Who is Qatar SportsTech?
With over a decade of experience in startup investments and acceleration, we are now in Doha to accelerate the sports industry to new heights. We are one of the frontiers in disrupting this vibrant market by facilitating partnerships between the most promising SportsTech startups and leading brands and organizations. Qatar SportsTech is initiated by Qatar Development Bank, powered by Startupbootcamp and supported by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Qatar Financial Centre, Aspire Zone Foundation, beIN Media Group and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Our Accelerator Program
Our vision is to transform Doha into one of the leading sports hubs and contribute to Qatar’s diversification goals through the facilitation of corporate startup collaboration through our accelerator program.
Following a rigorous recruitment process, 10 selected startups are invited to participate in the three-month intensive accelerator program in Aspire Zone, the beating heart of sports in Qatar. Each startup is incentivized and invited to register their company with 100% ownership in Qatar.
Leveraging over a decade of experience within Rainmaking history, a 12 week, part-time program has been created to develop and accelerate the entrepreneurship journey.read more
Our program gives startups the resources necessary to accelerate their growth through mentorship and building strategic relationships with our partners. Through our essential partnerships, the startups engage in:
- specialized workshops that help them to fine-tune their strategic objectives and business models;
- one-on-one mentoring sessions to get first-hand advice and feedback from local experts;
- meetings and events (such as Demo Day) with a wide network of potential investors.
Every nine months, we run an accelerator program in Qatar, which requires the founding team to relocate to Qatar full-time for three months. We travel the world to find and engage with startups that use cutting edge technology to reshape the industry of sports. The goal is to accelerate the startups’ growth and is applicable for early and/or seed-stage startups, who contribute to one of the categories in our thesis (below).
After this intensive recruitment period, we invite the top 20 startups to Doha for our Selection Days event.Here we lay the fundamentals for collaboration between the startups and our corporate partners for the duration of the Accelerator program. During the event decision-makers from leading local and global organizations inquire which startups can help them obtain their strategic objectives, which results in selecting ten startups.
Selection Days in Doha
Accelerator Program Starts
Third Cohort's Demo Day
Third Cohort Ends
Click on each category below for more details.
Do you get excited about empowering entrepreneurs and bringing people together?
Are you creative, self-driven and looking for a new challenge?
You might be just the person we’re looking for.
Sportstech is a fast-growing domain that is complex. The business activities are ranging from ticket sales, sponsorships, and merchandising to media rights and more. That’s why we’ve partnered up with the very best in the industry, to give our startups the full backup that they need! These individuals have made the industry into what it is today and they’re eager to embrace new technologies to take the world of sports to the next level! Therefore, through these essential partnerships with leading organizations and brands below, startups participating in our Accelerator Program have the support of the entire sports and entrepreneurial ecosystems in Qatar.
Click on a category below to filter through our mentors
Startup and technology specialist, Sara’s expertise lies in private company transactions and growth strategies. Sara is currently advising family-offices and financial institutions on private technology investments. Previously, as investment manager at Leap Ventures (a venture capital firm investing in Europe and the Middle East), she oversaw the entire investment process of two funds and worked on transactions from deal sourcing to portfolio management. Prior to that Sara worked as associate director at Endeavor, where she handled the selection and services program for high-impact businesses.
A former professional athlete, coach, and senior management into my current role as a techncial and scientific expert with Qatar Swimming Association. A PhD level in sport science and masters in sport and facility management. Strong networking, people management, and communication skills.
A large part of my career has been focused on organizational transformation, its people, and the resulting shift in operations (agile) and business models (lean).
Annie Haeger is a 2016 Olympic Athlete who has 7 years of Marketing/PR experience in both agency and in-house roles. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Boston College where after graduating, trained full-time as an athlete and worked for a Venture Capital firm in Chicago as a Junior Analyst. Since moving to Vancouver in 2017, she has worked as a Marketing Specialist at a Major League Soccer Team (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and as a Digital Campaign Manager at Major Tom, a B2B, CGP and eCommerce based marketing agency. She now runs her own firm, specializing in helping small business define their brand identity, create digital sales funnels to attract qualified leads and craft strategic inbound marketing campaigns. Annie excels in in developing full funnel marketing strategies, lead generation and identifying opportunities for growth in crowded markets. She is certified in Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Google Analytics and HubSpot Inbound Marketing.
