Posted on March 14, 2017

Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Nama, successfully kicked off its eighth wave of the LeanStartup Program (LSP), with a Speaker Series session presented by Ibrahim Manna, GM Emerging Markets at Careem. The session is titled “How to grow from a startup to a multinational billion-dollar company by taking on one of the biggest competitors in the market.”

Building on its successful flagship program, the center continues to take on promising entrepreneurs of all ages with innovative ideas, to provide them with the coaching and support needed to establish a startup. By organizing a Speaker Series session and inviting regional and successful entrepreneurial experts, QBIC hopes to encourage the new entrepreneurs to refine their business ideas, overcome their obstacles and fully dedicate themselves to their startups as they take their first steps towards turning their ideas into reality.

Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Qatar Development Bank CEO and QBIC Chairman said: “Supporting and investing in SME’s has always been our most vital objective. SME’s are the core of a diversified and flourishing economy. We continue witnessing different ideas that have the potential to highly contribute to the development of the local economy, and this is why we’re pleased to continue kicking off our flagship program twice a year.” He added: “I can confidently say that we are well on our way to achieving our mission of developing the next QAR 100 million companies in Qatar, and it is only by unification that we can promptly and efficiently move towards a knowledge based economy.

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This wave of the LSP contains business ideas in the fields of marketing, F&B, fashion, sports, industrial, cultural, ICT, trading, health and education. Additionally, startup ideas in the field of tourism will fall under the QBIC Tourism specialized incubator, guided by Qatar Tourism Authority, whereas ideas in the area of technology will belong to the Digital and Beyond specialized incubator, powered by Ooredoo. Throughout the 10-week program, entrepreneurs will work on developing their ideas and building prototypes in preparation for Demo Day using the Business Model Canvas as part of the ‘lean’ methodology.

In addition, QBIC has always invested in the individual development of its entrepreneurs by offering seasonal Speaker Series sessions with renowned professionals and high profile entrepreneurs such as Chris Free, Uber’s GM for Qatar and the UAE; Rabea Ataya,’s CEO and Founder; Elmar Mock, co-inventor of SWATCH; Simon Casson, VP and Regional GM at Four Seasons and now Ibrahim Manna, GM Emerging Markets at Careem. The Speaker Series sessions bridge the gap between budding entrepreneurs, and successful professionals with valuable experience and knowledge on overcoming the challenging road to successful entrepreneurship. Visiting speakers also provide one-on-one coaching sessions for QBIC’s incubatees, and depending on their business field, provide them with specialized advice. 

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Aysha Al Mudahka, QBIC CEO said: “The Speaker Series is one of our most highly anticipated activities of the season, and we’re delighted to say that we have an exciting year ahead of us with plenty of globally recognized and influential speakers taking part in numerous future sessions.” She continued: “Kicking off the 8th wave of our LeanStartup Program with a Speaker Series session by a globally recognized and influential speaker and entrepreneur is the perfect way to inspire and send off our aspiring entrepreneurs on their 10-week journey. We’re thrilled to be hosting Mr. Ibrahim Manna and are eager to see what ideas the new batch of ambitious entrepreneurs will bring to the table.”

The entrepreneurs will be pitching their refined business ideas to a judging panel and potential investors during the Demo Day event marking the end of the program, which will take place on May 20, 2017.