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Carnegie Mellon Qatar start-up inks deal with Fuego Digital Media

By David Schwartz
Published: February 2nd, 2011

Youssef Francis, Edmond Abi-Saleh, and Ossama Obeid are setting out to change mobile device application development in the Middle East. The three Carnegie Mellon Qatar undergraduates founded Dune Apps with the goal of developing apps for people in the region. “Mobile phone and mobile device usage is huge in the Gulf, yet few if any apps are developed here or are designed specifically for this region,” says Abi-Saleh, junior business administration major and Dune CFO. “We saw a market niche and decided to go for it.”

Dune has inked a deal with Fuego Digital Media that the three co-founders hope will transform the start-up into the first mobile phone application development powerhouse in Qatar. From there, they hope to spark interest in other young people to create a culture of innovation that will transform Qatar into the regional leader in app development. “Their timing is perfect,” says Kevin Higgins, CEO of Fuego. “Mobile apps are a huge part of what is coming. Fuego is building web-based systems for various public and private enterprises, and we already have clients approaching us for solutions.”

Under Fuego’s guidance, Dune plans to develop both platform and enterprise apps. The agreement will provide Dune with office space, equipment, and guidance in all aspects of business. Francis, Abi-Saleh, and Obeid will have mentors and be introduced to writing commercial grade software. Dune Apps will function as a division of Fuego with the goal of spinning off as an independent enterprise at the end of an18- to 36-month incubation period.

Source: Carnegie Mellon Qatar

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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