By Danny Ramadan, Investment Director, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP)


Over 15,000 tech enthusiasts, innovators, and leaders from 118 countries came together for the regional debut of the world’s largest tech conference – Web Summit – in Qatar recently. With more than 1000 startups joining the prestigious event, organizers say this was the biggest-ever participation of emerging businesses in a first-year edition of the summit. These impressive numbers reflect more than just global interest in Qatar’s thriving tech scene, but speak to the country’s strenuous efforts, over the years, in becoming an epicenter of technology advancement in the region.

Hosting Web Summit Qatar 2024 has further confirmed Qatar’s commitment to strengthening the region’s connection with the international tech community. While the event has unlocked a myriad of benefits for participants, it has provided a phenomenal platform for local and regional founders to see the value that Qatar can bring to their businesses. Having the opportunity to engage with key enablers in Qatar’s technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem has meant that regional businesses are now better informed about investors on the ground and have been able to establish connections with potential customers who are passionate about being part of their growth process.

Moreover, the landmark event has brought to the fore the vibrancy of the technology and innovation landscape in Qatar – not just in terms of tech talent – but also the availability of diverse offerings including its array of startup acceleration, incubation, funding, and mentorship programs. For businesses looking to expand into the region, these facilities offer unparalleled support and insights that can crucially help lay a strong foundation for their future development and success in the region.

Of course, entering a new market comes with its own set of challenges, but local entities have aimed to mitigate these – such as Invest Qatar through its all-in-one platform ‘Startup Qatar.’ Launched just ahead of the summit, the platform converges national support services for ambitious startups from all over the world to set up shop in Qatar. The initiative was showcased at Web Summit Qatar 2024, in collaboration with other prominent stakeholders in the ecosystem including Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) – a member of Qatar Foundation – that are committed to fostering tech development and innovation in Qatar.

Besides serving as a gateway to Qatar’s robust business environment, the global gathering presented unparalleled experiences to local startups to build their network, expand their skill sets, share their stories and demonstrate the impact of their solutions. Many of the startups that have been nurtured under the QSTP ecosystem – moving from ideation stage to product development and then toward looking for their very first customers and raising venture capital – were active participants in the summit. Four of these represented Qatar in the summit’s prestigious startup pitching competition – PITCH – battling it out with select startups from around the world. Notably, their impressive contribution to the event has showcased the excellence of QSTP programs in cultivating tech talent, enabling their growth and creating avenues for them to attract not just customers but also investors from the region and beyond.

In addition to boosting visibility for local and regional startups, Web Summit Qatar 2024 has demonstrated that there is demand from global founders to understand the Qatari marketplace with an interest to expand here, and also from investors to find opportunities that they would consider investing in. Particularly, as the country looks forward to hosting  the next edition of the Web Summit in February 2025, it is clear that there will be several more exciting outcomes for the ecosystem, propelling Qatar’s mission to further diversify its economy and playing a pivotal role in shaping the global future of tech and innovation.