In Kuwait, an idea emerged from someone’s personal travel experience. Nothing unusual about that, everybody gets an idea or two that could possibly make any user experiences better or friendlier. But therein lies a difference. Countless travels and endless trip researching led to a clear idea for Qyona: a user-based experience tool that provides simple and effective visual travel research. Of course that is only the beginning. The team consists of five members all who are parents with responsibilities that make it far more riskier to invest time, resources and money on such a time consuming project. Which is why it took them more than a year to develop this and to build the team. The push to take this further came in from the MIT Entrepreneurship Forum Pan – Arab Competition, acting as the true catalyst they needed.
MIT not only provides the motivations but also brings together the collective Arab entrepreneurial mind together to inspire more creativity. It creates a network of professionals that will lead to further opportunities and collaborations, which is essential in building an eco-friendly environment for entrepreneurs to combat the brain drain (people leaving to the US or Europe for their ideas). There have been many incubators and accelerators in the region yet more needs to be done, especially in Kuwait where the legal and governmental regulations making the process of setting up a small business quite rigorous, discouraging entrepreneurs.
But the Qyona team has not given up. Keeping in tune with the technology sector, the team sees a lot of potential in their idea and it has driven them to reach up to the Semi-Finalist in the MIT EF Pan- Arab Competition.
Arab Inspiration: Mohammad AlShaya, we experienced the changes he made and the transformation of his business from a couple of retail stores to a global retail franchaise with 3,000 stores all over the world.
Year Goal: To solidify our business plan — a defendable business plan — and begin development on a fully operational prototype.