Qatar University Trio Takes Top Prize at CMU-Q’s Quick Startup
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.
In 1973, Qatar’s first national College of Education was founded by decree of the Emir of Qatar, in his vision to place education as a priority in the country’s expansion. Among a small population, the College admitted a respectable 57 male and 93 female students in its first year.