Posted on June 26, 2019

Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), is inviting technology entrepreneurs from around the world to apply for the second cycle of its Research to Startup (RTS) program, an innovative platform that enables the commercialization of scientific research findings in Qatar.

Selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to explore new market applications for technologies that have been developed by Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, a member of Qatar Foundation (QF); Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, a QF partner university; and Qatar University. The successful first cycle of RTS was launched in 2017 in partnership with Wasabi Ventures Global, attracting over 300 applicants. Wasabi Ventures Global is an international firm that specializes in co-founding, investing in, incubating, building, and advising early stage technology companies.

Through the RTS program, QSTP aims to introduce experienced entrepreneurs to high-potential technologies created in Qatar, with the objective of developing fundable startup ventures. Through the formation of new spinouts, the RTS program is helping translate research into economic opportunities and achieve impact in addressing priorities from the use of advanced technologies. In addition to being a source of wealth creation and job opportunities, spinouts are of particular benefit to researchers and their institutions, because not only do they identify promising local research, but they also offer opportunities of creating impact by translating the research findings into various forms of commercialization.

Mr. Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director, QSTP, said: “We are excited to commence a new cycle of our premier RTS program after a successful first edition. QSTP is proud of this unique initiative, which is effectively bridging the gap between research and venture creation, through a process of match-making researchers and their technologies with experienced tech entrepreneurs. “We are excited to once again offer support to these entrepreneurs in the form of seed investment to launch the next generation of tech companies in Qatar, stemming from the exceptional work being done by our highly-regarded local research community.”

Applications for the second cycle of RTS are open until September 1, and will be followed by a competitive screening process. The program will consist of three phases, commencing with a five-day bootcamp in Qatar, hosted by QSTP this October. In Phase 2, participants will spend one to three months building a business base, locally or internationally, with the goal of developing a fundable operational plan. During the final phase, startups that are selected will return to Doha to pitch their ideas to an international panel of industry experts to potentially receive an investment through QSTP’s ‘Tech Venture Fund’ (TVF). The TVF provides an opportunity for tech founders and entrepreneurs to source seed-stage capital. Using the TVF, successful teams will be able to execute their business model in QSTP’s Free Zone to accelerate their ventures.

Dr. Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President for Research, Development, and Innovation at QF, said: “The RTS program plays a vital role in helping diversify our talent pool and building local capacity to innovate. We strongly believe this program will continue to grow and further enrich Qatar’s research and innovation ecosystem, as well as contribute to the national drive toward sustainable economic development and diversification.” RTS participants will join entrepreneurs from around the world to learn more about leading, cutting-edge technologies developed here in Qatar, and explore the many unique opportunities to leverage these technologies, with the potential to scale their business models internationally.

To learn more about the second cycle of RTS or to apply, please visit https://www.qstp.org.qa/rts

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