MBA from Mannheim Business School in Germany and an undergraduate degree in Electronics and Telecommunication from Pt. R.S. University in India Owing to my extensive experience of working with different assets (clubs and tournaments) across countries and continents on a multitude of problems (commercial, marketing, financial, operational), I can support startups in understanding how different assets think, how can they pitch and navigate different stakeholder expectations. I can further support in terms of product improvement, shaping business models for assets, creating a promotional strategy to gain traction, all of which impact the funding prospectstechnology. Worked globally across Europe (Germany, Spain, UK, France, Sweden, Hungary, etc.) and Asia (India and China). 6 years of experience at Lagardère across sports (football, tennis, golf, eSports, etc.) and entertainment (concerts, festivals, family events, etc.) projects
Snapshot of responsibilities:
- Commercial strategy development (product, pricing, KPIs definition, reporting framework, etc.) and implementation across projects ranging from ticketing, hospitality, and sponsorship, F&B, corporate events, etc.
- Cross-channel marketing strategy development (product innovation, content, communication, and customer management) and implementation across projects ranging from fan engagement to digitalization to internationalization, etc.
- Financial strategy development with CXO’s across topics ranging from long term business planning to due diligence to stadium financing to new business development etc.
- Operational strategy development (event, F&B, facilities management, etc.) and implementation across stadiums such as Groupama arena (24,000 seats) in Germany, Anoeta Stadium (42,000 seats) in Spain, etc. and multifunctional arenas such as Friendsarena (65,000 seats) in Sweden
- Driving innovation via strategic partnerships (LiveNation, PMY Capital, etc.) and customizing solutions for Lagardère universe by working closely with the product (sponsorship innovation), sales, digital incl. analytics, new sports (eSports) teams
I’m a a SportsTech / FitTech entrepreneur since 2017. I founded SOLOS in 2017 in Munich – a digital fitness mirror that measures the movements from distance and shows on the mirror surface if the users are training right or wrong. SOLOS raised high six-digit investment, won ISPO & FIBO (3x nominee) awards, participated in 4 accelerators, and applied for several patents. I gained experience in the areas of FitTech / SportsTech, B2B and B2B2C, Software-Hardware product development, go-to-market strategy, MVP, financing, and M&A, product-market-fit, Business Development and cooperation with large corporations. Furthermore, I have a broad network in the fitness industry as well as the startup/investor ecosystem of UnternehmerTUM, ESA BIC, and Telefonica Open Innovation Hub – Wayra. I’m based in Munich and looking forward to supporting the entrepreneurs and shape the future of sports technology.
Founder and CEO. Deep experience in the world of Profession Soccer as a Licensed FIFA Agent and youth coach. He worked with Bob Bradley (former USMNT Head Coach) to build his initial pipeline in Egypt. He is the President and Owner of Kora Stars, a sports agency based in San Francisco with a focus on placing international players from Africa, MENA and North America.
I founded a digital health startup incubator and also I was mentor & advisor of more than 200 startups in healthcare and lifestyle area.
Tom D. Mueller
As a Director at OneFootball, Tom is leading benchmark setting projects within a mobile first, digital only environment. With more than 50 million active users per season globally, Onefootball is the most popular digital media platform for the new generation of football fans. Tom will help our start-ups with his unique expertise along digital businesses, but also with access to his high level network in the global sports industry.
Professor Monèm Jemni is a well-established and one of the world leading authorities in Sport and Exercise Science with 23 years career between France, the USA, Qatar, Germany and mostly in the UK. He undertook cutting edge research and published over 150 manuscripts including original research, textbooks and conference abstracts. Active member in several scientific and academic societies. He acted and still a reviewer and a mentor for several projects such: Challenge 22, The Stars of Science TV show, EU tempus and Horizon programs.
He is currently a consultant and tutor at the University of Cambridge, UK and Chair of the ISAFA (International Science And Football Association www.isafa.info). He is fervent to provide quality-controlled programs that socially and academically impact individuals and key stakeholders. Expert in planning, budgeting, negotiating and leading of small to big international projects from conception to deliveries.
Monèm was the Chair of the Qatar Olympic Committee Sport Science Program based at Qatar University from 2014-18. He was also the Director of the Sport Science with Professional Football Coaching BSc Degree at the University of Greenwich, London (2008-12).
He is a specialist in the optimisation of human health and performance, using a cross-disciplinary projects that engage local government, exercise scientists, nutritionists, health specialists and the fitness industry. He provided services to Olympic Winners and professional football clubs in the UK, such as Arsenal FC, Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Gillingham FC.
Indica has been working with startups in different roles for the past 5 years. During this time, he has headed a government tech incubator where 30 plus startups and idea stage teams were incubated. During this period, he was instrumental in launching new training and technology enablement programmes for the startups.
He is a certified lean startup coach and is actively involved in coaching and mentoring startups with the incubators and accelerators in Qatar. Indica is closely connected to the local angel investor network and has been a judge and mentor for many local, regional and global startup initiatives. For the past 20 years he has been working in the technology industry in both Sri Lanka and Qatar. His last assignment was with the Ministry of Transport and Communications for 8 years, where he was part of many national programs related to technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Indica currently works for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. He is part of a team that drives the Challenge 22 program, which is an startup innovation programme that opens the door for entrepreneurs and innovators to explore solutions that directly enhance and address the challenges related to mega events, and bring benefits to Qatar and the wider region.
