Qatar provides a suitable ecosystem to develop and grow startups given the country’s world-class infrastructure, as well as private and public sector support, an official of a Belgian tech firm said.
MoodMe co-founder and CEO Chandra de Keyser said accelerator programmes being provided by organisations like Qatar SportsTech (QST) help startups develop into full-fledged sports tech companies.
“It is difficult for startups coming from abroad to fully understand such challenges. A relation bridge is most useful; QST continues to build deeper relations with the Qatar government and corporations to help startups like MoodMe and others in the programme to validate their product and become market-fit to meet Qatar stakeholders’ requirements to be the number one sports nation in the world,” de Keyser told Gulf Times.
MoodMe is part of the QST programme, which works with beIN Sports and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), to develop new sports technologies.
Asked to describe MoodMe’s relationship with QST and the role it plays in its growth and development as a startup, de Keyser said QST is an early stage accelerator which provides access to good mentors and coaches. It furthermore facilitates access to key decision makers in Qatar to significantly accelerate business partnerships with stakeholders in the country, he said.
“Qatar is the number one nation in the world when it comes to creating a sports media ecosystem: PSG is owned by Qatar, while Qatar Airways sponsors major clubs, and beIN Sports owns image rights of many competitions; Al Jazeera covers the news 24/7, while Ooredoo sponsors sports and events and is present all over the world,” de Keyser pointed out.
He also said many businesses would benefit from Qatar’s ICT infrastructure. “MoodMe proposes solutions based on AR and face insights that require good Internet bandwidth and good smartphones for optimal quality of the user experience.
“We benefit from this because we are targeting local customers with local end-users. For instance, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) will provide the most amazing fan experiences both on their mobile and inside fan zones. The type of experiences we offer will be greatly enhanced by having such top ICT infrastructure.”
He added: “Our market is global, and the largest markets are with Qatar stakeholders who have a global footprint, such as Qatar Airways, Qatar Sports Investment, PSG, beIN Sports, and Ooredoo.”
According to de Keyser, ongoing work to roll-out 5G technology across the country will play a significant role in the growth of Qatar's startup ecosystem.
“5G will enable a higher level of amazing experiences. This will be a key in the 2022 FIFA World Cup when millions of people will come to Qatar, and high bandwidth will be crucial to deliver AR/VR and full 3D experiences,” de Keyser said.