Doha, Qatar: Stellic is a unique story of entrepreneurial success. A student-founded platform that now supports the academic journey of hundreds of thousands of learners across the world.
Its founders – then Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) students – found inspiration in necessity when they came face to face with archaic higher education tools that did little to help visualize their own academic path. What they discovered was a gap in the system, and an opportunity to create better visibility and communication between students and academic advisors, so that students can easily map out their 4-year academic journey during their time at university.
Stellic’s early years were closely tied to the Qatar Foundation (QF) ecosystem. Its founders took part in Qatar Science & Technology Park’s (QSTP) intensive pre-startup program, XLR8, which helps promising young innovators determine if their tech-based ideas have commercial viability. Not long after, Stellic was incorporated at the QSTP Free Zone and began its lifecycle as a startup.
In fall 2019, as part of its pre–Series A financing, Stellic received an investment from QSTP’s Tech Venture Fund (TVF). This was the beginning of a journey which eventually saw the startup achieve significant growth over the next two years, including a six-fold increase in revenue.
“The TVF investment was the first piece of support we received post-graduation, and it essentially helped us to set up the logistics of our new business”, explains Rukhsar Neyaz, COO and Co-Founder of Stellic. “We also received expert guidance from the TVF team during the early stages of our startup’s growth. In fact, without the support from TVF, it would have been significantly harder to start Stellic while in Doha.”
When it comes to their academic future, learners want to engage but they also need to know which avenues are available to them to map out their journey.
“While there are many data-based higher education tools available in a highly competitive market of rapidly evolving ed-tech, we take a uniquely student-focused approach, focusing on the individual experience and challenges faced by the user,” Neyaz said.
“Stellic is a platform for multiple stakeholders at our partner universities to collaborate and close the loop between students, the advisors who guide them, and the leadership,” Neyaz continued. “By bringing Stellic to campuses, colleges improve the all-around student experience, and make the institution itself more resourceful and student-driven.”
Stellic’s three dozen partner institutions can be found across the globe, from Mexico and the United States to Canada and Qatar. With some of the biggest names in higher education – Duke, the University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon, to name a few – in its portfolio, Stellic has become a popular platform among institutions that are now realizing the need for greater student engagement and integration.
Its contributions to data gathering and increased collaboration during a turbulent time posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, for education systems, helped strengthen access to learning – and drew the attention of higher-ed institutions worldwide.
Just recently, Stellic secured $ 11M investment led by Reach Capital along with 15 edtech founder-investors including John Katzman (2U/Noodle), David Blake (Degreed) and Matt Pittinsky (Blackboard/Parchment). The team intends to use these funds to enhance the student-centric capabilities of the platform.
Neyaz is very clear on Stellic’s hopes for the future: “We want to be the ‘next big thing’ and let students know that we understand their personality and can suggest courses that best fit them.
“Our vision for the product is to bridge the gap to cover the full student lifecycle, so that students can use Stellic to explore different careers and institutions before ever setting foot in a university. Similarly, after graduation, they can stay on the tool to help guide the next generation of learners.”
QSTP Tech Venture Fund breaks down barriers for upcoming tech companies and supports commercialization of market-ready technologies through early investment, as part of an economically diverse future for Qatar.
To apply and find out more about QSTP’s TVF please visit: https://qstp.org.qa/tech-venture-fund/
To learn more about Stellic please visit: https://www.stellic.com/
Qatar Science & Technology Park
Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation, is a Free Zone, accelerator and incubator for tech-product development in Qatar. The park fosters an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Qatar that works to accelerate commercialization of market-ready technologies to realize Qatar’s national diversification drive.
QSTP’s focus ranges across four overarching themes, comprising Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), in line with the Qatar National Research Strategy announced in 2012.
Located in Qatar Foundation's Education City, QSTP has access to the vital resources of a cluster of leading research universities. Members of QSTP’s Free Zone include Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), international corporations and research institutions. They are collectively committed to investing in new technology development programs, creating intellectual property, enhancing technology management skills and developing innovative new products.
QSTP supports QF’s economic and human development objectives for Qatar and is increasingly recognized as an international hub for applied research, innovation, incubation, and entrepreneurship.
For more information, please visit the QSTP website at www.qstp.org.qa
Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) is a non-profit organization that supports Qatar on its journey to becoming a diversified and sustainable economy. QF strives to serve the people of Qatar and beyond by providing specialized programs across its innovation-focused ecosystem of education, research and development, and community development.
QF was founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who shared the vision to provide Qatar with quality education. Today, QF’s world-class education system offers lifelong learning opportunities to community members as young as six months through to doctoral level, enabling graduates to thrive in a global environment and contribute to the nation’s development.
QF is also creating a multidisciplinary innovation hub in Qatar, where homegrown researchers are working to address local and global challenges. By promoting a culture of lifelong learning and fostering social engagement through programs that embody Qatari culture, QF is committed to empowering the local community and contributing to a better world for all.
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, please visit: www.qf.org.qa