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QU Honors Winners of the Second Edition of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Excellence Award for Startups | Qatar University

QU Honors Winners of the Second Edition of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Excellence Award for Startups

2024-02-21
صورة جماعية

The College of Business and Economics’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Organizational Excellence (CEOE), Qatar University (QU) organized a Ceremony for the winners of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Excellence Award for Startups in its second edition. The event, held in collaboration with HyperThink Systems, aimed to acknowledge and encourage innovators and emerging entrepreneurs in Qatar and the region. This edition had 173 applicants both startups and Entrepreneurs competing on 11 categories.

The event was held in the presence of Prof. Rana Sobh, Dean of the College of Business and Economics at QU, Dr. Said Elbanna, Director of the CEOE, and Mr. Awdesh Chetal, CEO of HyperThink Systems, along with a number of dignitaries from company heads and entrepreneurs in Qatar.

Mr. Khalifa Al-Haroon received the Entrepreneur of the Year award, while Ms. Kholoud Abdullah was honored as the Businesswoman of the Year. Bonocle secured Best Startup Company, and C Wallet Services WLL was recognized as the Best Emerging Company in Financial Technology. Mr. Ramzan Al-Naimi was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and Voltaat received the Best Emerging Company in Educational Technology. At-Home-Doc won Best Emerging Company in Health Technology, Build Hop in E-commerce and Delivery, and Torba Market in Green Technology (Regional). Digital Petroleum claimed the title of Best Emerging Company in Deep Technology (Regional). In the Entrepreneurship Case Study Award, Alurays, Genesis Technologies LLC, and Adeer Solutions secured the first, second, and third positions, respectively.

Prof. Rana Sobh, Dean of the College of Business and Economics at QU, emphasized the university's commitment to fostering an entrepreneurial mindset across the campus and the broader community, highlighting the importance of collaborations with the private and public sectors to promote innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. She stated, “Events like these are crucial for inspiring students and nurturing a culture of innovation, underscoring that the award aims not just to recognize entrepreneurs but to serve as a key part of QU's mission to cultivate an entrepreneurial culture, acting as a catalyst for students to pursue their aspirations and embrace innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Prof. Said Elbanna, Director of the CEOE at QU, highlighted that the event, organized in collaboration with HyperThink Systems, represents a year-long effort. “We have carefully prepared to offer a wide array of awards across different entrepreneurship categories,” he stated, emphasizing, “This initiative reflects our dedication to promoting entrepreneurship and innovation within our university and the wider community.”

Mr. Awdesh Chetal, CEO of HyperThink Systems, stated, “As a regional specialist in product and technology services consulting since 2010, we actively engage in Qatar's startup incubator investment and project building. Proudly collaborating with QU and regional companies, we promote local entrepreneurs, providing the right environment for their growth. Our focus on B2B and SaaS technology startups led to the launch of our project creation tool in Qatar. We are excited to unveil a $25 million investment fund for Qatar and the region. Collaborating with QU's CEOE Awards, we aim to enhance the local entrepreneurial environment and underscore the region's commitment to innovation. Our dedication to continued collaboration ensures future successes with the university.”

Dr. Mohammed El Gammal, Head of Community Engagement and Case Study Unit at the CEOE, emphasized the importance of collaboration with stakeholders and the significance of such events for the Qatari economy and community.

Mr. Hamad Al-Hajri, founder and CEO of Snoonu, emphasized that this day is a pivotal moment for Qatari entrepreneurship. He emphasizes the significance of honoring youth and small projects, drawing parallels to iconic companies like Google and Amazon with humble beginnings. Al-Hajri anticipates these projects will play a vital role in Qatar's economic future, asserting the nation's dependence on technology, innovation, and a knowledge-based economy. Awards in social service categories, exemplified by Mr. Ramzan Al-Naimi's win, embody the essence of entrepreneurship.

Al-Hajri stresses the need for comprehensive support for youth, from encouragement by institutions like QU to fostering opportunities and investments. He underscores Qatar's potential for global economic leadership through regional expansion, mirroring the entrepreneurial journeys of the United States and Japan. Al-Hajri expresses confidence that Qatar will proudly witness its startups transform into influential companies, following in the footsteps of global giants.

On her part, Dr. Kholoud Abdullah said, “I express my pride and gratitude for winning the Best Entrepreneur Award for the year 2023. This award reflects the successes achieved in the field of genetic pharmacy in Qatar. I am grateful to the College of Business and Economics at QU for their tremendous support. I thank them for providing this opportunity to celebrate our achievements. This award serves as an incentive for me and my team at Gene Dose to continue advancing in the field of health technology and developing innovative solutions for current health challenges.”

Khalifa Al-Haroon, the founder of “ILoveQatar network” and a prizewinner, expressed his gratitude to QU and the College of Business and Economics. He emphasized their vital role in providing opportunities for innovators to shine and supporting emerging projects. He affirmed that, with the university's support, they enjoy the necessary encouragement, enabling them to thrive in their endeavors.

He added, “I wish everyone success, not just winning awards but also witnessing the expansion and growth of Qatari talents on a global scale. Through my experience, I found that the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center at QU offers opportunities to enhance and develop nascent projects, and I've seen how their awards reflect their commitment to delivering the best for the innovative and entrepreneurial community.”
Rima Al-Kuwari, a prize winner, stated, “The project idea revolves around a platform for home and small projects, enabling entrepreneurs to manage their projects through a single application, thanks to smart technology. The goal is to facilitate entrepreneurs' project management experience. Today, by the grace of God, we won the Research Award, serving as a significant motivation for me, my team, and for all entrepreneurs seeking to solve societal problems and provide appropriate solutions. Entrepreneurship begins with identifying existing problems, innovating solutions, and building projects based on these issues. I want to thank everyone for this achievement; we are delighted.”
Fatima Al-Khater, the founder of Torba Market, expressed her gratitude for the award and organizers, highlighting the crucial need for support and encouragement for startups in Qatar. She believed the award served as an important platform to recognize efforts in Qatar, whether by youth or diverse projects.

Fatima added, “Torba thanks the organizers for choosing us, as we strive to contribute to sustainability and localization, offering products that promote these values. We always encourage healthy lifestyles in Qatar. Today, I feel proud to see these honored small projects, especially when students lead some. Indeed, I admire the student teams at QU, seeing a bright future in them. This raises the bar for everyone and makes us look optimistic about the future. Thank you for this fantastic opportunity, and we hope to see more in the future.”