Doha – Qatar
The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has announced the list of winners of the Entrepreneurship Zone Awards held on the sidelines of the Qatar IT Conference & Exhibition (QITCOM 2019) from October 29 to November 1 at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) in Doha.
The Entrepreneurial Zone Awards comprised of three distinct awards: the “Programming Camp” (Codecamp), the “Creative Ideas Camp” and the “Startup Hub” awards.
Five teams – Hey Qatar, BareMetal, Beyond Barriers, Cereal Killers and NAZARIYA – won the CodeCamp Award out of 47 teams that came up with smart solutions to challenges put forward by companies and institutions such as the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), Ooredoo, Mada, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar Airways, and Hamad International Airport (HIA). Each team received a cash prize of QR 25,000.
The “Creative Ideas Camp” award went to Retail AR (1st place), Educarso (2nd place), Skip Cash (3rd place), Smart Shuttle (4th place), while Noor ranked fifth. The winners were awarded cash prizes of QR125,000, QR100,000, QR75,000, QR50,000 and QR25,000 respectively.
About 50 companies out of about 200 innovative ideas, who initially applied, were selected to compete in the camp. The Creative Ideas Camp included a series of workshops, training sessions and coaching programs over a period of six weeks, delivered by 20 international experts and mentors to help participants develop their ideas.
In addition to the cash prizes, technical and operational support will also be provided to the winners of the Creative Ideas Camp, as well as a free workspace to enable them to transform their digital ideas into reality.
The results of the voting-based “Startup Hub” award were as follows: the first place went to “Carts” from Qatar with 964 votes, the second place to “Bleems” from Qatar with 410 votes, and the third place to “UpSales” from Sudan with 369 votes. Live Caller from Georgia was fourth with 351 votes and Wastezon from Rwanda came fifth with 297 votes.
The five winners were selected from 100 companies out of the initial 675 applications. The 100 companies had the opportunity to present their ideas and plans to investors and entrepreneurs at the Innovation Theater, opening opportunities for building partnerships and investment bids.
Commenting on the occasion, Her Excellency Reem Al Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary for the Digital Society Development Sector at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, said: “Entrepreneurship is a key component in building a vibrant ICT sector and building a knowledge-based economy. We are therefore keen to promote a culture of innovation, learning and entrepreneurship. This year, we have received very appreciable and high-quality participation from aspiring developers and entrepreneurs. Some winning companies and teams have had opportunities to receive incubation and finance as well as build strong relationships with potential partners. We congratulate all the winners and encourage them to continue to innovate and excel.”
Duha Ali Al Buhendi, Digital Incubation Center Manager said: “This year, the Innovation Theater has attracted more people and achieved more results than the previous edition. It has become an integrated platform that brings together entrepreneurs, experts and investors to showcase ideas, connect, build relationships, encourage innovation and share experiences. All entries were outstanding, and we hope this years’ experience will spur further innovation.”
The Innovation Theater zone provided an opportunity for the audience to listen to a panel of experts in the field of digital entrepreneurship and learn from their experiences. It featured start-up presentations and speeches by keynote speakers, as well as serious discussions on the latest smart solutions that will further Qatar’s digital transformation.
The zone encouraged startups and entrepreneurs to develop their innovative ideas, projects, prototypes and digital solutions that Qatar’s smart future requires. It also supported startups to work on their ideas through hackathons, coaching programs, business reconciliation sessions, and brainstorming sessions.