Doha – Qatar
The Digital Incubation Center of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) has announced the 25 winners of the fourth edition of IdeaCamp, which was held virtually for the first time, in line with the precautionary measures for COVID19. The announcement was made at a virtual ceremony attended by HE Reem Mohamed Al Mansouri, Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society Development Sector at MOTC. The ceremony was also organized to celebrate the graduation of 17 startups that completed their incubation in 2020.
The announcement of the 25 IdeaCamp winners comes after a round of pitching by 40 shortlisted startups in front of a distinguished jury panel that included experts in the field from Ooredoo, Qatar Development Bank, Tasmu Smart Qatar, QRDI, Bedaya Center and AppLab.
The winning startups for the fourth edition of IdeaCamp are: eHaris, Spendwisor, PayWise, NARR, PickUp, Tailory, Short-term load forecasting, ElevateMe, Endrogn, Turismo, Farha, VastumLab, ValApp, BizPlanner, Ceena Lab, Karty, Tahado, Qreceipt, Storimart, Keyrism, Info-Tech Hive, Aljadwal, Telerehab, Traff-Easy, and Almachla.
The winner’s ideas harness emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and the Internet of things to serve the sectors of education, health care, sports tourism, agriculture, environment and transportation.
On this occasion, Her Excellency Reem Al Mansoori, MOTC’s Assistant Undersecretary for Digital Society Development Affairs, said: “The Digital Society sector has an integrated strategic vision that aims to support digital innovations that harness emerging technologies and create a fostering environment for them to continue their success in the Qatari market.”
Duha Ali Al-Buhendi, Digital Incubation Center Acting Manager, said: “DIC is committed to providing support to digital entrepreneurs in Qatar. We are proud of the success of the virtual edition of IdeaCamp and our incubation of 25 new digital startups, which brings the total number of incubated startups to 57. Our incubated entrepreneurs benefit from operational and technical support, working office spaces, as well as regular training and mentorship sessions to accelerate the growth of their enterprises. ”
In order to ensure that entrepreneurs have easy access to DIC and get answers to their pressing questions about IdeaCamp, the Digital Incubation Center organized 9 orientation sessions before the start of IdeaCamp, through which entrepreneurs were encouraged to register for IdeaCamp.
A total of 150 ideas were selected. The entrepreneurs behind these ideas have met DIC’s criteria to attend IdeasCamp training workshops, over the course of 6 weeks with over 33 training hours and mentoring sessions for entrepreneurs to build and integrate their business models.
The virtual ceremony also celebrated the graduation of 17 startups that have completed their incubation period at DIC in 2020, which brings the total of graduated startups to 100, these startups are Raeyi, Baqaala, Tomoh, Qertas, Saakin, EButler, PMOBytes, Bonocle, Spas Go, Medline Arabia, Xpander, ESmart Academy, Greenhat, Skilancer Solar Solar, NewsAmp, The Real Estate CRM and Artist Qatar.
The Digital Incubation Center was established in line with the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ vision to create a supportive ecosystem for the digital startup sector in Qatar. Since 2011, 100 startups have successfully graduated from DIC, 18 of which have expanded internationally. Through partnerships with leading local and international institutions, the total investments in the incubated startups at the last 3 years has reached 23 million Qatari riyals.
Doha – Qatar
Qatar has won the World Summit Award 2020 (WSA2020) in category “Inclusion & Empowerment” with the platform “Bonocle” – a Qatari startup.
Bonocle innovated the first ever Braille entertainment platform. The power of Bonocle is taken advantage of when used alongside an iOS or Android smart device to gain access to applications for work, education, or gaming. With such uses, Bonocle adds value to its users at home, school, and in the office. Bonocle envisions an unsegregated world where the blind and sighted share classrooms and workplaces. The story started at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), which played a key role in the company’s success. Since established, its goal has been to further integrate blind people in classrooms, universities and workplaces while having equal access to technology.
Bonocle was selected and nominated among 40 winners (5 in each of the 8 categories of WSA Awards) announced by the Awards officials out of 380 nominations in total from over 100 participating countries.
With this win, Qatar has become the only GCC country to have won an award in one of the categories for this year. Additionally, Qatar and Lebanon are the only two Arab countries to have ever won one of the Awards categories.
“We are proud Qatar has won the WSA2020 award in Inclusion & Empowerment; something which reflects Qatar’s advancement in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and the attention it pays to empowering and including the disabled through powerful technology. We are especially pleased this announcement coincides with the Qatar National Day celebrations,” said the Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society Development, MOTC, Ms. Reem Mohammed Al-Mansoori.
The eight award categories are Government & Citizen Engagement, Health & Wellbeing, Environment & Green Energy, Business & Commerce, Learning & Education, Culture & Tourism, Smart Settlements & Urbanization, and Inclusion & Empowerment.
The winning products will be invited to the WSA Global Congress, which this year will be virtual on March 22-24, 2021, where they will have the opportunity to pitch and promote their projects at a global level.
A local jury, formed by the official national expert for WSA in Qatar, Ms. Al-Mansoori, had screened and assessed all the submissions that represent Qatar and selected one qualified product for each category to further represent Qatar at the international level.