How we select our startups

Matthew Taylor's avatar
Matthew Taylor

Our startup programme, ALPHA, spotlights early-stage startups with outstanding potential. Here’s how we select our startups.

In 2024, more than 400 startups will converge on Doha for the inaugural Web Summit Qatar.

Our ALPHA startup programme is an opportunity for growing businesses to get brand recognition, meet with investors and potential customers, and learn from other companies.

We have plenty of material on how to apply for ALPHA. But first, let’s explore how our startups team selects successful applicants.

First steps

The first step for any startup is to apply to the startup programme on our website. Once you have applied, a member of our startups team will contact you to discuss your business and decide which startup category fits best. 

Our startup categories:

  • ALPHA – Your company is in the pre-investment stage or has less than US$1 million in funding.
  • BETA – Your company has launched successfully and may have participated in startup programmes at previous Web Summit events.
  • GROWTH – Your company is experiencing considerable growth and expanding globally. Many GROWTH startups have raised more than US$3 million.

How is each startup assessed?

Each startup receives a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

Growth potential

Our startups team will figure out how many competitors are working on similar products. We’ll also consider whether your company is operating in a growing sector, and whether you’re targeting a single country or developing a global product.


We want you to maximise your impact at Web Summit Qatar. Our team will consider how relevant your product is to our attendees, how your startup fits with the various industries touching tech, and whether your team has any proactive ideas to engage Web Summit Qatar attendees.

Product and team

Our team will rank your product depending on the stage of development you’re at. We’ll consider whether you have a working prototype and how many existing users you have. We’ll also take into account the expertise of your team, the number of employees, and your level of experience in the industry.

Pitch quality

Finally, our team will judge your overall pitch to ensure you’re ready to work the crowd at Web Summit Qatar.

What are the benefits?

Successful ALPHA applicants have access to a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Three Web Summit Qatar passes, valid for the duration of the event.
  • Exhibition space for one day.
  • Access to all startup activities, including Startup Showcase and our world-renowned PITCH competition.
  • Company branding and profile feature on our website and the Web Summit Qatar mobile app.
  • Exclusive Startup Lounge access for all three days.
  • Access to the Web Summit Qatar mobile and web apps, where you can build connections before and during the event and curate your personalised schedule.
  • Dedicated startup success manager to help you prepare for the event.

Applications for ALPHA are open now. Apply today.

Startups & investors

A day in the life of a Web Summit startup: Kahana

More than 1,000 startups from around the world attended Web Summit Qatar. What was the experience like f...

March 19
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.
Press releases

US-based Breshna wins PITCH, powered by Jusour

Breshna has been named winner of Web Summit Qatar’s startup comp...

February 29