Entrepreneurs, start-ups and fledging businesses recently participated in a unique workshop to hone the skills they need to launch a successful company. Hosted by local start-up incubator experts Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), the workshop focused on ‘Innovation Management’ and was held in collaboration with Qatar Development Bank at the Aladdin Husseini Hall within QSTP.
QSTP is Qatar’s primary accelerator and incubator for technology-based start-ups, and supports QF R&D by fostering new talent in an environment designed specifically to accelerate their route to market in a bid to truly nurture and support innovation and entrepreneurship in Qatar.
The ‘Innovation Management’ training program is a collaboration between QSTP and QDB that aims to introduce entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the combined services, support, facilities and expertise provided by both QSTP and QDB, in addition to providing assistance and skills training that will help these fledging businesses grow and compete successfully in the local and regional market.
Commenting on the workshop and what it means for QSTP, Mr Hamad Al Kuwari, Managing Director of QSTP, elaborated: "Qatar Science & Technology Park is the one and only technology development complex that is a Free Zone and home to 38 resident companies varying between key multinational R&D players and Technology Development SMEs and Start-Ups, all under one roof. In addition to our state-of-the-art infrastructure, QSTP offers a diverse portfolio of services to both local and regional markets to shore up our mission as facilitators of applied research, technology-innovation and incubation.”
On the services currently provided by the park, Al Kuwari added: “While the Accelerator and Start-Up Incubator cater to the needs of potential entrepreneurs in terms of technology-related idea development, enhancing business skills, creating technology prototypes, or establishing a business and making use of our incubator benefits, the Proof of Concept Fund is tailored to help existing Qatari institutions who require financial support with an innovative technology project that addresses a local or regional market gap.”
“Therefore, the ‘Innovation Workshop’ we offered in collaboration with QDB was an excellent opportunity for us to promote the fund further amongst local SMEs. It was also a critical attempt to reach-out to existing SMEs and demonstrate how innovative thinking could significantly transform their traditional business models. It is important to note that on the road to fulfilling our vision, QSTP strives to create and nurture a culture of innovation. This could only happen through synchronization of efforts and working simultaneously across the various levels of the entrepreneurial and R&D ecosystem.”
“By offering local innovators and entrepreneurs this unique workshop, we are providing a valuable and necessary platform from which they can develop, learn and hopefully launch their businesses. QSTP is an institute seeking to support true innovation and as such, will always be the first choice for anyone who is looking to create something new, unveil a first and eventually compete on a global stage. Here in Qatar, we encounter so many exciting new ideas that can benefit the future of our communities and our country, which is why, here at QSTP, we are proud to support and assist as many of these as possible across; Information & Communication, Energy, Environment and Health Sciences Technologies,” Al Kuwari concluded.
Mr Abdulaziz Nasser Al-Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank, said: “Qatar Development Bank is the main supporter in the development of SMEs and the private sector, in addition to assisting and supporting the entrepreneurs and providing all they need to create a supportive environment for entrepreneurship. We focus on the continuous development of SMEs and building their internal capacity to develop better products and services. One of Qatar Development Bank initiatives is to provide packages of integrated training and development programs for SMEs in cooperation with the best institutions.”
He added: “At QDB, we believe in partnerships and its role to build bridges between social and academic institutions to offer harmony and coordination to help entrepreneurs and SMEs. In collaboration with the Social Development Center, we created the Qatar Business Incubation Center and set up Bedaya Center in cooperation with Silatech. All of these efforts are to provide the best opportunities to create a promising generation of entrepreneurs who are able to promote the country and diversify Qatar’s economy. Lastly, we want to thank QSTP for their co-operation in the planning, designing and presenting of this program. The innovation management training aims to educate the owners of start-up companies on the concept of innovation and its importance in raising the performance of the company and increase commercial successes in the domestic market and eventually across the region. We believe that through initiatives like this, we will see a new generation of passionate, successful and innovative new start-ups leading the way for a new stream of commerce in Qatar and the GCC.”
Through this unique event, QSTP and QDB have provided a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, SMEs and simply those who are interested in starting new projects to learn about how to begin the process of building and launching their own business.
QSTP focuses on supporting innovation and entrepreneurship through four key themes: Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information & Communication Technologies.
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