What is M7?
M7 is the epicentre for design, innovation and entrepreneurship in Doha. But I think it would be interesting to explain what M7 stands for to further understand what it’s all about. The “M” represents the location of the centre at Msheireb, and the “7” represents the principles we focus on when it comes to programming. These are to inspire, equip, validate, empower, accelerate, connect and promote. Each programme is carefully selected to ensure that we provide creatives with the opportunity to grow in all these areas.
Who is M7 for?
Everyone that is creative or interested in supporting the local creative industries. It targets more established creative businesses by offering specific programming to enthusiastic hobbyists with its exhibition and public event programming. It is also seeking to attract potential investors and to work with relevant government entities.
What will M7 offer?
We envision a space that will have something for everyone who is interested in creative industries, whether they are a hobbyist or a very well-established businesses. The M7 building offers beautiful exhibition spaces, a dedicated incubation space, a café, a learning area, a “fab lab” and a concept store — all spread across the impressive four-story building. The incubator is for more established designers who are looking to seriously scale up their businesses. There are experts offering training and workshops for emerging talents available in the co-working and learning spaces and other offerings that cater to the needs of designers. M7 will also offer designers and the public world-class travelling exhibitions as well as local exhibitions.
How would you define a startup hub?
A startup hub is a mini-ecosystem — a place for creatives to connect, grow and accelerate their business, and a place for resources and opportunities. It’s somewhere that startups know they could go and find support, wherever they are in their journey.
What inspired this creative hub? How did the idea and concept behind M7 come about?
In the past few years, the creative scene in Qatar has shown great potential, seeing a larger number of designers and creative businesses emerge. However, the growth of the creative ecosystem has not kept up, and the understanding and support of creative businesses are yet to be shaped.
M7 was developed from Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa’s vision to continue to support and build the creative ecosystem in all its stages and aspects and to provide designers with the necessary support and tools to be self-sustaining. Our main role is to bring together industry leaders, thinkers and active designers to build an ecosystem organically.