Developing innovative firms in Qatar’s incubators

Qatar has succeeded in providing a favourable atmosphere for the establishment of creative firms in the country through a number of incubators. In addition, Qatar’s Government Communications Office (GCO) has emphasised Qatar’s efforts to promote technological change.

There are several incubators in Qatar that promote digital transformation. As well as supporting businesses, the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) also play important roles in Qatar’s economy (QBIC).

Qatar, according to the report, has undertaken a number of programmes to encourage technical innovation. The Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) was established to promote research and technological entrepreneurship in the country.

“QSTP’s Product Development Fund has provided over QR1m to various projects since its launch in 2016. QSTP’s Tech Venture Fund provides investments ranging from QR1.8m to QR11m to support local and international startups,” it added.

QBIC, according to the GCO, assists entrepreneurs in starting or expanding their firms, QBIC offers finance and credit opportunities of up to QR4m, according to the company’s statement.

In addition, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), a division of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI), recently announced a groundbreaking new partnership with Qatar Development Bank (QDB) that aims to boost Qatar’s economy, boost RDI within the private sector, and support the nation’s start-up community. As part of the agreement, QSTP and QDB will utilise their respective incubator and accelerator projects through specialised seminars, boot camps, hackathons, and investor pitch sessions aimed at startups, entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

It was revealed earlier this month that QSTP has entered into an agreement to work together with global technology giant Microsoft to improve the working environment for startups in Qatar and help them increase their productivity.

Qatar’s venture capital (VC) ecosystem has shown resilience despite COVID-19 epidemic challenges, according to the ‘Qatar Venture Investment Report 2020’, published in July of this year. Startups in Qatar have raised QR22m in 2020, more than the QR21m raised in 2019. Since last year, Qatari startups have raised 41 per cent more money in the first half of 2021 than in the full year of 2020.

According to the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index, Qatar ranked number one in the GCC area, indicating that the country has developed an atmosphere that is friendly to entrepreneurs. “Our distinctive technology business park has become the site for global tech businesses, industry leaders and innovators to call home,” stated QSTP Executive Director Yosouf Al Salehi.

“Over the years, our acclaimed incubation and accelerator programs have helped a whole host of new and upcoming firms grow and expand. Since 2016, over 20 local companies run by more than 66 entrepreneurs have been incubated at QSTP, whilst our XLR8 program has produced over 400 graduates,” said Al Salehi.

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