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Posted On: 30 March 2015 06:03 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:15 pm

Food sharing application wins Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s 2nd national annual business competition

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A mobile application called ‘Basket,’ which is designed to help prevent food waste, recently won the national business competition, ‘Quick Startup 2015,’ hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and sponsored by QNB’s SME Department.

Launched in 2014, Quick Startup challenges university students to conceive and develop a business idea within 72 hours for presentation to a judging panel of industry experts. This year’s winning idea was designed to help prevent food waste through community outreach and food sharing.

“We came up with the idea for Basket a while ago and have always wanted to take it to the next level,” said Sabih Bin Wasi, a computer science student at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “At Quick Startup we only had three days to come up with our business plan, which gave us the push we needed to jumpstart our project, and take advantage of an opportunity to gain feedback from industry experts.”

This year’s competition saw 38 budding entrepreneurs participate, a third of whom were returning participants, bringing fresh ideas that address market gaps while maintaining unique selling points in areas such as the construction, nutrition and the health sectors.

“It’s an impossible task to start a business in three days, however we provided students with a framework for the important steps needed to get started, focusing on business plan development, customer discovery and investor pitching,” said Dave Mawhinney, co-director of the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and executive director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship.

‘Safe.T,’ a program that encourages employers to make use of workers’ commuting times to provide safety training, came in second place, while ‘PetApp,’ a mobile application that provides comprehensive information about services for pet owners, came in third.

“Through Quick Startup, we try to help students get a sense of the process, opportunities and challenges involved in starting a business,” said Thomas Emerson, distinguished career professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon Qatar. “The competition also allows them to gain a sense of how in the real world successful entrepreneurship is a result of idea sharing by dedicated individuals. This is also a timely topic, and with Qatar now seeking economic diversification, entrepreneurship will play a major role in that diversification.”

Emerson co-organized the event with George White, distinguished career professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

Participants in ‘Quick Startup 2015’ comprised teams from Carnegie Mellon Qatar, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNQ-A), Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Qatar University, Stenden University Qatar, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, ALSTOM and the pre-university Academic Bridge Program.

The judging panel comprised Peter Moore, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar; Rawan Al Fares, Qatar Business Incubation Center; Yasmeen Hasan, Bedaya Center; Michael Portz, The Shisha Company Ltd; Khalifa Al-Misnad, Al Misnad & Rifaat; Juha Peralampi, Qatar University; and John O’Brien, Carnegie Mellon Qatar.

QNB awarded the winning team 4 Apple MacBook laptops in recognition of their hard work and their achievements, wishing them success in their future endeavours. Commenting on the event, Hamad Al-Jamali, QNB’s Acting Head of SME’s said: “QNB is pleased to continue its support of this great event which yields great benefit to our beloved State of Qatar. As the largest bank in Qatar, and being a truly national bank, we take great interest in supporting the budding talents and intellects our country has to offer.

Congratulations to the winning team. We wish them success in their future endeavours, and hope that they and many others will contribute to Qatar’s growth and prosperity and to helping this country achieve its Qatar 2030 national vision.”

For more information about the business administration program at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, please visit: