The Qatar Research, Development, and Innovation (QRDI) Council, in partnership with Qatar Development Bank (QDB), has concluded the Strategic Product Management Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The week-long program ran from August 21-25 with the goal of supporting the local economy with the knowledge, tools and techniques needed to develop market-ready products, services and solutions.
The bootcamp brought together 25 participants, including 11 companies from the economic sectors of cybersecurity, digital platforms, education, textiles and e-commerce.
This is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by QRDI and QDB earlier this month. The joint initiative is part of the series of programs organized by QRDI that catalyze innovation leadership by building the institutional capacity of local SMEs to lead and pilot technology development pilot projects in Qatar.
Covering key topics to empower participants and drive their innovation projects, the bootcamp started with the fundamentals of product management of product development cycles and the alignment between products and business and customer needs. .
The focus of the program also extended to product strategy, roadmap development, research and prioritization, idea generation, and design thinking. Attendees then learned about the intricacies of product development and launch and acquired the device to ensure continuous product improvement.
The training week ended with a deep dive into effective stakeholder communication and management. To foster sustained engagement, the program also allowed participants to become part of a product stewardship community to network and exchange experiences and best practices with their peers.
The Strategic Product Management Bootcamp is an integral part of QRDI’s vision to bring holistic change to the research, development and innovation ecosystem in Qatar.
Faraj Jasim Abdulla, RDI Program Manager at QRDI, said: “This collaboration between QRDI and QDB is one of the tangible elements of building a knowledge-based economy. Qatar has the perfect infrastructure to be an innovation hub, and this bootcamp provides SMEs with the capabilities to develop their products, test them in the market, and showcase their innovations globally.
Abdulla added, “Through this SME-targeted bootcamp, QRDI’s various programs target different segments of our economy to realize the Qatar National Vision 2030. We aim to empower Qatar’s innovation ecosystem to create jobs with high added value, to develop innovative solutions and to attract and retain talent.”
Mohamed al-Emadi, Acting Chief Investment Officer of QDB, said: “Through our partnership with QRDI, the bootcamp has been an exceptional opportunity for innovators to explore and develop their entrepreneurial skills, which which will have a positive influence on the local economy as a whole.
“The bootcamp provided participating entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to succeed nationally and internationally. Following the success of the bootcamp, we continue to be committed to working with key market players to fulfill our responsibility as a financial institution and develop the private sector through access to financial capacity and markets.
Two innovation leaders from the local SME landscape shared their knowledge and experiences in product management with attendees. Speakers included Ghanim al-Sulaiti, founder of Enbat Holdings, and a seasoned entrepreneur with a variety of established and developing businesses.
Al-Sulaiti noted: “This is a fantastic initiative; it connects people in the field with people like me who may have something to share that isn’t taught in the books. It brings in like-minded people who are interested in research and ask questions. Places like QRDI allow dialogue, which seems crucial to me, and it’s the only way to move forward.
Khalid Aboujassoum, Entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Else Labs Inc, said: “Training is very essential as human capital development is at the heart of the Qatar National Vision 2030. It is great to see QRDI and QDB working together to bring unique training, such as the Strategic Product Management Bootcamp to local SMEs.
The QRDI Council continues to support government entities, large local enterprises (LLEs) and SMEs through innovative programs and workshops, such as the Qatar Open Innovation Program and Ideation Workshop, among others. Members of the QRDI Council include national and international personalities from various government and academic entities and industry experts.