How to Grow Startups in the Desert

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Inviting a world of SportsTech to Qatar.

The program is finally coming together and we have 10 startups at our doorstep ready to accelerate their businesses to the next level. We have startups from all corners of the world, each attacking each of their own burning challenges within the Sports Industry. In this post, we give you a sneak peek into what we have in store for the first QST cohort.

For the full rundown of the new cohort, read our post – Meet the First QST Cohort.
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The art of Crafting a Program

QST is by no means the first accelerator program. Nor is it the first SportsTech accelerator. However, it is the first SportsTech accelerator in Qatar, a country which is still in the early days of positioning itself as an entrepreneurial hotspot. The desire to push the ecosystem forward is felt in any encounter and the country is uniquely equipped to make it happen.

“If there is one thing that I can say about the Qatari culture so far, then it is that if they want something, then they will get it. So it will probably be safe to say that the World Cup that is going to happen in 2022 will be one of the most memorable events ever. If we can contribute successfully through corporate-startup collaboration, that we from Startupbootcamp facilitate here from Qatar then that would be the ultimate success,”

says Koen Bosma, QST Program Director, in his interview with SportsTechX

The ins and outs of the QST Program

Week 1 – Setting up OKRs

During their first week in Qatar, each startup will be working on establishing clear Objectives and Key Results. These will be used as the foundation for everything that follows. Every time a startup makes a strategic decision, we want them to ask themselves “how does this tie into my OKRs”.

Week 2 – Mentor Match-making

The second week of the program will be focused on partnering the startups with the right mentors. The whole week will be aimed at finding the startups own personal Mr. Miyaki.

Week 3 – Proposition Design & Sales Management

We want each startup to be able to sell their products through razor-sharp propositions. The third week of the program will be packed with workshops and sessions that will hone their sales pitch.

Week 4 – Partner Matchup

Our most valuable asset is without a doubt our world-class partners. During the fourth week, the startups will meet and be paired up with the partners with the best opportunities for collaboration.

Week 5 – PR in Sports

If a startup lands a big investment and TechCrunch doesn’t write about it, did it then even happen? All jokes aside, PR is of extreme importance when growing a startup. Each move should make ripples in the water to attract the big fish and the press is the entrepreneur’s best weapon to do so. During week five, we will present the startups with a crash course in how to sell their story to the press and the importance of PR.

Week 6 – Growth Hacking

Growing ain’t easy and sometimes it takes a little hacking to get the ball rolling (football pun intended). In this week we focus on all the tweaks, hacks, and tricks a startup can use to grow its marketing channels and boost its numbers.

Week 7 – Team Essentials & Pre-mediation

The team of a startup is its greatest asset. However, coordination and alignment is never a given and it takes effort and practice to make people work together efficiently. During this week, we help each startup to develop their team, priming them for collaboration and a proactive mindset.

Week 8 – Fundraising

No gas, no highway. Unless you are bootstrapping like a boss, your startup requires funds to grow. Knowing the whos, hows, and whens of fundraising can be the difference between soaring high and plummeting down into the burning pits of insolvency. By the time week eight is over, the startups of the QST cohort will be weaponized fundraising machines ready to take on any investor.

Week 9 – Pitching

Every startup has got to sing for their supper. That’s just the name of the game. In week nine we take them through the pitching equivalent of quire practice to prepare them for the Demo Day limelight.

Week 10 – Scaling

Every big startup started as small initiatives. Scaling your business is an exhilarating experience but it also brings with it a lot of unforeseen challenges. By the end of week 10, all of these should be clear for the startups to prepare them for scaling to new heights.

Week 11 – Legal & IP

No way around it. This stuff is important! Legal might not be the most compelling side of the startup but, nevertheless, it is something that every founder has to get acquainted with in one way or another. A growing startup has to consider a myriad of legal implications, such as how data is dealt with, the ownership structure of the company and how to protect its IP. We will bring in experts in the field to help the startups understand their legal framework and teach them how to protect themselves against encroachments.

Week 12 – DEMO DAY!

This is the end goal, D-day, the holy grail, the North Star, and the end of the rainbow. By this time in the program, the 10 startups will have rehearsed their pitch with their wife, their parents, their cat, and their goldfish. Will the event be big, you say? Yes! Will local and international investors be present, you ask? Most definitely, yes! We, the QST team, will make sure that Demo Day 2019 will be an event that will be noted down by historians. In all humility, of course 😉

It’s all happening now!

We couldn’t be more psyched for having the startups join us in Doha on the 10th of February. We look forward to experiencing, first hand, how these rockstars will make a name for themselves in a city so primed for the sports industry.

Follow us on Instagram: @Qatar.SportsTech and Twitter @QatarSportsTech to stay up to date with all things QST.

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