Prayer, Media, and Gaming Apps Win at the Innovation Theatre Competition at QITCOM

by Nina Curley, March 7, 2012

After 10 teams pitched their ideas yesterday at the Innovation Theatre, in a competition hosted by Potential at QITCOM, the 5 team that made it to the final round pitched today, hoping to win cash prizes as well as mentorship. 

While only 3 walked away with cash prizes, everyone who participated in the Innovation Theatre will have an opportunity to receive training from ictQatar's incubator, Dajtala, said Potential's founder Shadi Banna. 

The results were just announced:

First Place (winning QAR 50,000, or US$ 13,700) went to PrayerGarden, led by Thuraya Tabbara (pictured above pitching), an app designed to encourage timely prayer using gaming elements that reward on-time prayers with social metrics and more branches on a digital tree. Its strengths lay in its scalability and gaming elements.

Second Place (winning QAR 30,000, or US$ 8,200) went to Documentary Alif: led by Ashley Ramadan, this team pitched a website that evolved from being a training resource for documentary filmmakers to being a platform from which they would field ideas and create films about the Arab World, targeted for a foreign audience. Their strengths seemed to lie in their experience as documentary filmmakers and the cohesion of their team. yOne weakness was scalability: they planned only to use their 4-person team to create films rather than tackle the difficulties of hiring in Qatar. 

Third Place (winning QAR 20,000, or US$ 5,500): Qat Lab, by Munia Dossari, a gaming lab that aims to create Arabic, Islam-focused content for the $25 billion global gaming industry. Strong points included its focus, and positioning as a pioneer in a sector with not enough regionally-focused content. Its weakness seemed to be its plan for dissemination; the founders only noted they would reach for social media, without further details. 

The other two that pitched included two mobile applications that aimed for social impact: 

Asthma App, led by Sophia and John, an app that will prevent deaths due to asthma in Qatar by alerting asthma suffers of daily conditions. Its strengths seem to be its alignment with Qatar's 2030 vision and its social impact. Challenges include its need for serious infrastructure including measuring stations.

Picture Language, led by Mariam, an app that helps people communicate across cultures, by offering pictures of everyday objects that users can touch, instructing the app to speak in a variety of languages. Its strength was its goal to assist those with speech disabilities. One major weakness was its need to use an internet connection to access images stored in the cloud, and its potential redundancy with existing products like Google Translate (and its move towards speech. 

Also, the results of the TechZone pitches were announced: Ziad Sankari of CardioDiagnostics won Best Showcasing, for his remote heart monitoring device, after going head-to-head with many more established ventures. 

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Nina is the Editor-in-Chief at Wamda. You can reach her through Wamda, on Twitter @9aa, on Facebook, Google+ or at nina [AT] wamda.com. 

 
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