US-based Breshna wins PITCH, powered by Jusour

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Maeve Harris
Three smiling people facing the camera raise their arms above their heads in apparent celebration. The person in the middle is holding a wooden trapezoidal trophy with the word PITCH laser cut in it. These are the winners of PITCH at Web Summit Qatar. In the centre is Breshna founder and CEO Mariam Nusrat. On the left is Breshna VP Joanna Kurylo. On the right is Blockchain Founders Fund managing partner Aly Madhavji, an investor in Breshna.

Breshna has been named winner of Web Summit Qatar’s startup competition, seeing off dozens of international businesses to secure the top prize in PITCH, powered by Jusour.

US-based gaming company Breshna has won PITCH, powered by Jusour. The no-code game development platform impressed the judges, seeing off competition from Uzbekistan and the UK on the final day.

PITCH, powered by Jusour, is Web Summit Qatar’s startup competition, bringing together the world’s leading early-stage startups for a live onstage battle. 40 of the 1,043 startups at this year’s event qualified for the three-day competition, which culminated in Breshna taking top prize. 

Uzbekistan-based financial services company IMAN and UK-based healthcare solutions business Rhazes finished as runners-up.

Breshna’s mission is to empower users to create, share and monetise their own video games without prior coding or game-design knowledge. The platform provides its network of 175,000 users with a game-maker editor, an AI-powered text-to-game engine, and a Web3-enabled metaverse. 

‘Every single idea that I’ve heard has left me so deeply inspired’

Hailing from Washington DC, Breshna founder and CEO Mariam Nusrat said moments like these are important in the long, hard journey of a founder: “This kind of visibility is really cool.”

Noting the quality of her opponents on stage, Mariam said that “even having the honour to share the stage with them, it’s just such a blast”.

“I don’t like to take the founder journey as a sort of Hunger Games approach. I think there’s more to it than that … Every single idea that I’ve heard [during the competition] has left me so deeply inspired.”

Founded two years ago, Breshna has raised “around US$2.5million from investors like Paris Hilton and Randi Zuckerberg”, according to Mariam.

The three finalists pitched to a judging panel consisting of Amin Matni of Jusour, Zach Coelius from Coelius Capital, Soumaya Ben Beya Dridje from Rasmal Ventures, and Rama Chakaki from Transform VC – all heavyweights in the investment and startup world.

The competition was open to ALPHA and BETA startups that had received less than €5 million in funding.

Earlier in the week, we announced that the inaugural Web Summit Qatar hosted 15,453 attendees from 118 countries, with 1,043 startups taking part in the startup programme.

The cohort of CEOs, startups, investors, journlalists, policymakers and creatives in attendance took part in three days of masterclasses, investor to startup meetings, competition rounds, evening events and Night Summit parties around the most exciting neighbourhoods of Doha.

Want to take part in next year’s startup competition? Apply for our startup programme, ALPHA, to join us in Qatar.

Main image of (l-r) Breshna VP Joanna Kurylo, Breshna founder and CEO Mariam Nusrat, and Blockchain Founders Fund managing partner Aly Madhavji: Stephen McCarthy/Web Summit (CC BY 2.0)

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