Complex Made Simple

Qatar Business Incubation Center kicked off the 10 week QBIC flagship Lean Startup program

Qatar Business Incubation Center kicked off the 10 weekQBIC flagship Lean Startup program for all of the startups and scale ups who have been shortlisted for this program.

The program is held at Mövenpick Tower & Suites Doha, West Bay in Doha. The LeanStartup Program, one of QBIC’s flagship programs, is a ten-week entrepreneurial LeanStartup program that provides real world, hands-on learning experience on how to successfully start a company. Unlike traditional business schools and textbooks, it’s not about writing and also not about executing of a predefined business plan. The teams will spend most of their time being out of the center in order to talk to customers, partners, competitor etc. They use the Business Model Canvas to develop their business model and the Customer Development Model to validate their business model. Based on the customer feedback, the team’s use Agile Development to develop a product that customer’s need. At the end of the program the teams showcase and pitch their startup to judges and potential investors.

The chairman of QBIC Mr. Abdulaziz Al Khalifa visited the workshop on Sunday and welcomed all of the entrepreneurs out there. He addressed them saying: “This is a very interesting and exciting moment for all of us. I would like to welcome all of you. I can see a sign over there that says “No Action, No Talk”. You will see more action from us as the incubation center. This is a great opportunity for us as QBIC, as well for everyone from you. The infrastructure and the building of QBIC is finished. But believe me this is not about a building, this is about you and this is about human capital. This is about the Entrepreneurs who can transform the idea into a real business. This is a great learning opportunity for all of us together as entrepreneurs and QBIC. I wish you all the best and success. We welcome professor Les Charm from Babson college. I believe that each one of you is accepting this challenge. I look forward to see the results of this group. Wish you all the success. We thank you for being here today. We are looking forward to seeing more successful case studies from startups and scaleups. You are working in a safe environment as failure is accepted but not encouraged.”, said Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, whom also the CEO of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), one of QBIC founders in addition to Social Development Bank.

What most business schools and textbooks teach us about startups does not really apply in the real world. With the traditional business plan method, everything happens inside the building – but there is little knowledge inside the building, so no business plan survives the first customer contact as Steve Blank, a successful serial entrepreneur and lecture at leading US universities, says. We do it the other way around: instead of concentrating and documenting the future unknowns, we ask our entrepreneurs to go outside the center and talk to customers, partners, etc. We start with customer validation before product development. They should then develop a minimal viable product, just one inexpensive feature of the final product, and again return to the customers to validate it. Only after customer validation, only then, should they start to develop the product or start writing down the business plan. This is not another or new approach in entrepreneurship, but rather a fundamental different approach in how to successfully start a business.