I’m an Australian Chartered Accountant with considerable experience working for leading financial investment firms across Australia, the UK and the Middle East. These firms include ADIA, Apollo, Citi and CBRE in various capacities. I also am a lifelong sports fan having played many sports including cricket, tennis, golf and soccer amongst others.
Over 10 years of experience in manufacturing, quality, and advance material processing. Co-founded a start up in the field of smart wearable medical devices. Hamed has knowledge and experience in various stages of product life cycle from early concept design up to mass production and manufacturing optimization for increased efficiency.
Fabricio is a Sports Dietitian within the Research and Scientific Support Department at Aspetar who has been working in the field of sports nutrition since 2003. During this time, he has worked extensively with high performance athletes, coaches and teams across a number of sports and from different countries.
Mazin Al Naamani
Mazin serves as Portfolio Impact Lead at IDO Investments. Prior to that, Mazin was at Oman’s largest sovereign wealth fund, State General Reserve Fund, where he worked on sourcing, analysing and closing deals in the Private Equity department, as well as develop the local angle for PE deals. Mazin also occupies the role of Non-Executive Director at Oman Energy Development, a greenfield renewable energy developer and IPP in the Sultanate. Mazin is a Harvard Business School (USA) accredited Private Equity & Venture Capital professional and hold a Bachelor of Business degree from Bond University (Australia) and a Master of Science degree in International Business & Entrepreneurship from Kingston Business School (London, UK), where he also developed an internationalisation strategy for a MedTech startup, and mentored founders with their business. In addition to his professional memberships, Mazin is a Global Shaper, an initiative by the World Economic Forum which recognises young leaders who catalyse projects of high value in their communities to create a global shared value.
Fatimah Rahim is a recent graduate of a Juris Doctorate at Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Law School, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. Studying law has been a long-established goal as there are two generations of lawyers in her family. She is the second oldest of 21 siblings and is used to wearing multiple hats simultaneously. After fulfillment of her full-time responsibilities as a business development consultant, Fatimah reads arduously to absorb knowledge and be prepared for her clients. During her time in Doha, Fatimah has clarified how she would like to contribute to the Qatar National Vision of 2030-especially as it pertains to the educational entrepreneurship and the start-up, SME company establishment and growth as well as the financial sector objectives for the country as a whole. Her 10 years of experience in education coupled with her affinity for business and innovation provides a unique perspective through an atypical American Muslim’s perspective. She moved to Qatar in 2013 in an unintended manner. During her evacuation from Syria, a Saudi company asked her to go to Qatar for the processing of her visa. During her transit time, Fatimah was able to explore the gems of Qatar and experience Qatari hospitality. The appeal of being in a progressive and innovative environment was too great to pass up and so she sought employment and settled in. She teaches and researches in the areas of Educational and Entrepreneurship Reform, Business Development and Organizational Improvement, Management Consulting and Administrative Practices and Protocols, Organizational Culture Strategy and Innovative Eco-System Growth: impact on Students, Educational Innovation, and Service Leadership in Educational Environments. Ms. Rahim obtained her initial degree at 16 in New York State, where she completed her AS in International Business Administration, which she followed with a BA (magna cum laude) in Applied Linguistics with a K-12 TESOL teaching qualification and honored in business applications. Her MS was completed in 2017 in Dubai and her Juris Doctorate was completed in 2019. She has extensive experience establishing company formation documents, strategy and supporting budding Entrepreneurs.
An accomplished Sports & Media management professional with 20 plus years of experience. The hands-on approach has helped me understand the critical aspects of the sports and media industry. My exposure to global markets and sensitivity towards human relations has helped me successfully manage relationships with key decision-makers and lead large teams. I have been successful in turning around businesses and have demonstrated revenue growth, year after year.
Pete has spent almost 20 years working throughout the sports industry and has been a pioneer of SportsTech. Pete spent much of his career in football, holding the role of COO of the Football Foundation before leaving to become CEO of London Sport, which was set up in the afterglow of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver a lasting community legacy. Much later he took the lead of UK’s largest leisure companies, Parkwood Leisure, increasing their turnover to over £100m. Pete has always been an advocate of SportsTech, having run a start-up (Upshot) before opening the UK’s first dedicated SportsTech Incubator (SportTech Hub) and instigating the sector’s move to Open Data (OpenActive), which is helping to make the sports industry easier to find and book online.
An award-winning entrepreneur and currently Co-Founder & CEO of JAFA. Helping sports fans cut through the noise and powering the sports conversations of tomorrow. Also, Co-Founder of LSTN (London SportsTech Network) helping to build the SportsTech ecosystem in London and the UK.
