News stories - road to 2022
News Story


Challenge 22 winner aims to showcase social app during 2022 FIFA World Cup™

Challenge 22 winner Rola Fayyad is dreaming of her social app being used by football fans during the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

Fayyad's invention 'Friendture' was unveiled as one of ten Challenge 22 winners during a glittering awards ceremony in Qatar last month.

Along with partners Zaid Erigat, Mohammad Mawali and Ibrahim Abdullah, Fayyad received USD 15,000 and the opportunity to earn a USD 100,000 grant to develop Friendture to the proof of concept phase.

Friendture is one of this year's 10 Challenge 22 winners

Jordanian Fayyad said taking part in Challenge 22 had validated the Friendture concept.

She said: "It's amazing to win – Challenge 22 is a very prestigious award. You don't get many opportunities to enter competitions like this in the MENA region and benefit from such a high level of exposure.

"We found that Challenge 22 really helped us to develop the product – it directed us to where we are today. And now, after this week, we can proudly go to our investors and say 'we won'."

Challenge 22 is the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy's flagship legacy programme. The competition aims to boost innovation and entrepreneurism across the region.

Challenge 22 winners of 2017

Friendture embodies this vision perfectly by helping visitors and expatriates discover what's happening based on their interests and location. In addition, the platform helps users organise their activities and engage with people who have similar interests.

It also includes the ability to book tickets, download photos and earn loyalty points which can be exchanged for special offers.

And for football fan Fayyad, being a part of the Arab world's first FIFA World Cup™ is a major privilege.

"I was the only girl in the house so I was forced to play football," said Fayyad, who works in commercial management. "I've been a fan of Brazil since I was six – mainly due to my father, who is a big football fan.

"It would be incredible to see our product used during the World Cup. This tournament means so much to people in the region. It's the first time for us, but we want more World Cups to be here in future. We were waiting a long time."

Challenge 22 winners of 2017

Fayyad, who also founded and co-founded Girls in Tech, believes Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup™ will provide a major boost for the region.

"This World Cup will change things for the region in many ways. It will change the way we do business and break down stereotypes. It is a very exciting time for all of us."

She is now determined to work with Challenge 22 in order to develop Friendture.

"We will continue to work closely with Challenge 22. The strategic partners will really help us to further develop the app and sell the product to a wide audience."

Click here for more details about Friendture.