Qatar University Trio Takes Top Prize at CMU-Q’s Quick Startup

Press release
Published April 9th, 2018 - 07:27 GMT
During the event
During the event

For the third year in a row, a team from Qatar University took first place at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s (CMU-Q) Quick Startup competition. The annual three-day competition for college students and recent graduates challenges participants to develop a business plan and pitch their idea for a business.

This year, 90 participants from universities across Qatar attended Quick Startup, which was sponsored by Qatar National Bank. The winning team was comprised of Aisha Al-Kaabi, Rodah Al-Marzouqi and Reem Babiker.  

QNB is dedicated to fostering an environment where young entrepreneurs can develop their ideas into viable businesses. CMU-Q’s Quick Startup is one way to motivate young people to create new business ideas and learn critical entrepreneurial skills.

Over the three days of the competition, teams developed basic business plans that included revenue, marketing tactics, sustainability and scalability studies, and supplier and vendor availability. Experienced mentors from the local business community, as well as a team of graduate students from CMU’s main campus in Pittsburgh, offered feedback and advice throughout the competition. Teams had five minutes to pitch their plans to a judging panel on the final evening of the competition.

George White, distinguished career professor of entrepreneurship and the organizer of Quick Startup, commented on the growth of the participants over the three-day competition: “It is a challenging three days for participants, but they learn quickly to absorb feedback, adapt their ideas, and find the best way forward. By the end of the competition, they develop a good foundation of how to explore a business idea and put it into action.”

Second place in the competition went to the CMU-Q team of Ommar Aburaddad, Mohamed Hamdi, Faisal Mir and Haris Syed. Third place went to the Georgetown University in Qatar team of Malek Deeb, Yasmine Fade and Florise Schwartz.

The winners of last year’s Quick Startup delivered a brief presentation about their business and progress since winning the competition. The team from Qatar University developed Kinecto, a device that uses kinetic energy to charge mobile phones.

Background Information

Qatar University

Qatar University (QU) is a public university in Qatar, located on the northern outskirts of the capital Doha.

In 2009 there were 8,221 students, of whom 73% were female. Courses are taught in Arabic and English. The university is the only government university in the country. The university currently hosts seven colleges – Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering, Law, Sharia and Islamic Studies, and a newly instated College of Pharmacy – with a total of almost 8,000 students at a 13:1 student-teacher ratio. Additionally, students entering the university are initially placed in a "Foundation Program", which ensures the acquirement of regionally crucial skills such as math, English, and computer technology.

Qatar University offers the widest range of academic programs in the State of Qatar, most of which are for undergraduates. Many of its academic departments have received or are currently under evaluation for accreditation from leading organizations. In addition to undergraduate academics, QU has a research infrastructure including advanced research labs, an ocean vessel, cutting-edge technical equipment and a large library housing thousands of books, including an invaluable collection of rare manuscripts.

The University commonly serves on behalf of the government and private industry to conduct regional research, particularly in areas of the environment and energy technologies. Qatar University has a diverse student body comprising over fifty-two nationalities, the majority of which are Qatari nationals. The University has an alumni body of over 30,000 graduates.

Contact Information

Qatar University
Jamaa Street,
PO Box 2713
Doha, Qatar
Fax number
+974 (0) 4 483 5043
Company email

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