Jeff Seltzer, Managing Partner of Pierce Yates Ventures, has nearly 40 years of experience developing new businesses and products across the global capital markets as well as advising entrepreneurs, corporations and governments.
Pierce Yates provides early-stage funding and advice to emerging companies with a focus on the FinTech and SportsTech verticals. Jeff is on the board of directors/advisory boards of Kasisto, Rogue Sports, New York Angels, GameCo, Motus, ResonanceX and REDD Intelligence. He is also a Mentor at the Barclays/Fintech Accelerator, Startup Bootcamp Fintech and Cyber, Qatar Sports Tech and Parallel 18.
Jeff has extensive experience in the sports business. He is one of the first investors in GameCo (an innovator in esports which is bringing the world’s first skill-based video game gambling machines to the casino floor), Sports Technologies (one of the first websites dedicated to fantasy sports), Rogue Sports (competing globally in multiple esports games), Tifosy (a specialized platform connecting sports teams and investors globally), KonekTV (a commercial streaming platform bringing sports betting analytics and esports to sports bars) and Motus (a leader in advanced biomechanical analysis and wearable technology for athletes at all levels).
He has served as chairman of governmental economic development agencies and as a director of a sports commission in the New York area and has been involved in efforts to acquire professional sports franchises. As deputy chairman of CIBC World Markets Corp., he created CIBC’s sports co-branding programs with Wayne Gretzky, the New York Rangers and the Women’s Sports Foundation.
He is an active alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania where he is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Penn Libraries and the Advisory Boards of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative and the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business.
Garrett Klugh is the COO of Falk Ventures, the venture capital arm for the family office of legendary sports agent, David Falk. Garrett is also the co-founder of Huddle Sports Partners, a high-touch sport-tech advisory firm. Garrett formerly served as the Managing Director of STAR Angel Network, providing professional athletes access to early-stage investment opportunities. Prior to STAR, Garrett worked for the US Olympic Committee during the Beijing and London Olympic and Paralympic Games. A six-time US National Rowing Team member, World Champion, and Olympian (2004), Garrett holds an MBA from George Washington University and an undergraduate degree from San Diego State University.
The Chinese bamboo plant takes 10 years to grow 6 inches. It then grows 10 feet in six months. How do you see it? Did the plant grow 10 feet in six months or 10 feet and six inches in 10 years and six months?
Through trial and error, not only thinking and over-thinking ideas but doing. In my 7-8 years of experience as an entrepreneur, I made many mistakes, but I ended up better after all. In my opinion mindset and beliefs are essential to succeed in the end.
Besides my work, as a founder and owner of three companies, I am a performance psychologist. I always want to know the why, and I don’t stop until you answer the question yourself. I combine my practical knowledge with theoretical foundations to come up with something that is evidence-based.
We can learn from other businesses and markets, If you open up they will.
Think ahead, embrace the why and sustainability will be the effect.
I own and operate a factory in China that specializes in streamlining the processes from development to production and scaling up production. We are looking to mentor startups that are building awesome hardware or physical products. Always feel free to reach out to me. Advice is always free here.
I am fortunate to work with a portfolio of companies from the international sports media & technology industry, by supporting them reach their commercial potential.
A seasoned business leader with 16+ yrs of progressive experience in leveraging solution consulting & program management to Fortune 1000 clients, in the FMCG, Hi-Tech, Sports & Media vertical. Experienced with tech-startups across Sports, Healthcare, Hospitality & Media verticals. Have assisted over 80 technology startups with go-to-market strategy & thriving operational efficiency.
While my Head is in Technology, my Heart is in Sports… Sport is an integral part of my life. From being a competitive athlete to a game-changer in #SportsBusiness. Continuously working on building “Sport-as-a-Brand” through Talent Representation, Brand Marketing & Positioning Strategy, Commercialisation of Sports using Fan Engagement, Smart Connected Arena & Sports Development & CSR.
Sports is my greatest teacher, and it has taught me one important thing: “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get…”
Working on “CxO-as-a-Service” model in Sportertainment, Technology & Management Consulting areas towards Brand Marketing, Business Strategy & CSR
Champions keep playing until they get it right.. and hence More I Play… More I Learn!!!
Through my company Bullpen Media, I publish conversations with sports startup founders to get closer insights into how they are impacting the sporting ecosystem. My mission is to create original editorial, authentic storytelling, and bespoke communications.
Digital strategy, branding, and design for sports and outdoors.
