The Qatar Fintech Hub Programmes are backed by Qatar’s financial ecosystem and developed by Qatar Development Bank in collaboration with a host of partners and stakeholders
Doha, Qatar – 15 December 2020: Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH), co-founded by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and established to support the growth of the FinTech industry in Qatar, has announced that registration for Wave 2 of its flagship Incubator and Accelerator Programs is now open. Both Programmes are set to start in March and will run until June 2021.
Catering to both local and global FinTech entrepreneurs and startups who are looking for a launchpad and a hub in the Middle East to accelerate their growth at an international level, the FinTech Programmes will comprise of an Incubator for early-stage startups, and an Accelerator for mature FinTechs.
The highly anticipated FinTech programmes in Wave 2 will focus on emerging technologies for financial services.
The call for applications will open during mid of December 2020 for a period of 8 weeks. FinTechs applying to the Programmes will get an opportunity to be part of a 12-week incubation or acceleration journey that will provide essential support required to establish their businesses locally, regionally, and internationally.
Each participating FinTech will receive financial and in-kind support of up to USD$250,000 with bespoke mentoring and training provided by QFTH in the form of investment. Additionally, this investment will ensure a long-term relationship between the hub and the FinTech to help them navigate the local financial service ecosystem in Qatar and also support them in raising the future rounds of funding.
During the current programme of Wave 1, international and local FinTechs are taking part in a series of high-level Business Development meetings and specialized Masterclasses conducted by QFTH partners and renowned speakers from across the world. The structure of the programme enforces a refined early selection process which in turn is maximizing value for all stakeholders. With Demo Day scheduled in January 2021, the Wave 1 FinTechs are well on their way to launch a host of new and empowering services to fuel the digital transformation of the markets across the region and globe.
QFTH aims to develop the Fintech industry in Qatar, in accordance with the Qatar National Fintech Strategy created by Qatar Central Bank (QCB), and to contribute and reiterate Qatar’s position as a leading international FinTech hub in the region, as outlined in Qatar’s National Vision 2030. The first wave of the Incubator and Accelerator Programmes are centered around payments in alignment with the Qatar FinTech Strategy, and in synergy with QCB - Sandbox and upcoming regulations.
Commenting on the anticipated Wave 2 of the FinTech Programmes, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Development Bank & Fintech Task Force Chairman, said: “The first wave of the QFTH Incubator and Accelerator Programmes received an overwhelming response with over 750 applicants from 72 countries, including Qatar, UK, USA, India, Singapore, Turkey, Nigeria, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, and Australia. Following a thorough and multilevel evaluation process, 11 early-stage startups and 12 mature FinTechs were chosen to join the ongoing Programmes. The FinTechs have been welcomed with open arms by the financial service ecosystem in Qatar”.
“The announcement of the second wave of the Programmes shows our commitment towards the development of the financial service ecosystem in Qatar,” concluded Al Khalifa.
Upon the completion of the Programmes, eligible participants will also be referred to QCB’s Sandbox where they will receive support on licensing needs in Qatar, in addition to benefiting from a fee waiver on registration. Licensing opportunities from Qatar Financial Center (QFC) as well as the opportunity to collaborate with over 17 local financial institutions and regulators who are part of the QFTH task force including Dukhan Bank, the QFC and Ooredoo. In addition to this, a range of business development opportunities on the global scale will also be made available to the successful FinTechs.
As part of its commitment to offer world-class expertise to participating FinTechs, QFTH is continuously collaborating with strategic stakeholders within the FinTech ecosystem including financial institutions, technology providers, payment networks, Global FinTech Hubs, academia, and regulators. Recent partnerships include Amazon, Progress Soft, Vodafone, and Global Positioning System (GPS) to name a few.