The top prize at Quick Startup 2017 went to a Qatar University team with an innovative idea for wirelessly charging batteries while you walk. The batteries can charge smartphones, game controls, cameras, and glasses for the visually impaired.
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) hosted the annual three-day competition for entrepreneurial college students and recent graduates. This year, a record 80 participants from nine universities attended Quick Startup.
Qatar University fielded the winning team for the second year in a row. This year’s top team included Ahmed Abdulmalik, Tarek Chriki, Zainab Elmandi, Abeer Malik, Rabia Mughal, and Zaid Ahmad Mughal. Last year’s winning team included two Qatar University graduates who used their Quick Startup experience to carve out a career in Qatar’s budding entrepreneurial sector (LINK TO STORY).
The competition was sponsored by QNB, which provided prizes to the top three teams. Khalid Majid Al-Naemi, the assistant general manager for small and medium enterprises at QNB, presented the awards: “QNB is pleased to sponsor Quick Startup as part of its efforts to help develop a robust private sector in Qatar. It is inspiring to see all the hard work that went into developing these great business ideas, and we are excited to see how these young entrepreneurs will further grow their startups.”
Participants began by proposing ideas and forming teams. Each team developed a skeleton business plan that included revenue stream, marketing, sustainability, scalability, and supplier and vendor availability. Experienced mentors guided the teams throughout the competition, offering valuable feedback and advice. The teams pitched their plans to a panel of judges on the final day.
Ilker Baybars, Dean and CEO of CMU-Q, commented: “To thrive, startups need a healthy economic climate, strong mentorship and a network of like-minded professionals. We are pleased to help contribute to this burgeoning community in Qatar.”
The judging pool was comprised of local business owners and academics, including Sheikh Turki Bin Faisal Al Thani, Al Faisal Holding; Peter Moore, College of the North Atlantic Qatar; Juha Peralampi, Qatar University; Amit Matni, Qatar Business Incubation Center; Saleh Majid Al Khulaifi, Qatar Development Bank; and Yasmeen Hassan, Bedaya Center.
George White, distinguished career professor of entrepreneurship at CMU-Q and organizer of Quick Startup, said: “Quick Startup challenges students to think like entrepreneurs under pressure. It is encouraging to see the entrepreneurial sector in Qatar grow, with more and more young people considering startups as a career option.”
Second place in the competition went to a CMU-Q team of Mohammed Al-Hor, Andreea Nan, Sherif Rizk, and Maryam Al Naemi for their project, “Food Saver.” A team from College of the North Atlantic-Qatar finished third.
For more information about upcoming events at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, please visit: www.qatar.cmu.edu/calendar.
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