Every Thursday, ILQ features a different Qatari startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha—from fashion and beauty to food and dining, health, education, technology, and more!
This week, find out how you can save time and enhance stadium spectators' experience through the ASAPP app! ASAPP is a sport driven mobile application that enhances the stadium-goers’ experience by offering in-seat delivery and express pick up stations at sporting events and venues alike.
Hamad Al-Khamees, the CEO and one of the founders of ASAPP shares the story behind the name which stands for Advanced Stadium Application and As Soon As Possible: "The name came up while I was speaking with my brother (Mohammed Al-Khamees) on the phone and as I was about to hang up I said I would call him back “asap”. As I said it, it just hit me immediately that it was the perfect name for the concept and business that we started.
ASAPP is going live this year but according to Hamad Al-Khamees, he started the business about 2 and a half years ago when he still lived in Madrid, Spain. After moving to Qatar in September 2018, he was fortunate enough to be incubated by Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) in LSP 11 in December 2018 under the category of Digital and Beyond which is supported by Ooredoo.
"They have played a massive role in the development of the business and doing their best in guiding me through the role of an entrepreneur and how to scale the business in the best possible manner. Also, given that we were incubated, we were also given seed funding by them to help grow the business in the initial phases.", Hamad remarked.
Since then, with their mentorship and resources, the company has been growing and preparing themselves for entering the market and will be at a stadium/venue near you very very soon.
Hamad also shared that, "We get a lot of comparisons to Talabat, Carriage, and Rafeeq but what makes us unique is that we focus on the niche market inside stadiums and venues. Also, as we grow, we will be adding more features to make the fans experience in any stadium that we operate in as seamless as possible, not only focused on F&B."
So far, ASAPP has gotten positive feedback on their service and overwhelming support with regard to actually using the service. "Also, it is important to mention that given Qatar’s huge love for sports and events, the number of opportunities that are hosted here, gives us more chances to succeed moving forward.", he added.
When asked about the relevance of their business to the people of Qatar, here's what Hamad had to say:
"Our business is extremely relevant to people here in Qatar since the country is positioning itself as the Sports Capital of Asia and is hosting an increasing number of sporting events from Football, Tennis, MotoGP and more. People do not like wasting time queueing, especially when it comes at the expense of missing parts of the event that you paid to attend! We believe that this service is part of the “Digital Revolution”, that anything that can become digital, will be digital and this is just the beginning of it. We have felt the pain of this problem and relate to the misfortune of missing important moments of the event we are at. We care about providing extra convenience for people to not miss a moment of the action."
Startups are beneficial to Qatar's economic growth and in their case, Hamad believes that it is mainly because of how much Qatar has invested in sports and the sports industry. "Having said that, with all the major international sporting events that are hosted here today and in the future, like the FIFA World Cup 2022, we believe that we will have a reasonable contribution to Qatar’s economic growth.", he added.
And here is his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
My advice for young entrepreneurs is patience, belief and commitment. It's a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourself rather than try to get immediate success.
ASAPP is an app that will be the market standard within the next 2 to 3 years in the sports industry. We are trying to scale the app in the most efficient manner and include more features and services for stadiums-goers’ to use and enhance their experience in the best way possible.
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