QSTP-funded startup credits Tech Venture Fund program, drive to creating an ed-tech hub in Qatar
In 2015, the three co-founders of OBRIZUM, a cloud-based adaptive e-Learning platform, were working in deep technologies such as stem cells, biophysics, and genetic engineering as Ph.D students and fellows at the University of Cambridge. By working together as technology professionals and data scientists, the co-founders witnessed a shift in how people use knowledge and collect information.
OBRIZUM is a WISE Accelerator alumni and awardee of the Tech Venture Fund (TVF) from Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation, Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI).
WISE EdTech Accelerator Manager, Victoria Basma said: “The WISE Edtech Accelerator has aimed to support innovation building within education, focusing on technology that is able to help evolve the way we teach and learn. A key partner for the WISE Edtech Accelerator has therefore been QSTP’s Tech Venture Fund, not just as potential funders, but more importantly as local stakeholders who, alongside WISE, are able to drive Qatar toward becoming the region’s first edtech hub. First as an alumni member of our 2017 Edtech Accelerator and now as active contributors to our program, we are so pleased to have the OBRIZUM team as knowledge partners and members of our global edtech network”.
For OBRIZUM, the education industry is a sector that has remained largely undisrupted for so long, and in which there is plenty of room to add value through smart inventions and technology which make learning more engaging, effective, efficient, and enjoyable. EdTech and advanced learning technologies can provide new ways of engaging with the ever-increasing body of global knowledge, and the pandemic has only catalyzed this digital revolution and a surge in demand for online learning.
To address this problem, the co-founders started a knowledge brokerage service which collects and curates the most trusted sources of global information on emerging tech. They then created personalized training and upskilling programs, in the form of intensive workshops, for industry and academia from all over the world. The appetite for their offering was immediate and global, but it was soon after that they realized that conventional face-to-face delivery would limit the business’ scalability. That’s when they decided to try and develop a technology to solve this issue and understood that artificial intelligence (AI) was the perfect tool for the job.
Dr. Chibeza Agley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of OBRIZUM, is a champion of the innovation ecosystem that has been established in Qatar over the past decade. “The capital raised, with support from TVF, helped OBRIZUM to form major strategic partnerships and strengthen its commercial pipeline. The investment meant the team could expand its engineering, marketing, data science, compliance, and customer success resources – talent which provided the skills and creativity that was needed to fuel growth.”
Right after the launch of OBRIZUM, demand quickly grew from sectors outside of life sciences and it was clear that the team had managed to build a technical solution that was sector agnostic and could totally revolutionize the way in which companies learn. Today, OBRIZUM works with some of the world’s largest corporate, government, and defense organizations to automate, adapt and analyze learning at scale. A pivotal moment for OBRIZUM came when it was able to secure a multi-million-pound partnership with Capita Plc, the UK’s largest learning and development outsourcing business. “The team at QSTP were instrumental in supporting the successful close of this deal, which opened up an incredible pipeline of more than 8,000 public and private sector clients. These clients are now benefiting from OBRIZUM’s digital training courses that present information for employees to read, digest and answer questions on.” said Dr. Agley.
Dr. Agley concluded: “The market is accepting of big ideas and there is a strong interest in working with cutting-edge technology in EdTech and other areas. Qatar has a world-class innovation infrastructure in place to enable technology startups to secure stable, long-term growth. Another great thing is its global reach, as so many international organizations are choosing to establish offices in Doha.”
QSTP’s TVF is a strategic venture capital fund that supports local innovative startups and attracts international ones looking to scale in the region and further afield. To apply and find out more about QSTP’s TVF please visit: https://qstp.org.qa/tech-venture-fund/
To learn more about OBRIZUM, please visit their website on: www.obrizum.com