The AlFaisal-Carnegie Mellon Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre, aimed at fostering an entrepreneurial environment and inspiring innovation among Qatar’s university students, has been inaugurated by AlFaisal Without Borders (ALF) Foundation chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMUQ) dean Ilker Baybars.
The collaboration between CMUQ and ALF is a result of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote future collaborations in education, research and community development.
The centre was launched in the fall of 2015, concurrent with the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year, and offers courses on innovation entrepreneurship that are open to all partner universities within Education City throughout the year.
Through the development and implementation of various mentorship programmes, the AlFaisal-Carnegie Mellon Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre will equip students with entrepreneurial skills while inspiring innovation. The centre will support an incubation phase for graduates, which will function as crucial early-stage support for start-ups.
“The centre will stir, facilitate and provide further opportunities for young intellectual minds in Qatar to explore thoughts and concepts that may just turn out to be the next big global idea,” HE Sheikh Faisal stated. “Not only will this contribute in a big way to the realisation of Qatar’s knowledge-based economy but may also catapult brilliant minds from this country into the global economics of innovation entrepreneurship.”
The AlFaisal-Carnegie Mellon Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre is one of HE Sheikh Faisal’s investments in the development of Qatari society, specifically in the human and social aspects. The partnership with Carnegie Mellon Qatar builds upon the vision that society will thrive through the development of human capital.
“Through the AlFaisal-Carnegie Mellon Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre, we will provide students with the opportunities, support, mentorship and resources that they need to realise their ambitions,” said Baybars.
The centre will develop and launch initiatives across three different dimensions: education, programmes and incubation.
Within the education dimension, the centre will co-ordinate with other universities to develop, offer and promote courses on lean start-up launchpad, design thinking, product management, venture capital financing and start-up organisational behaviour. These courses will be open to students in all fields.
The programmes dimension will develop and implement programmes and activities that will expose students and faculty members to the various facets of innovation and entrepreneurship. Sample programmes include Innovator Lecture Series, Innovation Field Trip and Summer Accelerator Boot camp.
The incubation dimension will focus on providing graduating students with an opportunity to spend up to one more year on campus developing, launching and marketing their innovations, while providing them with funding, mentorship and services needed to support the process.
The AlFaisal-Carnegie Mellon Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre will leverage Carnegie Mellon University’s global centres and resources, including the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Silicon Valley global campus, in order to showcase innovative start-ups in Qatar on the world stage.
HE Sheikh Faisal and dean Baybars shake hands after signing the agreement.