Ian Seltzer is currently the lead for Business Development at Pierce Yates Ventures, where he has developed eSports, media, entertainment, sports betting and AI verticals for early-stage investment. Previously, he led Content & Business Development for Rogue Sports, one of the top-ranked eSports teams in the world. He has worked at Hulu, Vuguru (Michael Eisner’s digital studio), and Paramount Digital Entertainment covering content creation, licensing, distribution and digital marketing. While there he developed, licensed and launched 30 original titles for TV, film and the web in over 110 countries worldwide. Ian graduated with a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently earned an MS with Merit in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics with a research focus on monetizing streaming media content in the U.S.
Tjitte (TJ) Weistra
I’m an experienced Manager taking a demonstrated history in (High Performance) sport as a former professional athlete, coach, and senior management into my current role as Business Manager for Strategy Hubb working predominantly with startups. Strong networking, fundraising, people management, and communication skills.
Working as the digital marketing and sales manager.
Ishveen Anand is the founder and CEO of OpenSponsorship is the largest Sports Sponsorship marketplace, covering over 150 sports and 6,000 professional athletes, teams and events. Having completed over 3,000 deals, OpenSponsorship provides brands with its software-enabled sponsorship tools that are powered by AI, Google Analytics, IBM Watson, Shopify integrations, APIs and ROI tracking. Ishveen, is a British native who graduated from Oxford University, she was on the Forbes 30 Under 30 2015 Sports List, and has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune, NASDAQ Private Business, Sports Business Daily, SportsTechie Elle, ISPO and other publicans. Prior to starting OpenSponsorship, she was a sports agent working with top teams and federations such as Mumbai Indians, Tottenham Hotspur, ICC, FIH and brands such as Hero MotoCorp, Mastercard and Castrol.
Francisco Miguel Condeço Caetano de Sousa
14 years experience empowering sustainable growth for tech-oriented business in 9 Countries in EMEA and South America.
Francisco demonstrated history of breaking even start-up projects and Corporate business in specializing in different ICT sub-sectors: E-Commerce, TechFood, Gaming, Real Estate Platforms, FinTech, BI and Online Media.
As the former Head of Design at Startupbootcamp, Robin worked with more than 175 startups worldwide and is well known with the global SBC organisation. He’s helping startups within the program with their pitch and investor decks mostly.
Venues, Stadium & Major Sporting Events Expert
Muhammad Jafar Ali
Working in various capacities for the last 8 years to innovate Sports Tech, rehabilitation and wellness through wearable. Partially involved in a green initiative towards zero carbon footprint future cities and energy management systems. To achieve this, innovations and startups are the future and Data Science is the wisdom behind it.
Peter Ferguson serves as the IBM Innovation Hub Leader, In Doha.
Innovative ideas and solution for Masses which motivates me to keep striding ahead and bring the latest for the masses. I have been looking forward keenly in the sports industry from 2 years and now assess it as the hottest growing market with immense opportunity of growth and development. I have been associated with BASICX to transform the ideas of sports in an easy form to locale of the grassroots. Marketing the product in the right direction to ascertain the right value to investors is my key expertise.
Graduated in Electrical Engineering and MBA (Strategy). Founded two company one is for R&D services another for IoT.
Hamit Kanuni Kuralkan
I have been working on product development and manufacturing for the past 10 years. Having founded and scaled a startup myself, I have been through the same challenges any startup goes through. Now I have been working with startups to help develop their initial run and scaling roadmaps as well as organize mold making and manufacturing through my company’s in-house services.
I bring more than 10 years of experience in product development and manufacturing. An approach that would support a technology that pushes boundaries with a manufacturing approach that would do the same in mechanical performance. Every industry has its challenges, sports tech particularly require high performance considering its primary purpose is to push what is humanly possible.
I am a VC investor with a passion for the sports industry, constantly looking to engage with talented entrepreneurs. I am currently Vice President of Investments & Strategy at Aser, the first European-based fund dedicated to sports investments founded by Andrea Radrizzani in London. I am responsible for the origination and execution of all potential investments, as well as working closely with portfolio companies to identify growth opportunities. Aser’s portfolio includes English Championship historic club Leeds United Football Club, global broadcaster Eleven Sports, sports influencer networks Whistle Sports and Hellodi, live-events production company Easyprod, San-Francisco based data & analytics start-up Sport Data Labs, amongst others.
I have also recently joined the Techstars Sports Accelerator program based in Indianapolis, in quality of Mentor.
Previously, I spent 3 years working for Accenture where I was part of the Corporate Strategy practice, with a special focus on TMT clients. I worked on a variety of clients and international projects across Germany, South Africa, Spain, US, and France.
Originally from Paris, I completed my Masters Degree from Grenoble Graduate School of Business between France and Australia.
We are at the very beginning of a new era for sports, leading to an incredible amount of exciting opportunities across the board. Technology is changing the way fans engage with their favourite club, viewers watch content, athletes measure their performance, etc. It is key to support the community in search for the right business model and monetisation strategy. Even more so for sports than it is for other sectors, there is a lot of room to leverage commercial synergies, providing an attractive way for investors to get on board and reduce their risk.
