The panel discussion kicked off with the topic: “Digital Next—The Evolution of Qatar’s Digital Landscape.” In his introduction, moderator Jad Elias, partner at Kearney, said, “Qatar was at the forefront of reacting fast to the changes and that was built upon some of the foundational work that was already done before the pandemic.” He named Qatar’s national ICT plan, digital government strategy, and TASMU, the Qatar Smart Program, as the initiatives that were already launched.
His Excellency Sheikh Mansoor Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Founder and Chairman of MBK Holdings, said that the missing component in Qatar is angel investments. “It’s (angel investment) is really important to complete the (entrepreneurial) ecosystem... The angel investment mentality is yet to be evolved in Qatar.”
Al-Thani noted that the launch of various initiatives supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem shows serious and very clear directions from the Qatari leadership.
The event was held under the patronage of the Minister for Communications & Information Technology, HE Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed al-Mannai.
HEC Paris in Qatar has recently hosted 30 institutional partners, alumni and entrepreneurs in a panel discussion titled ‘Localization and Globalization: The Challenges to Grow Tech Startups’, which examined the local and global challenges in growing tech startups.
Moderated by Dr. Allan Villegas-Mateos, Research Associate at HEC Paris in Qatar, the panel comprised Sheikh Mansoor Al Thani, Chairman of MBK Holdings; Aiman Hamdouna, Co-Founder & CEO of Hatch Quarter; Michael Javier, Co-Founder & CEO of C-Wallet; Enad Kaanan, Programs Manager of Digital Incubation Center; and Philipp Pabst, Microsoft’s SME Business Lead Middle East & Africa.The event is part of HEC Paris in Qatar’s campaign to promote entrepreneurship, exporting, and internationalization. “A strong ecosystem is key for startup success.
Educational institutions, such as HEC Paris, play an important role as internationalization enablers and essential knowledge resources for the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
For the first time in Qatar, Forbes Middle East held the Digital Qatar Symposium & Awards 2021 Wednesday evening.
The event saw achievers in digital transformation and entrepreneurship being recognized, in addition to the exchange and discussion of views and experiences in the field.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Khalifa al-Thani, founder and chairman of MBK Holding and a visionary businessman with extensive experience in strategic technology development and venture capital investment, said the event is an important one as it supports the leadership's efforts in building awareness and developing a community of technology.
He said the country has invested heavily in the field of digitalization and launched many key initiatives, and now it is up to the business community to develop the forward-thinking necessary to adopt the required digital transformation through connecting the public sector to the private sector and create more collaborations.
Sheikh Mansoor stressed that innovations and the startup ecosystem are at the core of the next-generation economy.
He also felt that such are necessary to raise the targeted awareness and create a community with the mentality of forward thinking.
Sheikh Mansoor pointed that there is a need to take risks in business as it is known as angel investment to support young entrepreneurs and startups with innovative ideas. He added that more regulations should be introduced to encourage crowdfunding and angel investments.