Some of the participants in the 3-Day Startup (3DS) entrepreneurship contest.
DOHA: The US Embassy and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) partnered 3-Day Startup (3DS) entrepreneurship contest that concluded here on Saturday.
During the 3DS ‘boot camp’, over 40 students collaborated to build innovative technology start-ups for Qatari and international markets. 3DS is an American non-profit organisation that empowers the next generation of young business leaders.
From online fitting experience, mobile in-flight magazines, application for booking taxis in Qatar to a virtual market place for home catering — students came up with innovative solutions utilising their business acumen and creative flair.
Student teams presented their ideas to a panel of experts, where they demonstrated real prototypes for new technology startups in hopes of attracting investment from established entrepreneurs.
Team awards were given to 3DS Team Hustle: Fit Right, Team Focus: Tidalal, Smooth Talker: Sweet Story, best use of a hairdryer: Smart Clothing and the Spirit of 3DS: Bayt Baytk.
Since the conception of the programme five years ago, over 2,500 3DS alumni from 55 worldwide events have started 39 technology companies that have collectively raised $9.5m in investment capital.
“Once again, the youth of Qatar have shown us that if you work hard and collaborate, everything is possible,”US Ambassador Susan L Ziadeh said.
Students came to the programme from a cross-section of disciplines including business, computer science, communications, law and design.
CMU-Q ramped up the event by inviting high-profile faculty to mentor the students throughout the weekend, including Dave Mawhinney, Director of the Donald H Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, and Dr Milton Cofield, Executive Director, Undergraduate Programmes.
The Qatar chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, led by President Khalifa Al Misnad, also mobilised successful Qatari entrepreneurs to mentor students on doing business in Qatar.
Kenrick Fernandes, Tidalal team member and CMU-Q computer science student, expressed his excitement about winning the 3DS team focus award.
“I particularly enjoyed applying my computer science knowledge to develop an app that could have an impact on Qatar’s culture. One thing that really stood out for me was the momentum and excitement that was built during the program, after Friday I couldn’t wait to get here early on Saturday morning,” Fernandes said.
The following universities in Qatar participated in 3- Day Startup: Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Qatar University, Drexel University, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, College of the North Atlantic, Stenden University, Hamad Medical Corporation, University of Leeds, TKM College of Engineering and Academic Bridge Program.