After a long wait, the Arab Innovation Academy 2020 has finally kicked off. More than 150 young entrepreneurs from 30 different countries have gathered at the Education City, in Doha, with the challenge to create a startup in 10 days.

Developed by the European Innovation Academy in partnership with Qatar Science and Technology Park and Qatar Foundation, AIA is the largest entrepreneurship program in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

Welcome to AIA 2020

The first day at AIA was full of excitement and challenges. It was time to find an idea to work with and form teams. Knowing how to network is a crucial skill for every single participant. Before facing these challenges, all participants were welcomed at the main auditorium.

Dr Richard O’Kennedy, Science Patron of LIYSF and Vice President for Research, Development, and Innovation at the Qatar Foundation and Science Patron of LIYSF, greeted AIA’s participants to this life-changing experience.

Opening Day at AIA 2020

The President of the European Innovation Academy, Alar Kolk, joined the stage and presented the 10X growth methodology and encouraged participants to think big — at any moment of their lives.

Alar Kolk Opening Day

This special moment was covered by the local press, so you might have your 15 minutes of fame in some of the most important Qatar media.

Day 1: Team Formation and Ideation

The journey to becoming a global entrepreneur has just started. Rick Rasmussen, Industry Fellow at UC Berkeley lead participants in the team formation. The goal of the day was to form five-member diverse teams that will work together through the next 10 days.

AIA 2020 Opening Day

To make this moment a bit easier, participants were invited to a networking lunch and a game that gave them the chance to get to know each other.

Daniel Vila Boa and Rick Rasmussen mentoring teams.

Creating a strong startup team is key to the success of the project. After teams were formed and confirmed by AIA’s Head of Mentors, Daniel Vila Boa and Rick Rasmussen, it was time to call it a day.

It’s just Day 1 and there’s still a lot to happen! Click here to see the photo gallery.

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