In the 10 years since its founding, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), a part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation, has brought several new technologies and tech-based services to the Qatari market, and many of these home-grown innovations are achieving commercial success in the region and around the globe.
Among these startup success stories are MaktApp, a cloud-based software solution for businesses, and Stellic, whose software tool is now being used in 15 universities across Qatar, Mexico and the USA.
Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, executive director, QSTP, says, “A vital aspect of the innovation mindset we nurture at QSTP is recognising the importance of appealing to a global audience. And of course, once our entrepreneurs embark on their entrepreneurial journeys and take their tech product to the market we want to make it easy for them to access support and mentorship from other regional ecosystems and networks to continue having an impact in markets even beyond Qatar.”
QSTP is a member of the International Association of Science and Technology Parks, which helps strengthen connections with other entrepreneurial communities.
One of QSTP’s partners that is invaluable to extending its international outreach is TechWadi, an organisation leveraging a network of members that spans the globe to help startups in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region realise their entrepreneurial aspirations in Silicon Valley.
TechWadi is working with leading regional and global organisations, including QSTP, to empower high impact entrepreneurs and contribute to building a sustainable infrastructure for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.
“Our relationship with QSTP started in 2017 and 2018 with the sponsorship of our ‘Annual Forum’,” said Tasneem Sabri, operations and programme officer at TechWadi. “The event brings together more than 500+ new and established entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and ecosystem stakeholders from Silicon Valley, Mena, and beyond.”
With a mission to support the growth and rapid expansion of high-tech entrepreneurship, the event is one of the ways in which TechWadi builds bridges between Silicon Valley and the Mena region.
Saleh commented, “For QSTP, TechWadi has been instrumental in connecting our respective innovation ecosystems and entrepreneurs, for the benefit of key programmes, such as the QSTP Research to Startup programme( RTS).”
RTS is the premier QSTP programme to create spinouts based on high-potential technologies that are developed by the research community in Qatar.
“The value that QSTP’s RTS programme has given to TechWadi is that it helps us support our mission of bringing awareness to the tech ecosystem in the Mena region. QSTP is leading in fostering an open innovation hub for entrepreneurs through different programmes. We believe that QSTP is a key player and through our partnership we are able to fulfill our mission and support the Qatari ecosystem, as well as showcase the importance of QSTP’s work to our Bay Area members,” noted Sabri.
“We have supported QSTP with various high-stake introductions to many key stakeholders in Silicon Valley as well as having QSTP present at our Annual Forum. We have also facilitated a private event for officials in 2017 and recently had a networking event in 2018,” she explained.
“Our relationship with organisations such as TechWadi is vital and strengthens the pivotal role of QSTP across regional and international platforms, which directly benefits our entrepreneurs and contributes to developing local and regional technology and innovation ecosystems,” Saleh added.
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