Qatar SportsTech (QST) recently welcomed a new cohort of sports tech startups to its premises at the Qatar Sports Accelerator facility in Aspire Zone.
QST’s intensive three-month accelerator programme gives 10 selected startups the opportunity to accelerate their growth through mentorship, run proof of concepts, and build strategic relationships with QST’s corporate partners.
QST’s corporate partners comprise its founding partner, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and other strategic partners, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, beIN Media Group, Aspire Foundation, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).
Through these essential partnerships, the startups engage in specialised workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and meetings with a wide network of potential investors, which helps them to fine-tune their strategic objectives and business models.
Commenting on the kick-off, Ibrahim Abdulaziz al-Mannai, executive director of Advisory & Incubation at QDB, said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new class of startups looking to grow their businesses with QST. Following the success of the first cohort, we are looking to raise the bar and challenge this wave of entrepreneurs to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead of them.”
Heba Almasri, programme director of QST, said: “We are thrilled by the quality of the new cohort and the diversity of the solutions they are providing. These promising sports tech startups were hand-picked from over 500 applications based on their cutting edge technology and strong value proposition. Their challenge now is to make the most out of QST’s accelerator programme, scale their businesses, and revolutionise the sports industry.”
The 10 pioneering sports tech startups come from eight different countries and have developed a variety of innovative solutions across the board.
The second cohort comprises startups such as Golee, Fridai, iBlue Lab (by HiQ-Nano), MoodMe, SponixTech, Torq Labs, Chant Unite, Wisify, Classtap, and 12th Player.
Their innovations vary across various areas and include a smart body composition assessment caliper, a home kit to measure antioxidants levels in the body, immersive broadcasting technology, an e-sports gaming voice-powered assistant, digital club management software, smart performance leggings, a fan engagement augmented reality mobile App, gym membership solutions, a sports club investment platform, and sports crowd engagement technology.
Commenting on the diversity of the new cohort, Almasri said: “In line with Qatar’s commitment to become the leading sports innovation hub in the region, we are confident our startups’ innovations will accelerate the local sports industry to new heights. We are proud to see another local startup join this cohort as it goes on to highlight the growth of Qatar’s unique sports and technology ecosystems and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Mohamed Ali Abbaspour, the founder and CEO of SponixTech, and Mohsen Rajabi, the director of Business Development at SponixTech, whose startup is developing an immersive broadcasting technology, which allows fans to watch live games from different perspectives, said: “We are really grateful to the QST team and their partners for help. The workshops and mentoring sessions are helping us shape our business model, and the feedback and advice we have received so far has been fundamental to our growth. We look forward to how the accelerator program shapes our path.”
QST recently won the ‘Most Innovative Company’ award at the 2019 Qatar Business Awards ceremony, which was hosted by QFC. The award recognised QST’s commitment to innovation and the future of the sports tech industry in Qatar.
Koen Bosma, managing director of QST, said: “We are honoured to be recognised as the most innovative company in Qatar. It is our purpose to impact the future of sports, by facilitating collaborations between the most promising entrepreneurs and leading local and global sports organisations.
“We are only as good as the startups we work with and the partners we represent, so it’s safe to say that this award truly shows the progression and the unity of the sports and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Qatar.”