Some of Qatar’s most promising entrepreneurs took to the stage last week at Qatar Science & Technology Park’s first ever Demo Day, marking the completion of an intense three-month Accelerator Programme’s to prepare them for launching their ideas to market.
Hosted by local start-up experts Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), graduates of the Accelerator Programme were given their first taste of business as they presented to local investors and mentors at a unique evening designed to showcase the inventions they have developed.
The graduates are the first cohort to pass through QSTP’s unique incubator process designed to nurture and coach local entrepreneurs to develop their inventions to a level where they can successfully present their prototypes and strategies to commercialise them to potential angel investors.
QSTP is Qatar’s primary accelerator and incubator for technology-based start-ups, and supports QF R&D by fostering new talent in an environment designed specifically to accelerate their route to market in a bid to truly nurture and support innovation and entrepreneurship in Qatar. The creation of this regular biannual programme further demonstrates QSTP’s dedication and commitment to supporting the industry leaders of tomorrow.
Opening the event, Mr Hamad Al Kuwari, Managing Director of QSTP, said: “QSTP is a state-of-the-art cluster designed to bring key players within the technology innovation ecosystem under one roof, but our mission is much bigger than this. We strive to inspire and nurture a culture of innovation in the country and the region. I believe the region thrives on local talent who can, with the right support, secure a spot for Qatar and the region on the world’s map of knowledge economies.”
“I want to congratulate all of our graduates for their hard work and achievements so far and I look forward to tracking their on-going success. Each of our Accelerator programmes will conclude in a Demo Day like this, to further facilitate matchmaking and introductions between innovators and potential angel investors.”
One entrepreneur presenting at the Demo Day was Mohammed Mansour Al-Sharshani, part of the team behind an advanced bimolecular kit that can assess the severity of cancer replacing the less precise positive or negative outcome of current market models. He said; “Being part of the QSTP Accelerator Programme has allowed us to develop our business plan and create a proposal that we can now take to potential investors. It really is a unique platform that has given us valuable experience, insights and contacts in the industry.”
Another successful graduate was David Limmer, a team member of TurbAero, inventers of a new light aircraft engine, who said; “The QSTP Accelerator Programme offered us a tremendous opportunity to develop our business skills, prototype our design and provide the opportunity to present our product to potential investors. The programme itself has been extremely educational. QSTP staff members have been very helpful and supportive, and I feel very fortunate to have been part of this valuable program me.”
Other ideas presented to the investors were education-enhancing video games, space saving power storage, an application for equestrian endurance racing and a solution for diabetic monitoring.
QSTP focuses on supporting innovation and entrepreneurship through four key themes: Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information & Communication Technologies.