Qatar: A hub for technology ventures?
Enterprise Qatar has announced a new strategic partnership with TechWadi, a non-profit organisation trying to increase collaboration between Silicon Valley and the Arab region, to launch a new technology incubator in Qatar.
The incubation programme, set to be launched in April 2013, is an attempt to build bridges to Silicon Valley through mentorship, education, and financing; the hope is that this programme will help thousands of local and regional entrepreneurs, transforming Qatar into a regional hub for technology entrepreneurial ventures.
According to Enterprise Qatar, select entrepreneurs from around the Arab region will be invited to join the incubator and benefit from a latest ecosystem. Every year, two groups of five to 10 qualified entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to access the world’s leading technology experts in a branded Qatari pavilion in Silicon Valley. The graduates from the acceleration programme will also be eligible for subsequent seed financing from Enterprise Qatar and local venture capital partners to expand their businesses across Qatar and GCC.
Noora Al Mannai, CEO of Enterprise Qatar, emphasised the strategic importance of the initiative with technology being a key driver of economic growth, saying, “Enterprise Qatar is dedicated to creating an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem that can support the growth of the Qatari economy in line with the National Vision 2030. Our incubation programme will catalyse would-be entrepreneurs and SMEs with genuine potential, but that needs adoption of the best practices to flourish. To that end, we are partnering with Silicon Valley-based TechWadi to help us with mentorship, business acceleration and access to capital. Enterprise Qatar is the first in the region to establish such a programme.”