Following a 10-week incubation phase, eight Qatar-based startups have secured funding after pitching their ideas during Qatar Business Incubation Centre’s (QBIC) Demo Day, it was announced yesterday.
The startups were part of the sixth wave of the LeanStartup Programme (LSP) run by QBIC, which was founded by Qatar Development Bank and Social Development Centre with a goal of developing the next QAR100 million companies in Qatar.
During the 10-week LSP program, entrepreneurs tested the market viability of their products or services by talking to customers, partners and suppliers to validate their ideas, a statement said.
Each of the startups received QAR100,000 after pitching their ideas to a a panel of judges and potential investors during Demo Day.
The eight startups were selected out of 16 applicants and they will be joining 52 other start-ups already incubated with QBIC and undergo a three-month probation period.
Within this period, they will set milestones that meet the mixed-use incubator’s requirements. Once the three months are over, the start-ups will launch their product or service into the local market.
In his address during Demo Day, QBIC’s CEO said the incubator prides itself on facilitating the growth of entrepreneurship and the private sector in Qatar.
“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 QAR100 million companies in Qatar.”
According to QBIC, its localised LeanStartup methodology uses the Business Model Canvas approach, which does not require the traditional business plan and feasibility study. Instead, it uses a customer development process that encourages a hands-on learning experience. It also utilises Qatari startup business cases as challenging exercises, as opposed to theoretical business cases.
The winners are:
Lazy Eight: A company that offers an aerobatic experience to customers, allowing them to take part in loops, rolls and more manoeuvres in a jet, while accompanied by a trained pilot;
Tashasheel: A restaurant in a boat that gives visitors a taste of authentic Qatari food and highlights the country’s history of pearl diving;
Garçon: An app that lets people find and book restaurant reservations;
SIA: A made-to-order line of oriental and western incense that meets specific customer criteria;
Maren: A program that uses interactive games and sporting activities to help preserve the Arabic language among the youth;
Arsenal: A firm that builds 3D architecture mock-ups with various materials to help developers and interior designing firms solidify their ideas;
Techaid: A service that provides door-to-door maintenance of digital hardware and software while keeping the customer’s security intact; and
Practica: A collapsible coffee mug with a built-in heating system, targeting university students who need a quick on-the-go drink.