Aser was the first European-based funds to get involved in the sports segment by building a significant portfolio in just over 3 years, spanning sports, media and tech assets. Working across all these deals and supporting our companies with commercial and business development activities has been a great way to get exposed to a variety of approaches, business models, and go-to-market strategies. I’m hoping that the experience that I have accumulated over the years will prove useful to entrepreneurs part of the program.
I am an Investments & Strategy Associate as Aser, a global investment company focused on the media, sports and sports tech sectors. Aser’s current portfolio includes the historic Leeds United Football Club, international sports network Eleven Sports, digital content creator and distributor Whistle Sports, and minority stakes in other sports media and sports-tech companies. In my role, I am responsible for originating, evaluating and executing the acquisition of new businesses. I also work closely with portfolio companies helping them with their growth plans.
I am also a Mentor in the TechStars Sports Accelerator program.
Originally from Rome, I am based in London and have also lived in Madrid, Tokyo, and Moscow. I am passionate about employing my international outlook and love for sports to identify market-disruptive, early-stage investment opportunities and supporting their growth.
Qatar SportsTech is uniquely positioned to foster innovation by leveraging the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as well as the country’s active approach to modernising the sports sector. I believe the program will attract exciting start-ups with the potential to disrupt the market, and I am keen to support their growth as a Mentor.
I look forward to helping the teams optimise their business models, unlock growth opportunities and access investment.
I have worked at the intersections of sports, entrepreneurship and emerging technology throughout my career so it has been an eye-opening experience to see how rapidly the sports tech landscape has grown around the world since I graduated university in 2009. I founded Sports Mobile Summit, one of the first conferences in the U.S. to focus on mobile technology in the sports industry, with events in Boston, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Now that I’m based in Boston, one of the world’s great academic hubs, I have had the opportunity to mentor students who are the next generation of tech entrepreneurs at Wentworth Institute of Technology and a number of other leading institutions in higher education.
Qatar (and the Middle East in general) is poised to emerge as an epicenter for innovation in the sports industry in areas ranging from stadium design to fan engagement technologies, so I’m thrilled to play a small role in helping to serve as a connection point between the U.S. sports community and the companies who are part of the Qatar SportsTech cohort.
My specialties are partnership and business development strategy. I like to find opportunities to connect sports tech entrepreneurs with industry leaders who have complementary skill sets and can benefit from their expertise. I’m also looking forward to advising the Qatar SportsTech cohort on opportunities to bring their technologies to the North American marketplace.
For the last 25 years, I have been venture building and investing in early-stage startups and scale-ups, whilst also advising startups at various levels as well as mentoring across various accelerator and incubator programs. My passion is building new meaningful and enduring technology companies and over the years I have designed groundbreaking & award-winning technologies in FinTech, Automotive, IoT/Wearables, with three successful company exits.
I am genuinely passionate about supporting entrepreneurs in any way I can, creating stories that bring alive the power of tech startups and along my journey across 4 different continents, I have been privileged to have worked with some amazing and brilliant people. Joining Qatar SportTech as a mentor is a pleasure for me because it’s a sector I know extremely well from being involved in sports from a very young age but also as I have a very exciting tech startup in this space that will disrupt the status quo over time. However, it’s my collective experience and passion for building startups that excites me to be involved.
Technology is certainly impacting the world of sports and as mentioned before I have a tech startup in this space which is very exciting and will definitely disrupt the status quo over time. However the advances in technology have had a profound impact on sport such as analysis of sport performance and enabling coaches to greatly improve the quality of feedback to players/athletes, increasing accuracy in time measurements of sport performance, enabling referees, umpires and sport officials to make better decisions on rule infringements, improvements in the design of sport equipment and apparel as well as providing spectators with better viewing of sport performance. Sport is now a business with so much at stake!
Most and foremost is for them to know that I’m available at any time during their journey. They will definitely get to witness my passion, energy, and commitment for helping them get their ventures off the ground. My support will also be focused on helping them with understanding customer experience, design thinking, visual storytelling, the art of creative pitching, how to present themselves and understanding what investors really look for in founders, last but not least their vision meaning their future scalability.
Motasem El bawab
I like to call myself a globetrotter, I moved from country to country in my youth which taught me English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, and Spanish. I picked up a basketball at the age 6 while playing against my older brother Mazen, and my passion was cemented at 12 when I played three years at the Wehda Club in Tripoli, Libya. Later I pursued careers in both basketball and marketing, including playing for the Flamengo Basketball Club in Rio de Janeiro and graduating with honors from the John Molson School of Business.
