The MENA region’s largest mixed-use business incubator, Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), owned by Qatar Development Bank (QDB), has announced the names of the 10 newest startups whose compelling business pitches and determination to transform challenges into opportunities have won them incubation for two years.

15 local startups competed during an energetic Demo Day which marked the culmination of QBIC’s eleventh wave of graduates from its intensive LeanStartup Program (LSP). The event, sponsored by QNB, found judges from industry and business impressed by the candidates’ ambition and perseverance. The winning startups, which operate in fields including Tourism, Healthcare, HR, Education, FinTech, & E-Commerce, will now enjoy smart funding of up to QAR 100,000 and rent-free office space for two years, in addition to continuous coaching and mentoring to help grow their business.

The latest crop of Qatar’s most promising entrepreneurs had already worked for ten weeks within QBIC’s LeanStartup Program (LSP) to transform their bright ideas into viable business concepts ready for judging. From among 43 original startups, 15 entrepreneurial teams stayed the course to pitch for incubation. The 10 winners selected for incubation must now complete a three-month probation period, during which they will set milestones to ensure their business idea continues to develop and grow, with aim of succeeding in the real world.

QDB CEO and QBIC Chairman Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa said, “We are very proud of what we have accomplished at QBIC and we are always moving forward to reach the top, God Willing. Qatar Development Bank is keen to continue to develop Qatar’s business sector through its strategy which plays a key role in confirming the importance of entrepreneurship, opening new horizons and providing investment opportunities. In cooperation with promising entrepreneurs, we can help overcome today’s challenges and transform them to opportunities to contribute to the future of a diversified knowledge-based economy.”

QNB Group AGM for SME Mr. Khalid Al Naemi also commented, “We commend QBIC’s efforts in supporting new startups and helping them transform their ideas into real projects, and we congratulate the new startups that won incubation for two years. We reiterate QNB’s readiness to offer its full support for QBIC and all our partners in the SME sector who have been working tirelessly to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030.”

QBIC’s eleventh edition of Demo Day also celebrated the graduation of 17 startups which have already completed their two years of incubation and are taking their place in the market as fully-fledged enterprises.

QBIC CEO Aysha Al Mudahka commented, “Under difficult circumstances in life, we often see people’s best qualities come to the front. This latest wave is no exception. We are inspired to witness our graduates leading by example in their determination to succeed, and our new startups rising boldly to the challenge in turn. Instead of perceiving only obstacles, these ambitious founders are able to see new, exciting opportunities beyond the ordinary. By making good use of the wide range of tools and services provided by QBIC, entrepreneurs can exploit these opportunities to generate outcomes even better than before.”

Emphasising the achievements of each of the entrepreneurs participating in the event, Ms Al Mudahka continued, “Many congratulations to all our startups who have worked so hard on LSP 11 to reach this point. And to the 10 who have now earned incubation – well done. This marks the real beginning of your business-building journey.”

QBIC’s LSP is the most successful program of its kind in the MENA region, empowering entrepreneurs by providing them with business tools, hands-on experience and expert know-how to successfully bring their business ideas to life, in line with QBIC’s mission to develop Qatar’s next QAR 100 million companies. With over 400 graduates to date, QBIC was recently named ‘Best Business Incubator in the Middle East 2018’ by the World Business Angels Investment Forum (Turkey).