QATAR - Economy
Head Incubation Special Programs, Project Manager of Scale7, Qatar Development Bank (QDB)
As the Head of Special Incubation Programs at Qatar Development Bank, QDB, Aysha Al Romaihi brings a wealth of expertise and experience to a role that ties together two of her deepest passions: a genuine desire to guide and support start-ups in Qatar and her appreciation and love for fashion and design. Armed with an MBA in Strategic Business from HEC Paris, she has been behind many strategic initiatives and business collaborations at Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC). She has spearheaded a number of QBIC’s forward-thinking initiatives, including the successful Lean Fashion Program (LFP) and the launch of Scale 7, Qatar’s first fashion and design business incubator for innovative entrepreneurs in collaboration with M7, a creative start-up hub operating under Qatar Museums.
The country has announced the launch of M7, a fashion, design, and tech hub to focus on the business side of nourishing Qatari talent and designers based in Qatar. Our role as Qatar Development Bank is to develop local talents and young leaders who can lead this sector with a business mindset in the future. We partnered with Qatar Museum represented by M7 to create Scale7. This is the first fashion and design business incubator with a focus on all design aspects, from fashion, ready-to-wear, haute couture, and high end to fashion jewelry, accessories, product design, and fashion technology. Many fashion houses and fashion organizations have started to adapt to new technology during the pandemic. One of them is creating innovative customer experiences such as having virtual fitting rooms and having their own virtual stylist. In addition, we are currently introducing a new technology for designers: 3D printing. Most designers lead the production of their businesses through passion, without focusing on the business side, and this is where we come in. This is our role as a business incubator: to support these designers, create a business model for them, connect them with suppliers and partners in the ecosystem, guide them in business development activities, involve them in exhibitions, support them in creating a supply chain for sourcing materials, and so on.
We also have other activities like the Hackathons or Scale7 lab program that specialize in intensive courses, 3D printing, laser cutting and in jewelry design, which our facility here is fully equipped with in order to cater to the best practice for participants. One very unique initiative is the Scale7 Passport. This is like a fund of EUR10,000 for the pioneer start-ups from the acceleration program. The start-ups must come up with a proposal on how they plan to spend this token by expanding their businesses, either by participating in international fairs, visiting a factory or supplier to support them with their production, or even attending any course that could enhance their talent outside Qatar. It represents a way for them to explore a new journey outside Qatar.
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