Aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative tech-based ideas are invited to be part of Qatar Science & Technology Park’s latest XLR8 cycle, set to commence in January 2021. Applications for the 11th cycle of the tech innovation program officially opened on 29 November, with the deadline for final entries on 25 December.
Now in its fifth year, XLR8 is a 10-week long program offering intensive training and mentorship, enabling promising innovators to transform tech-based ideas into commercially viable businesses. As with the program’s last cycle, which was held earlier in the autumn, all workshops and the final Demo Day will take place virtually, due to the various restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since XLR8’s inception in 2015, no less than 26 startups have been launched. Some 157 teams have participated in the program – 380 people in total. Having secured further investment, six startups are now growing beyond Qatar: Meddy, Stellic, MaktApp, Bonocle, WakeCap and EasyBroadcast. A thriving network of 30 experienced mentors is now part of the XLR8 program.
Earlier this month, three winners were selected from the 10th cycle of the program. Karty, a pre-paid bankcard that can be topped up using a debit or credit card, and which features an app to monitor purchases and help with budget management, took first place. Runner-up was Lease The Look, an online dress and accessories rental platform that enables selling, renting, and purchasing on the web, allowing women to rent a dress less expensively than otherwise possible and stay fashionable in an environmentally sustainable manner. Third spot went to Sahatech, an app which provides products and services for employee wellness via programs related to health risk assessment, mental health support, weight loss, and sleep patterns.
QSTP is part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI) division which is leading the charge across the fields of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), energy, environment, and healthcare, in bringing new technologies, products, and services to the marketplace for national benefit and global impact.
The XLR8 program is open for teams of up to five members, all of whom must be resident in Qatar. Over the course of the program, entrants will come up with tech-based ideas which, through the program’s intensive workshops and hands-on mentorship, will help transform those ideas into minimum viable products/prototypes. Participants will also need to demonstrate commitment towards developing an entrepreneurial venture, highlighting their passion for tech development and innovation, and critical thinking. XLR8 is not open to existing private companies.
For more information about QSTP XLR8 or to apply for cycle 11, visit https://qstp.org.qa/xlr8/