Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), is now welcoming applications to the eighth cycle of XLR8 – QSTP’s flagship accelerator programme, which mentors aspiring entrepreneurs, and supports the commercialisation of their technology-based inventions.

Since its inception, the intensive 10-week pre-startup programme has attracted 100 teams, and equipped over 300 ambitious entrepreneurs with the skills, tools, and mentorship to transform their tech-based ideas into validated prototypes. The programme has also attracted significant investor interest for the launch of startups.

The results have been astounding with 20 startups emerging out of XLR8 so far, out of which, several have succeeded in expanding their businesses beyond Qatar.

Each cycle of the programme brings together 15 teams, who receive guidance from a large network of mentors with real-life, hands-on experience of what it takes to bring an idea to the market. At the end of the program, all teams pitch their ideas to a live audience of seasoned technology professionals, investors, and industry experts at the signature Demo Day – an event designed to give the XLR8 participants hands-on experience of pitching their ideas in order to attract investors and launch their startups.

Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director, QSTP, said, “The XLR8 programme is propelling a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, who are contributing to advancing our ultimate goal of promoting new high-tech products and services, and supporting the commercialisation of market-ready technologies.

“We are proud of the outcomes so far, particularly since a number of our alumni have managed to expand their businesses beyond Qatar, and we look forward to helping a new generation of innovators succeed.”

The XLR8 programme, which is a key element of QSTP’s mission to create a dynamic tech innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Qatar, features three modules. The first ‘Product-Market Fit’ module helps participants identify their target market, design a rough prototype, and solicit feedback to revise the prototype as needed. The second, ‘Customer Traction’, module enables entrepreneurs to assess whether the market is large enough to sustain a startup, and create early customer traction.

The third and final module, ‘Talking to Investors,’ empowers entrepreneurs to attract early stage investors as well as additional investments moving forward, to grow their startups.