Challenge 22 winner Rola Fayyad is dreaming of her social app being used by football fans during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Challenge 22 is the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s (SC) flagship legacy programme. Fayyad’s invention Friendture was unveiled as one of 10 Challenge 22 winners during an awards ceremony in Doha last month, according to a report on sc.qa
Along with partners Zaid Erigat, Mohamed Mawali and Ibrahim Abdullah, Fayyad received $15,000 and the opportunity to earn a $100,000 grant to develop Friendture to the proof of concept phase.
Jordanian Fayyad said taking part in Challenge 22 validated the Friendture concept.
She said, “It’s amazing to win – Challenge 22 is a very prestigious award. You don’t get many opportunities to enter competitions like this in the Mena region and benefit from such a high level of exposure.
Challenge 22 aims to boost innovation and entrepreneurism
across the region.
Friendture “embodies this vision perfectly” by helping visitors and expatriates discover what’s happening based on their interests and location, the report states. In addition, the platform helps users organise their activities and engage with people who have similar interests.
It also includes the ability to book tickets, download photographs and earn loyalty points, which can be exchanged for special offers.
For football fan Fayyad, being a part of the Arab world’s first FIFA World Cup is a major privilege.
“I was the only girl in the house, so I was forced to play football,” said Fayyad, who works in commercial management. “I’ve been a fan of Brazil since I was six – mainly due to my father, who is a big football fan.
“It would be incredible to see our product used during the World Cup. This tournament means so much to people in the region. It’s the first time for us, but we want more World Cups to be here in future. We were waiting a long time.”
Fayyad, who also founded MICEit.co and co-founded Girls in Tech, believes Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup will provide a major boost for the region.
“This World Cup will change things for the region in many ways. It will change the way we do business and break down stereotypes. It is a very exciting time for all of us.”
She is now determined to work with Challenge 22 in order to develop Friendture.