The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has unveiled the Innovation Theatre for the upcoming Qatar IT Conference and Exhibition (Qitcom 2019).
The Innovation Theatre will witness the best startup presentations, keynote speakers and discussions on the latest smart solutions driving global digitisation, the MoTC has said in a statement.
Under the Qitcom 2019 theme ‘Safe, Smart Cities’, the Innovation Theatre will be located at the heart of the Entrepreneurship Zone within the MoTC Zone, where audiences will listen to and learn from upcoming
and established entrepreneurs.
The Innovation Theatre will host 30 sessions featuring eight keynotes, nine panels and six pitch sessions comprising 100 pitches overall. Apart from the Innovation Theatre, the Entrepreneurship Zone will include four more programmes – IdeaCamp, CodeCamp, Make the Deal and Startup Hub – wherein selected startups and winners from each of the programmes will present their final pitches to a panel of judges
at the Innovation Theatre.
The first day will be a combination of keynotes, panels and IdeaCamp and CodeCamp pitch sessions, and winners’ announcements. The second day will focus on IdeaCamp, the third day will include Make the Deal pitches and the last day will witness a special pitch session, followed by the Startup Hub awards ceremony.
More than 30 keynote and panel speakers will be discussing Safe, Smart Cities, the Future of Service Delivery, Emerging Technologies and Future Landscapes, Breaking Barriers: Lessons from Women Entrepreneurs, Megatrends and the Three Things that Truly Matter for Investors.
Ibrahim al-Mannai, executive director of Advisory and Incubation at Qatar Development Bank; Sachin Kumar, founding team member and CTO – TupeloLife and head of Google Developer Group (GDG), Doha; and Dr Tejinder Singh, founder of Q-Tickets and 360 Nautica, will be among the 45 key speakers at Qitcom 2019.
Other speakers include Ahmad al-Mutawa, founder, Mubaader Services; Eva Kaili, MEP, European Parliament; Dr Miguel Eiras Antunes, Global Smart Cities & Local Government leader, Deloitte; Rizwan Hussain, Government, Industry leader, IBM Middle East; and David Suarez, Partner, People & Organisation leader, Middle East, PwC.
While the Innovation Theatre will primarily attract, promote and exhibit talented digital entrepreneurs, it also expects families and students to attend the sessions and act as a platform to share innovative ideas, experiences and success stories. Prior to the final pitch, participants will be mentored by global experts to help them transform ideation pitches into scalable business ideas.
Each team and startup will be given the opportunity to pitch their business idea or solution to a panel of judges. Some of the awards include incubation offers, projects, awards and funding.
The Innovation Theatre is part of the Entrepreneurship Zone, which is dedicated to encouraging startups, business leaders and entrepreneurs to develop innovative pitches, prototypes and digital solutions for Qatar’s smart future. It supports novice entrepreneurs to work on their business ideas through hackathons, mentorship programmes, tailored matchmaking and pitch sessions.
Duha Ali al-Buhendi, Digital Incubation Centre manager, said: “Following the success of the previous Innovation Theatre programmes, we are delighted to witness this year’s unique pitches. Innovation Theatre is an incredibly rewarding opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to fulfil their ambitions of being a part of the Digital Incubation Centre and achieving reputable business offers.”
Reem al-Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary for the Digital Society Development Sector at the MoTC, noted: “Qitcom has previously offered funding opportunities to startups and ignited innovative ideas by teams such as Modaris, EXdensity, Game of Brands, Wahm and Media Gate. This year, we expect to see even more innovative ideas from local and global startups as this is an incredible opportunity for them to access global smart city experts, as they create a marketplace for digital innovation.”
Participants can register on the Qitcom 2019 website to be a part of Qatar’s largest ICT showcase yet.