Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), has awarded the Product Development Fund (PDF) to three companies developing tech-based solutions that address market needs in different industry segments.
QSTP presented the PDF to Jabor Al-Mesalam, founder of Autonomous Technologies LLC and project manager for developing Middle East Data Service (MEDS) technology; Noof Almahmoud, co-founder and project manager of Therappy Trading LLC for Therappy mobile applications; and Mohammed Abdulaziz Al-Delaimi, co-founder, managing director and project manager of Bro Technologies LLC for SkipCash.
PDF is a grant that promotes innovation, development, and entrepreneurship in Qatar by helping local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups take their hi-tech products and services to market. Beneficiaries of the PDF receive funding equivalent to 50 percent of the total cost of their product proposal, up to QAR 1.2 million.
MEDS is a data delivery platform that provides high quality financial and market information. It cleans information captured directly from source documents and raw market data feeds and delivers them to consumers in standardized Application User Interfaces (APIs).
Therappy is a secure online platform that gives people access to easy, affordable, and private access to psychological therapists from around the world. Users can easily book an appointment with a therapist and receive real-time counseling via text, audio, or video sessions. The app expands healthcare services by allowing people to reach out to therapists beyond their geographical location and social boundaries and get the therapy they need in the comfort and privacy of their home.
SkipCash is a mobile payment app that provides consumers and merchants with a convenient and enjoyable payment experience. Using QR codes, the app facilitates secure digital payment by eliminating the use of cash, physical cards, and Point-Of-Sale (POS) devices. Users can securely link their credit with the app, monitor their spending via visual spending reports, organize their payment receipts, and enable virtual accounts for their children and other family members. It also gives them access to vouchers and coupons from different merchants.
Aysha H. Al Hamadi, Director of Product Development and Grants Management Fund at QSTP, said: “SMEs are critical to economic development. Besides creating job opportunities and generating revenue, they also stimulate innovation, which is fundamental to national economic growth and sustainability. The Product Development Fund is one of QSTP’s key programs that fosters entrepreneurship in Qatar while supporting the commercialization of innovative technologies.”
Since its launch in 2016, PDF has awarded grants to 23 SMEs and startups engaged in the development of new products or processes that fill gaps in the local market, particularly in the energy, environment, healthcare, and ICT sectors. Beneficiaries are selected by a team of industry managers based on their commitment and the business viability of their project.