Local startups that would be participating in the first-ever Web Summit Qatar are expected to benefit from the exchange of ideas and expertise with their international counterparts during the highly anticipated “world’s largest technology conference.”
This was revealed by Sheikh Jassim bin Mansour bin Jabor al-Thani, the chairman of Web Summit Qatar 2024 Organising Committee, who, along with Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher, recently met with the media to discuss the latest developments of the event, which is slated from February 26 to 29 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC).
Addressing questions from reporters, Sheikh Jassim said there is an equal number of participating startups from Qatar and from around the globe. He noted that the interaction between these startups would result in the exchange of ideas and expertise, even as he urged local startups to maximise the networking opportunities during the summit.
“We want these local firms to benefit from the experiences of foreign companies attending the Web Summit; this would provide them a glimpse and a forward vision of what is going on outside the country,” Sheikh Jassim pointed out.
He emphasised that the Organising Committee is anticipating a year-on-year increase in the number of participants of Web Summit Qatar, adding that bigger and more companies will be attending future Web Summits here with a focus on startups.
“This is why the Organising Committee and Web Summit want to have substantial attendance and participation from local startups to give them the opportunity to meet investors and discover opportunities outside the country, as well,” Sheikh Jassim added.
Similarly, Maher emphasised that Web Summit events around the world tend to have a “tremendously positive impact” on both the market and the entrepreneurial activity in areas that are hosting the event.
“Since we’ve started hosting Web Summit in Lisbon, the city of Lisbon and the country of Portugal have become a very attractive destination for startups – not just in Portugal in terms of entrepreneurs who are starting their own companies, but also in terms of attracting international talent to partake in the country’s environment for a startup ecosystem,” Maher explained.
She added: “At this point, a number of what are known as unicorns are companies that are valued at more than a billion dollars and an increase in economic activity around those events, so we’re very excited that this is very much what we anticipate happening here in Doha, as well.
“And we know that Qatar has been incredibly supportive of putting in place the conditions to enable Qatari startups to be more successful and numerous, but also to attract others from overseas to ensure that Qatar is the home for those startups.”
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