Qatar has not ceased in achieving a series of milestones in a wide range of sports-related activities and programmes, and is well on its way to become a leading sports technology destination, an official of Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has said.

During yesterday’s online launch of Qatar SportsTech’ (QST) inaugural ‘Digital Demo Day’, Hamad al-Qahtani, SME Incubation & Acceleration manager at QDB, emphasised that QST aims to be a major contributor in transforming Qatar into a leading hub in the field of sports technology.

Al-Qahtani said QST’s first ‘Digital Demo Day’ celebrates the completion of the second cycle of its highly-acclaimed accelerator programme, which aims to grow 10 startups with innovative sports technologies in each edition.

“The completion of the second cohort of QST’s accelerator programme is another milestone towards establishing Qatar as regional hub for sports technology, as well as a global destination for innovative startups, and a departure point from where innovative ideas in the industry can scale up to reach global levels.

“Within Qatar’s national vision 2030, building a diversified and knowledge-based economy is an objective we are all working to realise, and today’s event is, indeed, a contribution to achieve this vision,” al-Qahtani said.

The accelerator programme’s second cycle was conducted between January and March 2020, comprising pioneering SportsTech startups from eight different countries and selected out of 1,500 startups from across 43 countries.

Participating startups in the second edition of the programme included ClassTap, Fridai, Golee, HiQ-Nano, MoodMe, SponixTech, Torq Labs, Wisify, 12th Player, and ChantUnite. They have worked with leading global organisations, including Serie A, Microsoft, Gucci, Qatar Airways, Primeira Liga Portugal, and Benfica TV, among others.

Al-Qahtani said QST was initiated by QDB, and is powered by Startupbootcamp working to support key players in the sports industry, such as the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), beIN Media Group, and Aspire Zone Foundation, as well as Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

QST managing director Heba al-Masri said 10 business ideas were extensively accelerated over the course of the second wave, covering areas that aim to fulfill industry needs both in Qatar and across the globe.

In each cycle of the accelerator programme, the QST team engages with startups that use cutting-edge technology to accelerate the growth of the sports tech industry, QST said in an earlier statement.

“We are proud to present our diverse startups that were handpicked from around the globe to tackle the challenges faced by the sports industry, both locally and globally. Our startups, alongside our esteemed partners, are key players in driving the transformation of sports and sports tech as we know it,” al-Masri said.

QST operations manager Salman Sutri explained that the Demo Day website has individual sections where attendees can view all participating startups. It also provides access to each startup's pitch, as well as an option for interested investors to schedule one-on-one meetings with the founders.

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