Some of my previous work included projects for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), I led the daily content distribution strategy for social media and delivery of video content for broadcasters. Currently, I am working as the digital projects manager for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) leading the creation of new digital products and event-specific products.”
I am your change agent and my heart is on fire for the most challenging sports applications in the world. I have started numerous companies, some were a brilliant success, while others crashed. I enjoy strategic planning, product development, financial analysis, as well as, communicating (storytelling) the significance of innovation to the sports industry. I understand very technical engineering speak and the hype often involved with marketing. I’m confident that my entrepreneurial mindset with an outstanding organizational and instinctive eye for leadership focused on your technology or your people, will add to your startup culture. Businesses appreciate my innovative infectious personality dedicated to helping teams achieve success – are you the dream team?
I have worked in the field of sports development for over thirty years, mostly based within the UK but on projects as far afield as South Africa, Kurdistan, Georgia, Zambia and most recently in Qatar. The focus on my work has been to support public sector organisations design, develop and implement policy, strategy and programmes to increase participation levels in sport and physical activity, as a tool to develop better health outcomes, better social outcomes and better sporting outcomes in terms of performance levels, education attainment levels and social cohesion. I have worked with national government departments in many countries to help them develop or implement a joined-up approach to sport and physical activity, embedding it within national strategic plans for education, health, and community development. This work has often been alongside such reputable organisations as UNICEF and the British Council. During the run-up to and immediately after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games I helped develop and deliver three of the Games’ legacy programmes, all of which were designed to “inspire a generation” to choose sport for life. My current consultancy work in Qatar is to develop a space within the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum which will also inspire participation, by helping visitors to identify which sports and activities are best suited to them and where in Qatar they can go to take part in these activities.
Victor Sánchez del Amo
Duncan is an entrepreneur, 2-time co-founder, and business advisor. He has worked for more than 25 years in the UK, Australia, Asia, and the US.
His primary business skills and experience includes sales and marketing, operations and talent acquisition. Basically, getting stuff done Recently, Duncan spends his time helping entrepreneurs at Accelerators such as Startupbootcamp, IoTA Wales, The Accelerator Network’s Accelerator Academy & Cyber 101 and CRL’s Hardware Lab.
Duncan is also active with the Tech London Advocates Health Working Group, where he manages the program that brings together HealthTech entrepreneurs & mentors from Partnering, Regulatory, Funding, Business
Models and Growth backgrounds.
Duncan co-founded and managed 2 businesses for 15 years. Most recently as the CEO & CTO of MyCognition, a disruptive HealthTech startup. During this time, he developed MVP’s, worked in clinical trials to help validate their products and sold into B2B enterprise clients, schools and partners.
Previously, Duncan co-founded BizCarta Australia, an IT services consulting firm, which specialised in working with blue-chip organisations. Duncan developed BizCarta Australia from start-up through to sale. BizCarta became the most successful business of its type in the region and was the only tier 1 software partner with Lenovo in the world.
Duncan served on the board of the Sydney chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organisation for 3 years and has been a technology advisor to a number of companies involved in M&A activities.
More information on Duncan can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/duncanknight
Duncan writes about sales, startup life and more at https://www.duncanknight.com
Orsola De Marco
Orsola is the Head of Startup Programmes at the Open Data Institute, where she leads a team that manages a range of startup and innovation programmes in the UK and internationally.
Additionally, she is a mentor in several startup accelerators and incubators where she helps early-stage startups on value proposition, product development, business models and pitching.
Orsola is a regular speaker at external events about data-driven accelerators, open innovation, empowering women in tech, as well as being part of judging panels for startup programmes.
Prior to her role at the Open Data Institute, she spent a number of years in the innovation sector, won a social enterprise award from UnLtd and co-founded a crowdsourcing and co-design platform that promotes civic engagement and collaborative urbanism.
In her spare time, she is part of several women-led networks for growing women’s leadership, in particular in tech and urbanism. She believes in using data and building great products to help solve real challenges.
She holds a BS in Economics and Management and an MA in Design Studies from Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London.
Fouad El Fdil
I am Dutch, born in the city of Breda southwest Holland near Belgium. I studied sports and business management. My first job was with Adidas for two years and after that, I worked for 12 years at the Royal Dutch Football Federation in two different roles. I was an instructor, coach education and I was a strategic policy advisor. So, I was advising and consulting clubs, mostly board members but also, local authorities. Connecting them, helping them to develop the club, sometimes the entire club sometimes a specific subject like the academy or to improve accommodation. It was quite an interesting job for my personal and professional development. In 2012 I got an opportunity to start working in Qatar because of the world cup in 2022, with Aspire academy which plays a great central role in the planning of the world cup 2022. So, I had several meetings and interviews in Qatar and I decided to quit after 12 years and choose this adventure. So, I moved to Qatar for 5 and a half years now and it has been an amazing experience. Now, I am back to Holland working as an international football consultant for several projects.
