General Manager of Microsoft Qatar, Lana Khalaf

Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development & Innovation (QF RDI), has today announced a significant new partnership with global technology giant Microsoft that will enhance the working environment for startups in Qatar and enable them to supercharge their productivity levels.

Through the partnership, startups that are incubated at QSTP are now eligible for the acclaimed Microsoft for Startups program. The program provides cloud resources and industry mentorship needed by these businesses in their journey from idea to exit, and it offers a host of benefits tailored to the individual developmental stage of the participating company.

These benefits include the use of Microsoft’s industry leading Azure platform, which has a strong track record in helping fledgling firms thrive. Azure enables entrepreneurs to accelerate innovation and build projects through an easy-to-use portal experience that provides the cloud services they need most. Azure has strict security protocols in place while empowering its user to protect their data and mission-critical applications.

Qatar-based startups will also be granted use of the suite of Office 365 programs and software support system GitHub, as well as access to global Microsoft events including Microsoft Reactor sessions and workshops with strategic partners and industry experts.

QSTP Executive Director, Yosouf Al-Salehi

QSTP Executive Director, Yosouf Al-Salehi, said: “One of our principal objectives at QSTP is to ensure that innovative tech startups in Qatar are given the best guidance and support possible as they begin their journey towards becoming successful businesses. In addition, we remain focused on advancing applied research, technology development, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Qatar, and we view this partnership with Microsoft as being best-fit for achieving the aforementioned goals.“QSTP is proud to play an important part in transforming Qatar into the destination of choice for a broad range of technology entrepreneurs and innovators. We look forward to welcoming more startups, both from Qatar and from across the globe, who can take advantage of the world-class benefits and facilities we provide at the Park,” Al-Salehi added.

The Park & Free Zone at QSTP, with leading global corporations under its roof, has been home to Microsoft in Qatar since 2007. This partnership exemplifies the strength of QSTP’s innovation and Free Zone ecosystem, which leverages the unique advantages of its various resident companies for the benefit of Qatar’s economy and broader society.

The partnership will see QSTP and Microsoft host workshops once a month on a range of relevant topics, either virtually or in-person at QSTP. Topics will include “Advanced Analytics on Azure”, “Azure Blockchain Services”, and “Artificial Intelligence on Azure”. QSTP will also play host to experts from the Microsoft for Startups program through virtual panels or sessions to engage with the QSTP-based startup community and share their experiences and expertise.

The collaboration between QSTP and Microsoft will contribute to the ongoing development of Qatar’s startup ecosystem, in alignment with the Qatar National Vision 2030, which places emphasis on self-determined RDI, as well as the priorities outlined in the National Development Strategy.

“Startups play an important role in digitally driven economies; they disrupt and innovate by bringing new ideas to life, and Qatar has become a promising launchpad for them,” said Lana Khalaf, General Manager of Microsoft Qatar.

“We are pleased to partner with QSTP to empower startups in Qatar by offering them the technology and resources to create novel solutions and scale their business in the cloud. Working together, we believe we can provide the ideal platform for Qatar-based startups to accelerate their growth by creating business opportunities for them with our customers, removing entry barriers, and enabling them to reach regional and global markets.”