Posted on April 17, 2020

Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) — a part of the Qatar Foundation Research, Development & Innovation — has called on local and international tech start-ups and entrepreneurs to submit their business solutions that aim to resolve or alleviate issues related to COVID-19. Business solutions relating to, but not limited to, e-health, education, and supply chain optimisation are now being sought.

The applications are open for QSTP programmes including Incubation, XLR8, MENA Dojo, Product Development Fund and Tech Venture Fund. “Based on the fulfilment of the program criteria, QSTP will be able to provide a successfully chosen business with appropriate funds and offer a dynamic ecosystem to help your start-up be deployed and scaled-up in response to the current Coronavirus crisis,” said QSTP in its newsletter.

Applicants are asked to check eligibility and benefits of each programme for guidance in Incubation is a technologyfocused program that aims to foster local tech entrepreneurship in Qatar. It is focused on accelerating the establishment and growth of promising tech start-ups through rapid incorporation in the QSTP Free Zone, collaborative co-working space, business facilitation and support services which includes access to a network of mentors, funding schemes, training and prototyping facilities. XLR8 is QSTP’s signature intensive two-month program designed to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with training and mentorship. Delivered virtually, the goal is to create a prototype and prove it has commercial potential and pitch it to potential investors, before considering launching your startup. MENA Dojo is a six-week long growth hacking and investment program that provides intensive one-on-one mentoring by an elite, international group of experienced growth hackers.

It is targeted at start-ups seeking to grow regionally and globally. The methodology focuses on key areas including customer acquisition, pitching to investors, distribution and growth hacking. The QSTP Product Development Fund (PDF) is a cost sharing fund wherein QSTP provides up to 50 percent of the total budget as grant to encourage local startups and SMEs in the private sector to develop their product and service relevant to the local market needs and in line with solutions related to COVID-19 problems. Focus should be on one of the key industry areas: Energy, Environment, Healthcare and ICT. The program aims to support the innovation within SMEs to stimulate diversification of economy in Qatar, and strengthen the startups by increasing their revenues and clients.

The QSTP Tech Venture Fund (TVF) provides an opportunity for tech founders and entrepreneurs to source seedstage capital when they are first embarking on their journey. The TVF seeks to lower one of the barriers to starting a tech firm with a keen focus on building an innovation ecosystem in Qatar. The TVF will be particularly useful for startups that can provide novel solutions to COVID-19 related problems/ areas of interest such as health, e-health, remote learning, supply chain optimization and smart cities.

source: The Peninsula