Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has wrapped up the ‘Qatar Innovation Hackathon 2024’, which brought together its various business incubators and accelerators under the theme ‘Unleash your Ideas. Unlock the Future’.

The event offers QR25,000 worth of pre-investment awards for each winner, as well as the opportunity for direct access to one of the incubation programmes in QDB’s incubators and access to investment opportunities.

The hackathon was designed in collaboration with 26 specialised partners to empower Qatar’s ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs to share their creative ideas and solutions to tackle challenges across six industry-specific themes.

Eighty-four startups out of 445 applicants qualified to participate in the hackathon, pitching innovative solutions and ideas to tackle 17 challenges across various fields after undergoing intensive training with 50 coaches, 450 mentoring sessions, and 25 workshops over the weekend.

Dr Hamad Salem Mejegheer, QDB executive director of Advisory and Incubation, said this year’s edition featured an engaging competition and exceptional innovation in various fields.

“This occasion represents a unique opportunity to provide support and bolster the Qatari entrepreneurship ecosystem, an objective that Qatar Development Bank has been long committed to in accordance with our goals to foster a diversified and knowledge-based national economy,” said Mejegheer, who also noted the improved quality of startups this year, which could be attributed to the inspiration and experience gained from events like the Web Summit Qatar.

Alongside QDB, several entities contributed to organising and implementing this year’s edition of the hackathon. Ooredoo and Q-Auto sponsored themes by contributing to the pre-investment awards for specific themes. Additionally, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Innovation Centre provided the Minaretein Centre venue for four days and participated in the judging committee.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Qatar participated in organising a specialised workshop, while IBM offered its innovative WatsonX platform to empower participants, in addition to taking part in the judging panel and presenting several workshops and training sessions.

Builder AI, on the other hand, contributed to facilitating the work of participants by providing access to BuilderStudio for prototyping. Qatar Museums, represented by the Museum of Islamic Art, has also contributed to this year’s edition by hosting a workshop and participating in the seven startups that won in the Tech Transformation category, while three others secured awards in the EnterpriseTech theme, under the Digital & Beyond Incubator, in partnership with Ooredoo.

Two winners also emerged in the Sportstech theme, while three startups secured awards in the MobilityTech theme, under the Mobility Incubator, in partnership with Q-Auto and Volkswagen Qatar.

In the fintech theme, six startups won prizes with the support of the Qatar Central Bank and the Qatar Financial Centre while one startup won in the CreativeTech theme.

In addition, QDB introduced grant awards this year to recognise outstanding achievements in the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, presented to the winner by HBKU Innovation Centre; the Impactful Pitch Award presented by Microsoft; the AI Innovation Award, presented by IBM; and the Design Innovation Award, presented by

The hackathon competitions organised annually by QDB’s various business incubators and accelerators help entrepreneurs tap unique opportunities in terms of accessing knowledge, financial support, and mentoring, as well as incubation programmes.
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