Al Fikra and MIT Enterprise Forum 2013 announce winners
In partnership with MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab Region, Enterprise Qatar (EQ) and Silatech announced the successful completion and announcement of winners in 2013’s Al Fikra Qatar National Business Plan Competition at the end of April.
On the sidelines of the glittering award ceremony at Katara, The Edge spoke to two winners, Rafay Abassi – the second place winner in the Students Category, representing the Manufacturing & Carpet Design sector, in his venture called Loops and Knots) and Nébil Ben Aissa Executive President, Co-Chairman & Major Shareholder QPAY International Corporation – first place winner in the professional category.
Describing his reactions on winning the award, Abassi said, “I am definitely overjoyed with emotions after the competition. It is a great recognition and I happy to realise that there are institutions who are working to develop students with entrepreneurial ideas.”
Ben Aissa told The Edge that based on the strength of his solid business plan, he was “expecting a top 3 or top 5 finalist position.”
Giving his take on the competition in the carpet industry, Abassi said, “The competition for carpet industry is very minimal in this region. Primarily fine carpets are available from private Irani resellers. Looms & Knots offers not only a finer quality product but also at a cheaper price; this is what will drive competition out.”
Ben Aissa added that these type of events bring spark with fuel and sometimes lead to the birth of sizable innovative companies in the region. “Where would Steve Jobs be if he could not find an investor for his young startup called Apple back in 1975? These events are very important to the innovation ecosystem and what Enterprise Qatar is doing will eventually lead to the birth of the next Apple or Google of the Arab region.”