As many as 30 teams presented their business ideas during ‘Startup Expo’ on the eighth day of the Arab Innovation Academy (AIA 2020), which is on its third edition and runs until January 20.

This year, 190 students were accepted to participate in AIA 2020.

Since day one, the participants were grouped into 30 teams, which are undergoing a unique accelerated mode of experiential learning to help them turn an idea into a startup in only 10 days.

The programme exposes participants to real-life experiences and experiments on how to develop and launch new tech ventures, in a real marketplace with real customer feedback.

During ‘Startup Expo’, the participants had the opportunity to exhibit and showcase the progress of their work since day one of AIA 2020 before their peers; each team were given stations where they explained and presented their startups to visitors.

In the past seven days, the students worked with their respective mentors, who offered advice and direction; they also attended different lectures every day.

Over the course of each day, the mentors would visit the teams to observe the progress of their work and give them additional advice to fine tune their ideas.

The participants also had the opportunity to attend clinics and listen to speakers and experts who discussed different topics like marketing, building intellectual property, and finance, among others, making it easy for them to build their business plans and the overall direction of their startups.

AIA 2020 gathered more than 40 mentors and coaches, with some coming from the US, the UK, European Union, and Singapore, in addition to the regional and local mentors.

Of the 30 groups participating in ‘Startup Expo’, 10 teams and a ‘wild card’ will qualify for the finals, which will be held on January 20.

The AIA is the first and the largest entrepreneurship programme in the pan-Arab region.

It was first brought to Qatar and the Middle East in 2018 through collaboration between Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and the European Innovation Academy (EIA), the world’s largest extreme entrepreneurship programme.

The AIA provides an applicant with expert knowledge and mentorship throughout the programme, in all aspects related to ‘starting your own business’, including business development, marketing, pitching, and seeking investment.

The participants in previous editions of AIA comprise of more than 30 nationalities, including and not limited to Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, India, and Russia, as well as many other nationalities that are studying and residing in Qatar.