The College of Business and Economics’ Centre for Entrepreneurship and Organisational Excellence (CEOE) at Qatar University (QU) has organised a ceremony for the winners of the ‘2nd Entrepreneurship and Innovation Excellence Award for Startups’.
The event, held in collaboration with HyperThink Systems, aimed to acknowledge and encourage innovators and emerging entrepreneurs in Qatar and the region. This edition had 173 applicants both startups and entrepreneurs competing in 11 categories.
The event was held in the presence of Professor Rana Sobh, dean of the College of Business and Economics at QU; Dr Said Elbanna, director of the CEOE; and Awdesh Chetal, CEO of HyperThink Systems, along with several dignitaries from company heads and entrepreneurs in Qatar.
Khalifa al-Haroon received the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award, while Kholoud Abdullah was honoured as ‘Businesswoman of the Year’. Bonocle secured ‘Best Startup Company’, and ‘CWallet Services’ was recognised as ‘Best Emerging Company in Financial Technology’.
Ramzan al-Naimi was named ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ and Voltaat received the ‘Best Emerging Company in Educational Technology’. At-Home-Doc won ‘Best Emerging Company in Health Technology’, Build Hop in ‘E-commerce and Delivery’, and Torba Market in ‘Green Technology (Regional)’. Digital Petroleum claimed the ‘Best Emerging Company in Deep Technology (Regional)’ title. In the ‘Entrepreneurship Case Study Award’, Alurays, Genesis Technologies, and Adeer Solutions secured the first, second, and third positions, respectively.
Sobh emphasised the university’s commitment to fostering an entrepreneurial mindset across the campus and the broader community, highlighting the importance of collaborations with the private and public sectors to promote innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.
She said, “Events like these are crucial for inspiring students and nurturing a culture of innovation, underscoring that the award aims not just to recognise entrepreneurs but to serve as a key part of QU's mission to cultivate an entrepreneurial culture, acting as a catalyst for students to pursue their aspirations and embrace innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Elbanna said, “We have carefully prepared to offer a wide array of awards across different entrepreneurship categories. This initiative reflects our dedication to promoting entrepreneurship and innovation within our university and the wider community.”
Chetal said, “As a regional specialist in product and technology services consulting since 2010, we actively engage in Qatar’s startup incubator investment and project building. Proudly collaborating with QU and regional companies, we promote local entrepreneurs, providing the right environment for their growth. Our focus on B2B and SaaS technology startups led to the launch of our project creation tool in Qatar. We are excited to unveil a $25mn investment fund for Qatar and the region.”
Dr Mohamed el-Gammal, head of Community Engagement and Case Study Unit at the CEOE, emphasised the importance of collaboration with stakeholders and the significance of such events for the Qatari economy and community.
Hamad al-Hajri, founder and CEO of Snoonu, emphasised the significance of honouring youth and small projects, drawing parallels to iconic companies like Google and Amazon with humble beginnings. He anticipates that these projects will play a vital role in Qatar’s economic future, asserting the nation's dependence on technology, innovation, and a knowledge-based economy.
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