Ooredoo and the Applied Innovation Institute have hosted the first in a series of “Acceleration Events” in Qatar to support the second Arab Mobile App Challenge (AMAC), engaging talented young entrepreneurs and developers in the mobile space.
Launched in 2013, the Arab Mobile App Challenge enables teams of up to six members under the age of 35 to develop mobile apps designed to make an impact in the education, health, entertainmentand employability/entrepreneurship sectors.
This year, the contest has been expanded so that young people from any country in the Arab world can form teams and take part. The Acceleration Events kicked off in Qatar, followed by sessions in Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon, with further events planned for Tunisia, Algeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Acceleration events are being organised across the region to introduce interested teams to the challenges and opportunities of mobile app development.
In Doha, the first event saw a presentation by Applied Innovation Institute Board Member Dr. Paris Del’Etraz, who took attendees through his career path and shared ideas on what success looks like in the new mobile ecosystem. The meeting also outlined key information about the mobile industry and advice on how to build an app, with mentors from the industry on-hand to talk about their own experiences.
For the next step, AMAC will match participating teams with the mentors who will spend time with them on a weekly basis to support their business and technical requirements, until a prototype and a presentation are completed and ready for submission for the December deadline.
Support from partners is an important factor in the success of the Challenge, which has so far enabled more than 15 percent of participants who reached the semi-final stages to launch their own start-up businesses exceeding normal success rates.
As a founder and a key partner in the programme, Ooredoo played an instrumental role in the events in Qatar, Tunisia and Algeria. Ooredoo’s commitment to the programme is part of the company’s wider mission to use technology to enable people to fulfil their aspirations. Ooredoo has also launched its own mobile apps in areas ranging from maternal health to youth employability.
Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo said: “We’ve seen that a vibrant mobile app market can engage young people, generate employment opportunities and unleash creativity across our communities, especially where content is localised. More than that, mobile apps can have a direct impact on society, by increasing access to education, enabling entrepreneurialism and connecting under-served communities. This contest has the power to do enormous social good by acting as a flagship to highlight the young entrepreneurs who will drive our future economic success, and we’re pleased to support its expansion across the Arab world plus their amazing business ideas.”
Another key partner in Qatar is the region's largest mixed business incubator – Qatar Business Incubation Center, a joint initiative between Qatar Development Bank and the Social Development Centre. The institutionjoined forces with AMAC and Ooredoo as a Co-Country Host in Qatar for the first acceleration event. QBIC aims to build the next batch of QAR100m companies in Qatar and is aligned with the goals of AMAC in its support of entrepreneurial endeavours.
Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, chairman of Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) and the CEO of Qatar Development Bank (QDB) said: “We are glad at QBIC to partner with Ooredoo in this highly competitive competition. Mobile applications are very competitive and could formulate a great platform for entrepreneurs in Qatar to benefit from this opportunity. I strongly believe in their capabilities and I truly wish them all the success and hope that they will qualify for the regional finals in Amman and the world finals during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March 2015.”
Regional registration for AMACis still open at www.arabmobilechallenge.com and acceleration events are planned across the region in the coming months.
There will be rewards for winning teams as well as the chance to compete in the Global App Challenge in Barcelona, hosted by the Mobile World Congress.