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Largest startup gathering in the Middle East, Web Summit Qatar, welcomes 15,453 to Doha

Largest startup gathering in the Middle East, Web Summit Qatar, welcomes 15,453 to Doha

Web Summit, the world’s largest technology conference, today announced that the inaugural edition of its Middle Eastern event, Web Summit Qatar, is hosting 15,453 attendees from 118 countries.

Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher took to the stage on Opening Night, saying: “Over the last few years, we noticed a growing presence from the Middle East at our events. Dynamic founders, investors and entrepreneurs from the region were contributing to our events in such a meaningful way, we knew that it was time for us to bring an event here. Web Summit Qatar represents a brand new opportunity to connect a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors and changemakers.”
Sheikh Jassim bin Mansour bin Jabor Al Thani, Director of the Government Communications Office and Chairman of the Web Summit Qatar 2024 Organising Committee, said: “Hosting Web Summit Qatar signifies a milestone in our nation’s ongoing journey to forge the future, showcasing Qatar’s growing status as a place where people, ideas and inspiration come together to envision the next digital revolution. The tremendous turnout in attendees and ticket purchases demonstrates the high demand for such events in the region, as well as Qatar’s potential as a hub for SMEs and innovators. More so, on its very first day, we set several new records in Web Summit history, including the biggest startup participation in a first-year edition, the
largest presence of startups from Africa, and more. With such a strong start, Web Summit Qatar is poised to be the next spot for technological leaps to take place.”

15,453 attendees from 118 countries

Web Summit Qatar has gathered 15,453 attendees at the sold-out event in the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC), connecting a new generation of founders, investors, journalists and leaders in Doha.
Attendees from 118 countries across the globe arrived in Qatar for the first Web Summit event held in the Middle East – an event that will serve as a pivotal force for innovation in the region, enabling the people who are reshaping the world to connect.
The largest gathering of startups in the Middle East 1,043 startups from 81 countries were selected – out of nearly ten thousand applicants – to showcase their vision to attendees on the event floor. 10 percent of attending startups come from Qatar, while 20 percent come from Africa and 50 percent from the wider MENA region.
10 percent of startups have joined the event through Web Summit Qatar’s Impact programme, which focuses on tech for good.

358 startups will take part in 42 Mentor Hours sessions during the event, learning from and connecting with leading entrepreneurs in the industry. Participating startups will also have the opportunity to take part in Web Summit Qatar’s PITCH competition, powered by Jusour, which brings together the world’s leading early-stage startups to go head-to-head on stage in front of globally-renowned investors.

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401 investors from 46 countries and some of the largest funds in the world will attend the event to explore investment opportunities in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and to meet the next generation of startups. Investors at the event include Peak XV managing director GV Ravishankar, Global Ventures founder Noor Sweid, 500 Global’s Christine Tsai and Khailee Ng, and Invest Qatar’s Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani.

380 speakers will speak during the event, and 896 members of the media will attend.
Top speakers at the event include His Excellency Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Emmy-winning South African comedian Trevor Noah, Bollywood actress and singer Nora Fatehi, WPP CEO Mark Read, Whoop founder and CEO Will Ahmed, Groq CEO Jonathan Ross, astronaut and Deep Space Initiative founder Sara Sabry, Replit co-founder and CEO Amjad Masad, Builder.ai founder and chief wizard Sachin Dev
Duggal, soccer legends Patrice Evra, John Obi Mikel and Gilberto Silva, and Tabby co-founder and CEO Hosam Arab.

148 partners will exhibit on the event floor at Web Summit Qatar to explore business opportunities in the region, and to meet the up-and-coming companies and technologies of tomorrow.
Big tech partners – including Microsoft, Snap, TikTok, Meta, Qatar Investment Authority, Deloitte and Palo Alto Networks – will be exhibiting on the sold-out event floor. Trade delegations from countries including Canada, Türkiye, Bahrain, Pakistan, Nigeria and Kenya will be attending Web Summit Qatar to explore business opportunities in the Middle East.Also taking part in the event are six community partners – groups that support and prioritise underrepresented people across the technology industry.

Women in tech
37 percent of attendees at the event are women, and 30 percent of speakers are women. One in three startups participating in the startup programme has a woman on the founding team. The Women in Tech Lounge will welcome organisations including Women of Qatar and Women Techmakers, along with thousands of women in tech attendees from all over the world.

Qatar announces US$1bn investment in international and regional VC funds
During his opening remarks at Web Summit Qatar 2024, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the State of Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced Qatar’s first-ever venture capital Fund of Funds programme, which will invest US$1 billion in international and regional venture capital funds. Led by the Qatar Investment Authority, the initiative aims to foster innovation and boost the tech ecosystem in the country.
In addition, HE emphasised that as technological innovations rapidly advance, it is a collective duty to ensure this progress serves the greater good by balancing innovation with ethical principles, guiding progress with moral wisdom for the benefit of all.


Pics from day two follow :