QSTP helping Qatar retain its brightest high-tech entrepreneurs

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Doha: Recognising the value of an innovative idea even before it matures into a viable commercialised product is the vision behind the ecosystem at Qatar Science & technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI). For high-tech startup ADGS, it was the recognition they earned from QSTP, and the mentorship and support that followed, that made all the difference during their research & development (R & D) stage. The startup now sells a suite of software products that uses artificial intelligence (AI), behavioural biometrics, and emergent behavior, in countries all over the world.

ADGS has been the recipient of several awards from QSTP, receiving the Product Development Fund (PDF) twice; in April 2017 and again in November 2018, which is still in progress. The team went on to participate in QSTP's two accelerator programs, XLR8 and MENA Dojo, receiving support from QSTP's network of mentors and coaches to commercialize their cutting-edge software.

This year, ADGS was the first recipient of the Innovation Coupon from QF RDI, which is a new funding initiative designed to benefit Qatar-based SMEs or startups that are engaged in the development of new technology-rich products and services, and have the needed capacity and technical knowledge to develop their product or service but require more support to resolve a specific technical or business problem. 

Christophe Billiottet, CEO of ADGS, said, 'This field of research is not always fully understood as it can seem abstract and complex, but the applications in tomorrow's world are huge. QSTP understood this, thanks to some well-prepared and brilliant minds in their management. Otherwise, it is probable that the team would have had to move to a place like the Silicon Valley to find investors. Billiottet explains that during the PDF programme, the team received a percentage of the annual costs of developing their technologies: 'These funds allowed us to boost the quality of our team by recruiting the very best specialists from Qatar, Russia and Argentina.

Considering the complexity of their technology, ADGS has a relatively small team of nine, who are exclusively dedicated to creating products based on new concepts that only large US and European companies have been able to develop so far. Billiottet, along with Hassan Al Ansari from Qatar, as ADGS President, and Nahuel Gonzalez from Argentina, as CTO, lead the multinational team of entrepreneurs. 

Their cyber security product STROKK is a behavioral biometric software that improves password security by a factor of 10,000 while simplifying the login process for users and companies. STROKK is being purchased by customers in highly cyber security sensitive industries such as finance, banks, defense, the armed forces, and intelligence services in several countries. Their other software product is 'TASMO, a business intelligence tool, which has attracted the attention of Chinese giant Alibaba, the intelligence community and military, and has been deployed in several banks in Qatar. 

'Understanding the huge potential of our company, and how to handle such potential to grow the company at global levels has been one of the major learning outcomes of MENA Dojo, which links MENA startups with the most advanced entrepreneurship culture in the world.

After their participation in the MENA Dojo program, which is organized in collaboration with global venture capital seed fund, 500 Startups, ADGS was able to secure an investment from 500 Startups.

'MENA Dojo gave us opportunities that would have been impossible without participating, including press exposure, and the support to enter the very exclusive Silicon Valley '500 Startups club, said Billiottet. 

Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director, QSTP, said, 'At QSTP, our startups have access to some of the best technology experts and growth mentors in the world because we recognize that the achievements of these startups help position Qatar as a global competitor in technology development and innovation. Through the vibrant ecosystem of R & D, innovation, and entrepreneurship we foster, QSTP is also contributing to the economic diversification of Qatar and the wider MENA region. QSTP takes pride in its 10 years of impactful achievements for Qatar and is committed to continue extending every form of support to other Qatari startups like ADGS, to translate their highly-specialized capabilities and technologies into commercial success.

Following the award of an Innovation Coupon from QF RDI earlier this year, ADGS now has the funding to continue expanding STROKK into the regional market, which requires exporting their security solution from a Windows to a Unix environment. 


The Peninsula

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