Aside from access to funding and other benefits, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) is working to ensure that entrepreneurs and startups in the country would get access to procurement and global markets, an official has said.
QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa pointed out that while QDB provides access to funding, “it is not enough.” He enjoined players and stakeholders in the private sector, as well as angel investors “to act” for the benefit of Qatar’s burgeoning startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Providing such a platform that offers access to information, training, and funding will also not work if there is no access to markets and procurement opportunities,” said al-Khalifa in a speech during Demo Day of the third cohort of Qatar SportsTech’s (QST) accelerator programme.
“This is why we are working hand-in-hand with the government to ensure that accessibility to procurement is actually really viable for startups and technological projects; we’re working with research and development (R&D) on that front,” al-Khalifa further stressed.
Al-Khalifa reiterated that QDB established an incubation and acceleration centre to provide Qatar’s entrepreneurship and startup community access to a range of benefits.
“It is a privilege to see investors, VCs, and angel investors join hands with us in welcoming entrepreneurs and ensuring them that they get access to training, information, and funding,” he noted.
According to al-Khalifa, Demo Day celebrates the third cohort of QST’s accelerator programme “with a sense of achievement, knowing the benefit it brought to the enrolled startups; from workshops with international experts to mentorship, from world-class professionals and global leaders in sports tech enhancement.”
Since its inception almost three years ago, al-Khalifa said, QST was able to establish itself as “an essential player” in Qatar’s sports tech community. He said QST “is working tirelessly” to bring the best local, regional, and international expertise to help accelerate startups to a global scale.
Both the QST team and participants of the third cohort “have set the bar high” for the next wave of startups, inspiring young entrepreneurs and outstanding sports tech innovation, said al-Khalifa, who noted that Qatar’s entrepreneurial ecosystem was ranked last month as “the best in the Arab world” and “third globally.”
Despite the impact of global challenges, al-Khalifa said QDB is concluding QST’s third cohort “on a positive note.” He stressed that Demo Day is a testament to Qatar’s “resilience” and “determination” in advancing the sports tech sector “with pioneering innovation that would impact the sport industry not only in Qatar and the lead up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup but also across the globe.”