Qatar’s advanced educational system, robust economy, and premium customer base are collective factors that make the country “a haven” for local and international startups, according to Qatari tech startup official.
Snoonu founder and CEO Hamad al-Hajri made the statement Wednesday during Web Summit Qatar 2024’s ‘Secrets of the Qatari Tech Ecosystem’ panel discussion, where he was joined by Soumaya Ben Beya Dridje, junior partner, Rasmal Ventures, and panel moderator, Guy Shone, the bureau chief and business presenter at Euronews.
Citing international and local top-tier universities at Education City, al-Hajri emphasised the importance of the country’s education system and the talent it produces. He said Qatar’s graduates possess the appetite, hustle, and drive to become successful – a core value that universities in the country share.
Al-Hajri noted that Snoonu’s local understanding of the market or the “founder’s factor” gives it the edge over its competitors. He also described Qatar as “a unique market,” having almost 10 customer segments. “And for each customer segment, you need a different value proposition and a different business model,” he explained.
According to al-Hajri, the next six years will be exciting for Qatar as it transitions from a traditional economy to a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy.
Al-Hajri also said Qatar has a favourable legal framework, vibrant ecosystem, and most importantly, the recently announced $1bn venture capital (VC) Fund of Funds of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which makes Qatar a promising launch pad for startups and entrepreneurs worldwide.
Beya Dridje emphasised that the QIA’s $1bn fund-to-fund programme is a powerful indicator that Qatar is determined to attract foreign talent and international startups. It also sends a strong signal that encourages entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem players to be part of a robust regional ecosystem.
“Being part of the ecosystem now is having the opportunity to shape it and to be part of its builders,” she said.
While each region has its distinct ecosystem due to its unique characteristics and resources, Beya Dridje said the tech ecosystem in Qatar should be “uniquely Qatari.”
“Qatar will also have its stamp as an ecosystem,” she pointed out, adding that Qatar could be an “interesting destination” for sports tech, as well as for energy tech.
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