startups and investors.
Announcing the new program, said: “ELV8 is another strong addition to QSTP’s impressive portfolio and continues to strengthen its position as the go-to place for Qatar-based startups who want to make an impact in the competitive world of technology development and innovation. I highly encourage tech entrepreneurs in Qatar to apply and take advantage of this unique opportunity. As the next generation of leaders in technology, they will be playing a pivotal role in taking Qatar’s innovation to the international stage, while contributing robustly to the diversification of the country’s economy and enriching the local RDI ecosystem through knowledge exchange and local capacity building.”
For more details on the ELV8 program and to apply, visit: https://qstp.incubatorportal.com/apply/elv8