Innovation Cafe, a Doha-based innovation and design thinking studio, culminated E-commerce Hackathon on 28 November 2021. The four-day hybrid hackathon, which started on 25 November 2021, was aimed at encouraging innovation and crowdsourcing solutions to address, nurture and launch latest innovation opportunities in the ever-dynamic universe of e-commerce.
Sponsored by Qatar Science & Technology Park, Vodafone, Microsoft ,Qatar Development Bank and Snoonu, the hackathon involved innovators, entrepreneurs, and creative minds from 10 Middle Eastern countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, and Turkey, to demonstrate their unique ideas across eight ecommerce themes: Artificial Intelligence Solutions for E-commerce, Unique Mobile E-commerce Solutions, E-Commerce Payment Solutions, Marketing Automation, Customer Experience, AR/VR for Product Virtualization, Fulfilment Automation & Robotics, and Last Mile Delivery Technology & Robotics.
“It was just an idea, but with passion and partners who believed in making ideas happen we did do a lot. We were honored to host the first-ever e-commerce hackathon in the state of Qatar,” said Ramzan Al Naimi, Founder of Innovation Cafe. “We received more than 300 applications, and after the assessment and ideas evaluation, we shortlisted over 100 applicants from all backgrounds from 10 countries to participate both virtually and in person at Qatar Science and Technology Park in Doha.”
“Our biggest aim of organizing this hackathon was to come up with cutting-edge solutions in the e-commerce sector that could become the next billion-dollar Qatari based unicorns. We are grateful to our sponsors, judges, mentors, partners and, of course, participants.”
The participating teams were evaluated on the basis of market feasibility, contribution to Qatar National Vision 2030, team skills, innovation and alignment with the theme. The esteemed judging panel included industry experts and Tier 1 officers namely: HE Sheikh Mansoor Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairman, MBK Holding; Hamad Mubark Al-Hajri, Co-founder, CEO & CTO, Snoonu; Mohammed Al-Emadi, Head of Angel Investment, Qatar Development Bank; , Mohammad Zebian, Accelerator Manager, QSTP (Qatar) and muyasser Taqi-Deen.
The top 3 winning teams were announced on the last day of the hackathon. The winners bagged the opportunity to access up to QAR 75,000 in support & investment, integration into Snoonu Incubation Program (SIP), access to investors and partners to pitch their business idea, and access to local and international mentors belonging to industry's leading corporations. The winners were also rewarded with preferred access to apply into a recently launched initiative by Microsoft program and upon securing approval they could unlock up to USD 350,000 in value across Microsoft’s cloud stack, technical guidance, 1:1 mentorship, and self-led learning.
The best pitch award, presented by INJAZ Qatar, was announced where each winning team member won an iPad. Two special winner awards were also presented by Innovation Catalysts Institute.
To address today’s real-world challenges in the e-commerce industry, Innovation Cafe joined forces with strategic partners including Qatar Financial Centre, MBK Holding, KiwiTech, QMIC, Innovation Catalyst Institute, Beyond Capital, Dohastartups.com, Bedaya, Doha TechAngels, Fatora, Injaz Qatar, MZAD Qatar, Phaze Venturez, Phaze Ro, Rimads, SkipCash, StartupGrind, QatarLiving.com, 360 Nautica, Draper Startup House, Oasis, Qatar Scientific Club and TASMU Smart Qatar.
Innovation Cafe’s media partners included Business Startup Qatar, ILoveQatar.net, Doha News, Lusail News, Nadeeb, The Peninsula and Students Qatar.
Source and image credit: Innovation Cafe Press Release
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