Posted on November 14, 2017

Following the popular success of the last Startup Weekend Doha edition, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) launched a fresh edition of the program, in cooperation with Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development and Qatar University, which enjoyed the participation of 60 attendees.

Startup Weekend Doha is the Qatar-based installment of the international program that enjoys a presence across 135 countries. In Qatar, the program – organized by QDB – aims to encourage Qatari youth to partake in a series of discussions, shortlist promising business ideas and subsequently develop working models all the way until they reach a basic prototype level. Throughout this process, an experienced team of area specialists from partnered organizations, Bedaya Center and Qatar University, supports each participating group of students.

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At the end of the 2-day program, each partaking group presents their ideas before a panel of judges, who select three winning teams based on both the creativity and innovation of their entrepreneurial concept as well as the viability of their proposed project’s development. This competitive format allows the program attendees to enhance their technical knowledge of business planning and contributes to growth of homegrown innovative ideas that are well-suited to the local market.

Speaking to the importance laid on promoting a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship by QDB, Executive Director for Advisory Services, Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Mannai said: "Our organization of yet another exciting edition of the Startup Weekend Doha program underscores QDB's commitment to progressively advancing the society through inculcating a culture of education, innovation and research. QDB firmly supports a hands-on learning approach where students may merge both practical and theoretical aspects of their knowledge and raise their scales of productivity and competitiveness.

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“Importantly, the program serves to complement the ongoing efforts of the State of Qatar and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) to engage the youth and equip young leaders with the skill-sets requisite to build a contemporary, self-sustainable society.” During the latest edition of Startup Weekend Doha competition, Team “Hey Panda” secured first place for the development of a business plan that aimed to simplify internet searches on Google; Team “Archifolio” came second for the development of a business plan that improved access to architecture and construction designs for Qatari engineers; and Team “JDT System” came third and final for the development of a business plan that facilitated the passage of bags at airports.

The awards, comprising a range of encyclopedic volumes and reference books on entrepreneurship, innovation and business creativity, were gifted to the winners at the conclusion of the final presentation ceremony. Notably, Startup Weekend Doha with Qatar University comes against the backdrop of the recently concluded edition of the same program with Hamad bin Khalifa University in early October.