Bel­gian firm lauds Qatar’s startup ecosys­tem

Gulf Times - Gulf Times Business - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Ala­gos Busi­ness Re­porter

Qatar pro­vides a suit­able ecosys­tem to de­velop and grow star­tups given the coun­try’s world-class in­fra­struc­ture, as well as pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor sup­port, an of­fi­cial of a Bel­gian tech firm said.

MoodMe co-founder and CEO Chan­dra de Keyser said ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­grammes be­ing pro­vided by or­gan­i­sa­tions like Qatar Sport­sTech (QST) help star­tups de­velop into full-fledged sports tech com­pa­nies.

“It is dif­fi­cult for star­tups com­ing from abroad to fully un­der­stand such chal­lenges. A re­la­tion bridge is most use­ful; QST con­tin­ues to build deeper re­la­tions with the Qatar gov­ern­ment and cor­po­ra­tions to help star­tups like MoodMe and oth­ers in the programme to val­i­date their prod­uct and be­come mar­ket-fit to meet Qatar stake­hold­ers’ re­quire­ments to be the num­ber one sports nation in the world,” de Keyser told Gulf Times. MoodMe is part of the QST programme, which works with beIN Sports and the Supreme Com­mit­tee for De­liv­ery & Le­gacy (SC), to de­velop new sports tech­nolo­gies.

Asked to de­scribe MoodMe’s re­la­tion­ship with QST and the role it plays in its growth and devel­op­ment as a startup, de Keyser said QST is an early stage ac­cel­er­a­tor which pro­vides ac­cess to good men­tors and coaches. It fur­ther­more fa­cil­i­tates ac­cess to key de­ci­sion mak­ers in Qatar to sig­nif­i­cantly ac­cel­er­ate busi­ness part­ner­ships with stake­hold­ers in the coun­try, he said. “Qatar is the num­ber one nation in the world when it comes to cre­at­ing a sports me­dia ecosys­tem: PSG is owned by Qatar, while Qatar Air­ways spon­sors ma­jor clubs, and beIN Sports owns im­age rights of many com­pe­ti­tions; Al Jazeera cov­ers the news 24/7, while Oore­doo spon­sors sports and events and is present all over the world,” de Keyser pointed out.

He also said many busi­nesses would ben­e­fit from Qatar’s ICT in­fra­struc­ture. “MoodMe pro­poses so­lu­tions based on AR and face in­sights that re­quire good In­ter­net band­width and good smart­phones for op­ti­mal qual­ity of the user ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We ben­e­fit from this be­cause

De Keyser: Deeper re­la­tions.

we are tar­get­ing lo­cal cus­tomers with lo­cal end-users. For in­stance, the Supreme Com­mit­tee for De­liv­ery & Le­gacy (SC) will pro­vide the most amaz­ing fan ex­pe­ri­ences both on their mo­bile and in­side fan zones. The type of ex­pe­ri­ences we of­fer will be greatly en­hanced by hav­ing such top ICT in­fra­struc­ture.” He added: “Our mar­ket is global, and the largest mar­kets are with Qatar stake­hold­ers who have a global foot­print, such as Qatar Air­ways, Qatar Sports In­vest­ment, PSG, beIN Sports, and Oore­doo.”

Ac­cord­ing to de Keyser, on­go­ing work to roll-out 5G tech­nol­ogy across the coun­try will play a significan­t role in the growth of Qatar’s startup ecosys­tem. “5G will en­able a higher level of amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. This will be a key in the 2022 FIFA World Cup when mil­lions of peo­ple will come to Qatar, and high band­width will be cru­cial to de­liver AR/VR and full 3D ex­pe­ri­ences,” de Keyser said.

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