Qatar’s Thriving Startup Ecosystem Recognized in Global Startup Ecosystem Report

The country has achieved a spot in the top 15 in the 'MENA Ecosystem in Affordable Talent' and the top 10 in the 'MENA Ecosystem in Funding' and 'MENA Ecosystem in Knowledge' categories, according to the report released by Startup Genome.

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Qatar's thriving startup ecosystem recognized in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2023 edition, with impressive rankings and notable achievements in funding, talent, and knowledge categories.
Photo credit Raffles, Doha, Qatar
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Qatar has emerged as a leading player in the startup ecosystem, securing impressive rankings in various categories of the Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2023 edition. The country has achieved a spot in the top 15 in the ‘MENA Ecosystem in Affordable Talent’ and the top 10 in the ‘MENA Ecosystem in Funding’ and ‘MENA Ecosystem in Knowledge’ categories, according to the report released by Startup Genome.

The GSER is renowned for providing a comprehensive analysis of global startup ecosystems, shedding light on emerging trends and key challenges faced by entrepreneurs. Qatar’s startup ecosystem value, a measure of economic impact, stood at an impressive $685 million, encompassing the value of exits and startup valuations from H2 2020 to 2022. Furthermore, the report highlighted Qatar’s remarkable startup ecosystem value growth (CAGR), indicating a significant 133% increase based on companies founded in the ecosystem between H2 2018 and 2020 compared to H2 2020 and 2022.

Notably, Qatar achieved a perfect score of 10 in terms of early-stage funding growth, a reflection of the number of seed and Series A rounds raised between 2019-2020 and 2021-2022. This outstanding achievement demonstrates Qatar’s commitment to nurturing and supporting promising startups.

Abdulrahman Hesham al-Sowaidi, the Acting CEO of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), expressed his pride in Qatar’s growth, stating, “Qatar has rapidly established itself as an accessible, stable, and innovative investment destination.” He further emphasized QDB’s focus on supporting this growth through incubation and acceleration programs, strategic mentoring, and international partnerships.

The report highlighted Qatar’s successful hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which shone an international spotlight on the country’s dedication to innovation and economic development. Furthermore, Qatar’s position as one of the wealthiest countries globally, boasting the highest per capita in the MENA region, was highlighted, along with its remarkable 70% annual growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) projects between 2019 and 2022.

Qatar has taken significant steps to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, evident in initiatives such as the Qatar Entrepreneurship Conference (ROWAD) and the Digital Transformation Summit. The report mentioned successful startups like At-Home-Doc, a telehealth startup that raised $6.3 million over four rounds, including a recent seed round of $1.9 million in January 2023.

Moreover, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), in collaboration with QDB and the World Economic Forum, launched Qatar’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB). This initiative aims to bolster the industrial sector, a crucial component of Qatar’s economic diversification efforts and in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.

In line with its commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, Qatar has implemented various programs, including the TASMU Accelerator, XLR8, and the Lean Acceleration Programme from Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC). Furthermore, the establishment of a Microsoft cloud data center region in Qatar in August 2022 further solidifies the country’s position as a hub for technological advancement.

The GSER 2023 report also highlighted the India-Qatar Startup Bridge initiative, launched in June 2022, to strengthen the startup ecosystems of both countries. This initiative aims to foster collaboration and exchange of ideas between the vibrant startup communities in India and Qatar.

With its remarkable achievements and ongoing efforts to support startups, Qatar’s startup ecosystem continues to flourish, positioning the country as a key player in the global entrepreneurship landscape.

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