As Qatar steadily progresses to achieving its 2030 vision, the nation has recognised the Fintech Industry as a key component of its knowledge-based economy objective. The National Fintech Strategy, set by Qatar Central Bank (QCB), provides a framework for initiatives that enable the local startup sector and create a favourable ecosystem for international FinTech’s to choose Qatar as their launchpad to the global market.
As an established financial and sports hub in the region, with access to nearby markets that are worth $2.1 Trillion, Qatar is opening its doors to startups with innovative solutions in Financial Technologies such as e-payments, Bitcoins and Crypto Currencies, and processes automation among others.
With that aim, QCB has partnered with Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) to rollout Qatar Fintech Hub (QFTH) to stimulate the sector and rise to meet the evolving needs of the country. QFTH is dedicated to offer Qatar’s first-ever specialised Incubator and Accelerator Programs, which target entrepreneurs with innovative and cutting-edge Fintech ideas.
The first wave of these two niche programs have kicked off recently with over 20 Fintech’s from around the world enrolled for a rigorous 12-week schedule of orientation, workshops, mentoring, logistical support, networking, speaker sessions, and opportunities for business development.
With the first call for applications, the Programmes witnessed a massive turnout, receiving more than 750 applications by early-stage and mature Fintech’s from Qatar and 72 other countries including USA, UK, Australia, India, Singapore, Turkey, Nigeria, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Jordan and Kuwait and other Regional and International countries, indicating how the country is increasingly regarded as a destination for the international business community.
Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al-Khalifa, CEO of QDB and Chairman of Qatar FinTech Hub, said: “QFTH is part of our plan to deliver on the Qatar National Vision 2030. Supporting the local market and enabling the development of our economy requires home-grown state-of-the-art financial technologies that cater to the needs of the tech-savvy Qatari consumer. The hub also strives to find solutions that could scale-up the local, regional, and global industry, acting as a launchpad for FinTech’s from Qatar to the world.”
“The large number of quality applications we have received is a strong testament of the trust that QFTH has quickly gained with the FinTech community worldwide.”
As part of its commitment to offer world-class expertise to participating FinTech’s, QFTH has collaborated with local and international institutions including financial institutions, technology and service providers, payment networks, academic institutions, regulators, in addition to partnering with other FinTech hubs from Singapore, UK, Turkey, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Lithuania, Australia, Nigeria and Sweden. Major partners for the QFTH Wave 1 Programs include Amazon, Microsoft, Visa, Mastercard and others.