Two startups that excelled in the eighth cycle of Qatar Foundation tech hub’s XLR8 Programme, ClassTap and Partix, are set to commercially launch their ventures in the local market next month.
ClassTap has developed a digital platform offering fitness fans easy access to classes and day passes to gyms around Qatar through a smartphone application and under a single membership, while Partix will launch an online platform that aims to digitise the automotive spare-parts business.
ClassTap officials are co-founders Bashar Hudhud, the CEO and a seasoned entrepreneur, as well as chief creative officer Rana Majeed, an entrepreneur with two master’s degrees from IE Business School in Spain
ClassTap’s mission was to develop a digital product that motivates people in Qatar to lead healthier lifestyles by inspiring, connecting, and introducing them to new experiences. The team recognised people’s difficulty with committing to one specific routine, which becomes demotivating.
To address the issue, ClassTap introduced all the workouts and fitness classes available across Qatar via one app and membership, thereby giving them much-needed flexibility. As many as 30 gyms have already signed up to ClassTap, thus reflecting the app’s future commercial potential.
Heading up ClassTap are co-founders Bashar Hudhud, the CEO and a seasoned entrepreneur, as well as chief creative officer Rana Majeed, an entrepreneur with two master’s degrees from IE Business School in Spain.
The pair recalls how ClassTap was just an idea in September 2019 during XLR8, a programme at Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation.
They credit the hands-on programme with helping develop it into a market-viable product. They praise their dedicated mentors and advisers, citing their high-quality, regular feedback as vital to all aspects of their start-up development and future strategy.
As a sign of its potential commercial impact, ClassTap was immediately approached by Qatar SportsTech, a Start-up Bootcamp branch, to join their programme – an offer that includes financial investment.
ClassTap advises future XLR8 participants to always look to the market: “Whether this is market demand or supply, competitors, or the trends and customer habits that are constantly changing.”
As for XLR8’s impact, they said: “The network we currently have, thanks to QSTP, has been amazing in helping us achieve our goals and making ClassTap a winning XLR8 project.”
Shortlisted as a finalist in the eighth cycle, team Partix described how the XLR8 programme helped them develop their idea of an online platform that aims to digitise the automotive spare parts business.
Via a single app, users will be able to immediately access a comprehensive list of relevant suppliers in the area, along with their prices, allowing motorists to obtain the spare parts they need at a price that suits them, rather than having to hunt for suppliers and manage price variations in the traditional way, saving both time and money.
The four-member team is Ali Abbas Mohamed, Mohamed Khodadady, and Mohamed Hamid Elfadl, all mobile application developers, and Fahad al-Naimi, a chemical engineering graduate of Qatar University and a project manager at Qatar Shell.
According to team Partix, “There were a large number of mentors to support the teams, and during the programme, we had to pivot the idea more than once.”
The XLR8 programme has three main modules: product-market fit, customer traction, and attracting and pitching to investors. Partix cited the ‘customer validation’ workshop as the most interesting and important: “It asked us to live and experience our customers’ lives, speak their language, and witness their challenges.”
The team advises future XLR8 participants to use their interaction with their competitors as motivation to work harder. “Have patience and remember that, without good teamwork, the idea will die.”
The ninth cycle of XLR8 kicked off on February 9, welcoming 19 potential entrepreneurs to the programme. More information on XLR8 is available at the website https://qstp.org.qa/qstp-xlr8