The Education City Innovative Entrepreneurship Program aims to support innovative entrepreneurs in Qatar, the development of an entrepreneurship ecosystem and the realization of innovative business ideas. This program is designed as a long-term initiative in which entrepreneurs living in Qatar will commercialize their business ideas that address the priority areas within the Qatar Strategic Development Plan. The shortlisted entrepreneurs will then be offered capacity building training and funding opportunities.
The HBKU Education City Innovative Entrepreneurship Program will offer capacity building training for up to 20 entrepreneurs selected by its Program Evaluation Board. While the entrepreneurs take capacity building trainings, they will also prepare a project to apply to the Entrepreneurship Program Fund (EPF) offered by the HBKU Innovation Center. It is targeted to fund five projects with budgets up to QAR 100,000.00 for each. The funded projects will then be invited to a demo day that will be held within six months of the project’s kick-off day.
The target audience of this program are candidates who have an innovative business idea different from conventional business models and who have an active Education City (EC) affiliation. Priority will be given to women entrepreneurs, students, and researchers in the target audience segment. Applications will be received online via the related web page.
A copy of one’s residency permit, proof of EC affiliation (QF ID) and a two-page resume will be collected with their online application. Following the receipt of all online applications, it will then be reviewed according to the predetermined criteria: Novelty, Value Creation and Impact, and Feasibility. Applications that don’t have an innovative business idea compatible with the Qatar 2030 vision, or applicants who do not reside in Qatar or who do not currently have any affiliation with EC will be grounds for immediate rejection of the concerned application.
Education City Innovative Entrepreneurship Program is designed as an 18-month program that will be conducted annually.
The accepted applicants will be given an opportunity to present their idea (as a presentation) to a jury comprising a combination of academics, investors, and entrepreneurship and innovation agencies. The jury’s evaluation of the presented proposals will lead to the selection of the final participants.
Entrepreneurs who pass the evaluation will receive capacity building trainings including but not limited to innovative entrepreneurship, systematic innovation, leadership, project writing, idea pitching, business model and business plan preparations.
Participants will be able to benefit from the co-working space available at HBKU Innovation Center.
While the entrepreneurs are taking capacity building trainings, they will prepare a project to apply to the Entrepreneurship Program Fund (EPF) offered by HBKU Innovation Center. It is targeted to fund five projects with budgets up to QAR 100,000.00 for each.
The HBKU Innovation Center and its partners will organize a ‘Demo Day’ in Qatar where participating entrepreneurs will present their ideas to investors, either face to face or online. These entrepreneurs will have a chance to avail an investment to scale up their businesses.
Shortlisted participants will be presented with a certificate about their participation in the program.