DOHA: Qatar’s entrepreneurs were out in record numbers at Qatar Business Incubation Center’s (QBIC) for its first networking event, the QBIC Open Day, yesterday. About 400 visitors joined for an evening of networking, presentations, panel discussions and product displays.
QBIC incubated companies, including Embrace Doha, New Line for Media, Event Developers and Contactless, provided a range of services helpful to visitors thinking about setting up their own businesses.
Keynote speeches by Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Qatar Development Bank CEO and QBIC Chairman and Aysha Al Mudahka, QBIC CEO, gave an introduction to QBIC incubation opportunities and announced a series of new initiatives, including the opening of ‘QBIC Downtown’, which will be located in West Bay to provide space for education, fashion, marketing and design startups. They also provided an update on the sector-specific incubation zones it plans to launch in the coming period.
Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Qatar Development Bank CEO and QBIC Chairman said: “This inaugural Open Day has been a big success. We are working hard to unify our efforts in order to support entrepreneurs and SMEs. A short walk around the incubated companies at QBIC shows very clearly the success achieved by those companies, as the range of startup businesses is very impressive.”
He added: “Many of those who visited Open Day were new to QBIC, and we believe the opportunity to discuss their ideas with our staff as well as incubated companies will encourage them to sign on for the next wave of the LeanStartup program, commencing next month. We are also proud to cooperate with various organizations in Qatar to enhance the role of entrepreneurship, evident in our recent announcement of the first specialized tourism incubator ‘QBIC Tourism’.”
QBIC CEO, Aysha Al Mudahka noted: “We are delighted at the turnout to our first Open Day. For entrepreneurs to succeed they must learn to excel at networking as it will help them exchange ideas, market their services or products, gain feedback, and perhaps most importantly make relationships that will provide the community support needed to make it through the tough times.”
“We have been working closely with Qatar Tourism Authority to develop an incubator that enables entrepreneurs to develop products and services that enhance Qatar’s tourism experience,” said Al Mudhaka, referring to aMoU signed by QDB, QBIC and QTA last February.
She added: “This project is currently in its soft launch phase, and Open Day attendees are encouraged to explore ways to get involved with its representatives who are present today. We look forward to fully launching the incubator with our partners soon.”