Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI), announced Saturday the launch of ELV8, a new business accelerator programme that aims to help Qatar-based tech startups expand into international markets.
Applications for the programme will be open from September 19 to October 16, 2021.
The first and only programme of its kind in Qatar, ELV8 will be delivered by QSTP in partnership with Plug and Play, the world's largest innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, and investors, which is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California.
ELV8 is designed for registered tech-based startups that are located in Qatar that have an existing product or service. Applicants will have demonstrated significant growth in their customer/user base and have a defined strategy for moving into international markets with clear potential to scale globally. The programme is available to startups that have previously secured funding from investors and are preparing to raise or have already closed their Series A round.
After a thorough screening of all applications, a total of 10 startups will be shortlisted for the programme. QSTP will conduct a comprehensive evaluation process to assess the business strategy and growth potential of these shortlisted startups. Two startups will then be selected for incubation at a Plug and Play location in one of the 35 cities worldwide across five continents. The exact venue for each placement will be determined by the vertical industry in which the individual startup operates and the specialty of each Plug and Play office.
QSTP’s Tech Venture Fund (TVF) will invest in the two selected startups, with each one receiving investment to support their expansion abroad. A group of team members will relocate, with the business maintaining its headquarters in Qatar. The first three months of the programme will be dedicated to mentoring the startups for international business growth whilst the remaining nine months will focus on taking their offering to international markets and increasing their customer base.
Beginning October 31, 2021, ELV8 will be a year-long programme, which will further strengthen QSTP’s comprehensive value chain of innovation and entrepreneurship-based activities.
A natural progression of existing QSTP initiatives, such as the XLR8 programme, ELV8 provides intensive mentoring and business support for existing tech-based startups, including those that are already incubated by or work with QSTP.
Participating businesses will rapidly grow and establish themselves in international markets via an overseas placement, as well as a range of networking opportunities with international startups and investors.
QSTP executive director Yosouf al-Salehi said, “ELV8 is another strong addition to QSTP’s impressive portfolio and continues to strengthen its position as the go-to place for Qatar-based startups who want to make an impact in the competitive world of technology development and innovation.
“I highly encourage tech entrepreneurs in Qatar to apply and take advantage of this unique opportunity. As the next generation of leaders in technology, they will be playing a pivotal role in taking Qatar’s innovation to the international stage, while contributing robustly to the diversification of the country’s economy and enriching the local RDI ecosystem through knowledge exchange and local capacity building.”
To have more details on the ELV8 programme and to apply, one may visit https://qstp.incubatorportal.com/apply/elv8.
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