My number one advice would be, make the pitch leading in what you develop. I see a lot of enthusiastic people, companies, and startups working on technologies. They have a lot of energy and enthusiasm and are quite convinced that they can develop something which will benefit sports on both short-term and long-term. I think it is important to work together with the people working on the pitch. I say pitch, but what I mean is the practical situation. It can be indoor or outdoor people who know what is happening. I take football as an example of coaches and assistant coaches. If you ask the right questions, it will give you valuable inputs in developing new technologies. Make sure that you gain these inputs. That you ask feedback regularly and that you work together with these people. This will lead to innovation, new technologies, and new concepts and the main objective, of course, to improve athletes and improve the game.
My name is David Braun, I’m a serial entrepreneur, primarily in the sports tech vertical. After my third company, I switched sides and started getting more involved on the enabler side. I joined SBC Digital Health as Entrepreneur in Residence in 2016 and from there, got more and more involved in various other accelerators and incubators, such as Google Launchpad, Lead Sports Accelerator, 360 Lab and a bung more. I then joined a Venture Capital fund, the Leann Family’s sports tech focussed fund Go4.it, as Dealflow Manager for the European and Israeli Geographic regions. I have a Background in UI/UX Design, Product Management, and Electronic Engineering, and I also Lecture at the LCI Design University in Barcelona for their Master’s Program on Management in the Creative Industries.
Prior to kicking off my entrepreneurial journey in Europe, I was living in Africa for 10 years. My passion for adventure and sports has led to me having traveled all my life, visiting around 82 countries to date. Sports has always been an integral part of my life and I’ve tried almost every extreme sport that exists. I conquered Africa’s second highest mountain at age 8, have been hang gliding since age 16 (and won 1st place at the regional cup 3 years later), jumped out of a plane solo and got my AFF license a week later, and most recently started with kite surfing. I tend to add a new sport every couple of years to keep things interesting.
Mentoring is both about sharing knowledge and experience so that others don’t have to make the same mistake I did, as well as asking the right questions, so as to unlock the answers that are already residing within.
As to the first part, my area of expertise is in full-spectrum venture building and strategy, going from idea to funded company, having done that a couple of times myself, both as founder and funder. But also in any UI/UX and product management topics, as well as community building.
So again, it’s about sharing knowledge and experience, but also asking the right questions because I believe that everyone has the answers to everything within and that the problem always contains the solution.
The sportstech community is still relatively small, yet tight-knit, highly engaged and supportive. So my advice would be to make it a point to get as connected as possible within this vertical and you will be surprised at the abundance of opportunity you will stumble into. There is emerging sportstech media that would be happy to cover any exciting new project in the space, there is plenty of sportstech focused conferences and events popping up, always looking for speakers and interesting topics to present, just to mention a few.
So go out there and crush it! As Woody Allen once said, 80% of success is showing up.
I am originally from New Zealand but have an international identity crisis–having lived, worked, and studied in eight different countries – New Zealand, Japan, Russia, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, the US, and the UK. After spending five years at Facebook (New York and London) managing global partnerships with clients including Procter & Gamble, Volkswagen, and Heineken, I left to co-found Frontier X, a company focused on blockchain, entertainment, and education. I was part of the founding team of TaTaTu, a blockchain entertainment company that raised $575 million in a token sale and am about to publish a book called Music On A Blockchain, which addresses how blockchain can help solve problems in the creative fields.
Considering that Qatar is hosting the upcoming World Cup, this program is well placed to emerge as an exciting global hub for sports technology. I look forward to meeting anyone with ambitious goals to harness technology in order to create new opportunities in sports and entertainment.
My background has given me strong experience in sales & marketing, company culture, and international business development. I hope to add value to any startups looking for advice in those areas, whether their area of focus is small businesses or large corporates.
Avoid conventional thinking, think as big as possible, and hold on tight to your optimism. Steve Jobs said “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
I started out working in esports as a journalist covering the industry from a betting perspective for SBC News in 2015. Recognizing a potential opportunity and gap in the market, I co-founded and grew the business news site, media, and events company Esports Insider.
Since we launched ESI in the summer of 2016, it has grown into one of the leading industry news sites globally and has organized more esports business-focused events than any other company. Also under the company banner is the Esports Insider Hall of Fame, the ESI Trust, and the ESI Media arm too.
In the Position of Managing Director, I oversee the growth and direction of the company, as well as its day to day affairs.
We’re one of the top esports business news and media platforms worldwide, and we run a number of high-profile industry networking and educational events too. As such, we can offer a platform for them to promote themselves and what they offer to the right audiences. We have a strong network via which we can help to support the start-ups involved, and we can also offer guidance as to some of the dos and dont’s in the esports space.