Innovation Theatre to Boost Startups at QITCOM 2012

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At QITCOM 2012 next week, Qatar's second ICT-industry focused conference, young entrepreneurs will get a chance to hone their innovative ideas at the Innovation Theater, a workshop and business plan competition.

The competition, hosted by human capital development firm Potential, along with Vodafone, Yahoo, Bedaya Center, UrbanSouq, Roudah Center, AIESEC and Qartoon.com from March 5th-7th, will focus on web, mobile, media, gaming and Arabic content startup ideas, especially supporting women and youth (applicants must be between 18-29 years old).

Teams whose ideas make the cut will get a chance to pitch to judges for a chance to win QAR 50K (US$ 14K), along with incubation, mentoring, and further exposure. 

The offline and online event began with online training sessions, which Potential  offered up until March 1st, and is proceeding to onsite training, which Potential is offering from from March 3rd - 4th, at Dajtala (ictQatar) and the Bedaya Center. 

Following this training, the top 20 teams who submit ideas to the competition will get one minute to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges as well as the audience, who will assess their team, pitch, innovation, and passion.

On the second day, the top 10 shortlisted teams will further work on their ideas, pitching again to judges for 3 minutes, this time being assessed on their team and innovation as well as technical plan and project feasibility. 

Finally, the 5 final teams will present their ideas for 5 minutes each on the last day, as judges and the audience assess their business potential and startup needs. The runner up will receive QAR 30K, and third place QAR 20K, but all teams will benefit from exposure and training.   

The prizes also aren't just for the winners; the first 100 people that register for the innovation theater sessions will have a chance to win a free iPad, and the first 50 participants that submit their ideas to the competition will have two chances to win a free iPad.

Shadi Banna, the founder of Potential, noted in a statement that the Innovation Theatre aims to "to tap into the most creative, ambitious and imaginative Qatari, regional, and International youth in Qatar and bring some superb ideas to fruition.” 

For startups looking for quick boost, committing only three days to the competition seems a small price to pay. Unlike Startup Weekends, which offer a similar 3-day intensity, the Innovation Theatre will be less about forming new ideas, and more about digging deep into existing ideas to form feasible startups.

Interested entrepreneurs can register on Potential's website.

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