Startups under the Digital Incubation Centre (DIC) of the Ministry of Communications and Technology (MCIT) have collectively secured QR224mn worth of investments since DIC’s inception, an official has said.
Eman al-Kuwari, director of Digital Innovation Department at MCIT, made the statement at the opening of the seventh edition of ‘Idea Camp’, which was held Saturday at Alwadi Hotel Doha.
Idea Camp is a programme designed to support entrepreneurs, developers, and designers with innovative ideas that align with the direction of MCIT. The opening ceremony gathered representatives from DIC partners from state institutions and the digital entrepreneurship community in Qatar and abroad, as well as promising entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.
In her opening speech, al-Kuwari said DIC received more than 340 applications and selected 150 ideas from different business sectors. Those selected for the latest Idea Camp will undergo a six-week training and mentoring programme, which will provide the participants with the knowledge and skills required to embark on their entrepreneurial journey.
This year’s edition is based on three main themes: transportation and mobility technology, healthcare technology, and renewable energy technology, according to al-Kuwari.
She said DIC was established in 2011 to boost the active role of digital innovation and to provide integrated support to aspiring entrepreneurs during the initial and pivotal stages of establishing or expanding their digital projects.
DIC took upon itself the responsibility of promoting a thriving practical environment that nurtures ambitious talents and shapes the future of technology and business in the country. Al-Kuwari explained that since its inception, DIC has been supporting 270 startups, of which 165 companies have successfully completed their incubation journey. These incubated startups have collectively achieved more than QR224mn worth of investments, she noted.
The opening ceremony was also highlighted by a keynote speech by Dr Latifa al-Darwish and a panel discussion, which carried the topic ‘The Transformative Power of Incubation: Support and Benefits in the Startup Life Cycle’.
The panel was composed of Hadi Alshakhori, Ecosystem Developer, KSA; Mohamed Zebian, programmes manager, QSTP; Saif Qazi, founder & CEO of Urban Point; and Mohamed Hammoud, Computer Science professor at CMU & founder-CEO at Avey. The discussion was moderated by Majed Lababidi, acting CEO at Rawi Alkotob.
It is expected that 40 emerging ideas will be selected at the end of the latest Idea Camp. They will compete on the project presentation day before a specialised jury and 25 winning ideas will receive the support and guidance of DIC throughout the incubation period, including office space for two years and a package of free digital services from Oracle Cloud services, Amazon Web services, and a suite of programmes from Adobe. At the end of the programme, the most creative ideas will have the opportunity to be incubated at DIC, in addition to winning prizes totaling QR300,000. The first prize is QR150,000, QR100,000 for the second prize, and QR50,000 riyals for the third prize. Since 2011, DIC has been building a supportive environment for digital entrepreneurs that enables them to achieve their dreams and makes them active contributors to the diversification of the digital economy of the State of Qatar.
DIC, through its strategic partnerships, seeks to raise the level of digital entrepreneurship in Qatar and empower a generation of promising people with innovative ideas to harness emerging technology to overcome contemporary challenges.
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