Ooredoo and Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) today announced a partnership that will launch ‘Digital and Beyond’ incubator within QBIC’s premises to encourage the creation of a new range of start-ups and technology-focused businesses, as well as a national contest for new start-up ideas.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ooredoo Qatar HE Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani said “Ooredoo is making every effort to ensure that Qatar achieves its vision of being a truly smart society, driven by innovation and the ambitions of our younger generation. We believe that the ‘Digital and Beyond’ incubator within QBIC could play a central role for Qatar, creating our own ‘Silicon Valley’ of start-ups and developers, and enabling young Qataris to propel their ideas for new businesses to a global audience” ‘Digital and Beyond’ incubator is a new area of innovation within the QBIC with the aim of supporting the selected companies, Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al-Thani said noting that Ooredoo through this partnership will contribute with QBIC by providing the necessary support for creative youth.
He pointed out that Ooredoo is currently constructing the infrastructure that will make the next generation of digital companies possible and that includes the development of its own communications network. Ooredoo is working on bringing smart innovations to Qatar to enrich the lives of members of the community.
“Ooredoo has helped to drive innovation and development in Qatar throughout its history, and in recent years – because of the power and versatility of the Ooredoo Supernet and Ooredoo’s support for a range of dynamic smart services – we have played a key role in the growth of knowledge-based enterprises and new start-ups.” said Chief Operating Officer, Ooredoo Qatar Waleed Al Sayed.
He pointed that through the partnership, Ooredoo will form a committee to evaluate and select “disruptive ideas” in the digital space, and provide seed-funding for the aspiring entrepreneurs. The first wave of ideas to be assessed will include innovative digital ideas focusing on customer experience, healthcare, education, sport, smart living and other areas.
In addition, Ooredoo will manage a 251 square metre space within QBIC, that will provide a modern working space for these start-up entrepreneurs, called Digital and Beyond, he added.
Following the signing of the partnership agreement, Ooredoo and QBIC formally launched the first open competition for young entrepreneurs.
Young people with a creative idea for a new digital product or service can submit their concepts via a special page on the QBIC website or through a link to that page on the Ooredoo website. Selected ideas will receive the support of mentors and business experts, and also access to testing and trialling infrastructure, before the winning entries move on to full incubation at the “Digital and Beyond” zone.
Qatar Development Bank (QDB) CEO and QBIC Chairman Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa said “QBIC and QDB are committed to developing the SME sector in Qatar, and by supporting technology-focused businesses, we will play a major role in offering employment, enrichment and development opportunities for young people.” “With the support of Ooredoo, we will be able to offer the kind of environment that enables start-ups to grow and flourish, and transform digital ideas into international business opportunities,” he said adding that in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 to build a knowledge-based economy, the “Digital and Beyond” incubator will empower young people to start and grow a diverse range of companies.
Al Khalifa pointed that the incubator will include three zones designed specifically for start-ups: a community zone for relaxation and regeneration; a collaboration zone to encourage communication and teamwork; and private zones for meetings and innovative thinking.
QBIC is dedicated to the empowerment and support of committed entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses, and offers incubatees the support services and coaching they need to succeed. The “Digital and Beyond” incubator will add innovation and industry insight to the efforts of young entrepreneurs looking to turn start-up ideas into viable business models, Al Khalifa explained.
For QBIC and QDB, the partnership is one of several new ventures with leading industry leaders, as part of a plan to create various sector-specific incubators at QBIC. By doing so, QBIC is constantly playing an active role in developing the entrepreneurial scene in Qatar. Both QBIC and Ooredoo’s successful work in entrepreneurship and technology will create an arena where innovation and knowledge sharing will create a new line of start-ups in Qatar.
Both parties will collaborate to support a number of potential start-ups in QBIC’s LeanStartup Program. In addition, the partnership will include coaching, mentorship and a wide range of support services. QBIC will also provide connections to its key partners and affiliates, such as Qatar Development Bank and the Social Development Center, for financing support.
“We’re pleased to witness how our flagship Program, the LeanStartup Program, is being introduced with a more specialised focus as the number of new entrants increases. As QBIC is expanding into more sector-specific incubators, at the “Digital and Beyond” incubator we’re now looking for entrepreneurs with tech-savvy ideas, and innovative approaches to the ever-evolving digital world.” said Aysha Al Mudahka, QBIC CEO.
Following the signing of the partnership agreement, Ooredoo and QBIC formally launched the first open competition for young entrepreneurs, she added.
She pointed that QBIC, founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and the Social Development Center (SDC) is a leading mixed-use business incubator in the Middle East, with a mission to develop the next QAR 100 million value companies in Qatar.
Ooredoo is is Qatar’s leading communications company, delivering mobile, fixed, broadband internet and corporate managed services tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses. As a community-focused company, Ooredoo is guided by its vision of enriching people’s lives and its belief that it can stimulate human growth by leveraging communications to help people achieve their full potential.
Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) is one of the largest specialized mixed-use business incubators in the MENA region. QBIC empowers committed entrepreneurs to start and grow companies by incubating, developing, connecting and investing, and QBIC is dedicated to the long-term success of entrepreneurs.
QBIC is founded by two of the leading entrepreneurship institutes in Qatar: Qatar Development Bank (QDB), and the Social Development Center (SDC). With a mission to develop the next QAR 100 million companies in Qatar, QBIC is working to unify efforts with key entities in Qatar to develop SMEs and enhance the private sector.
Source: Qatar news agency