QBIC incubates 52 start-ups in two years

 24 May 2016 - 0:00

QBIC incubates 52 start-ups in two years
Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa (centre), Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Development Bank, and Chairman of QBIC, Aysha Al Mudahka, and other officials at the Demo Day Special Edition celebrating two years of success at the QNCC yesterday. Pic: Baher A/The Peninsula


By Mohammad Shoeb

DOHA: Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC), a joint initiative of Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Social Development Centre (SDC), has successfully incubated and supported over 52 startups within two years since its inception, and is committed to play a proactive role in developing the local private sector and SMEs in Qatar to diversify the economy.
This was announced by Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO, QDB, who is also the Chairman of QBIC, yesterday at its sixth wave of LeanStartup winners, marking their two-year success in a celebratory, special edition Demo Day.
In addition to highlighting some of the QBIC entrepreneurs’ most prominent success stories, 16 startups pitched to a panel of judges, investors and key partners yesterday at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). Under the sponsorship of QNB for the third consecutive time QBIC incubated eight startups, two of which will be incubated under the specialised QBIC Tourism incubator.
Demo Day marks the end of the 10-week LeanStartup Programme, giving successful entrepreneurs a chance to be further supported and incubated at QBIC.
The event witnessed business ideas varying from tourism to technology, IT, fashion and education from competing entrepreneurs. Specialised incubator, QBIC Tourism, which was established in partnership with QTA, officially launched in January this year, continues to offer entrepreneurs with tourism-related business ideas specialised support to develop products and services that enhance the Qatar tourism experience, by providing them with unique business development tools and access to insight and guidance from QTA decision-makers.
Al Khalifa said: “We’re pleased for not only announcing brand new incubatees who successfully completed our renowned LeanStartup Programme, but for being able to share the success of our existing entrepreneurs in this special celebration of Demo Day.”
He added: “QBIC’s pivotal and encompassing role proves that it is greater than a center that provides specialised incubation services; QBIC stands as an educational platform, actively involved in enlightening entrepreneur’s in Qatar by hosting regular Speaker Series sessions, open days, trade fairs, and common purpose programs, aligning itself with Qatar’s wider national development.”
The celebratory event offered a space to existing QBIC startups in an effort to maximise their exposure and network opportunities. Emerging companies showcased their products and services in a trade fair to visitors and passers-by. It also gave the podium to some of the most successful, existing entrepreneurs who shared their personal experiences and entrepreneurial journeys with the audience.
Aysha Al Mudahka, QBIC CEO, said: “It’s an overwhelming feeling to witness the successes achieved by QBIC startups throughout the two short years since our first Demo Day commenced. We’re thrilled and proud to be expanding as a leading entrepreneurial hub in Qatar and the region, responsible for the growth and development of the private sector. We anticipate that soon, entrepreneurship will be comfortably viewed as a legitimate career-choice amongst many Qataris of all ages, bringing us one step closer to achieving our mission of developing the next QR100m companies in Qatar.”
Khalid Majed Al Naemi , AGM SME Banking Group Corporate and Institutional Banking at QNB said: “We’re always pleased to be the official sponsors of QBIC’s Demo Days; after our participation in three consecutive Demo Days, it’s not surprising to see the range of ideas evolve to better serve our local economy.”

The Peninsula