Khalid became the first Qatari to win Stars of Science in Season 4 with his Tahi invention. At the time he was a busy man, pursuing ambitious academic goals while starting a family. He increasingly found that he lacked the time to make good meals. Using his engineering background, Khalid developed a solution that he called Tahi: an automated cooking pot which makes delicious, healthy meals. Users place ingredients into the device and then program it to cook at a time that is convenient. Tahi also helps its users track their dietary and nutritional history. The calorie count of each meal is recorded, and the device can even recommend healthy recipes.
Since being named the winner of Season 4, Khalid has continued to push forward in his effort to transform the cooking experience. He founded Else Labs and used the lessons he learned on Stars of Science to refine the concept of Tahi, now renamed Oliver. Khalid and his team designed the kitchen appliance to incorporate a balance between performance, aesthetics, and price. In doing so, they are bridging the gap between the traditional and the future of cooking. Investors loved the product. Oliver raised an incredible $1.8 million dollars in several rounds of funding. It was also one of 15 startups selected for the 2016 Smart Kitchen Summit Startup Showcase. Else Labs produced an advanced working prototype of Oliver that is being used in the homes of a lucky few early adopters.
Khalid and his team are putting the finishing touches on a crowd-funding and launch strategy. They aim to introduce the world to Oliver in the spring of 2018. “The 21st century individual is often juggling an array of responsibilities. Oliver is there to help maintain work-life balance by taking away the stress and time commitment of making a healthy meal,” said Khalid. “My team at Else Labs is putting everything into this launch, and I’m excited about the future products we develop together.”
Prior to becoming a Stars of Science candidate, Khalid founded ibTECHar, an educational technologies startup. ibTECHar offers products and consultancy services that utilize technology to make learning fun and effective. The company’s educational app, Kalimaty, uses puzzles and games to teach young students the basics of the Arabic language. IbTECHar also launched ‘Sanea,’ an initiative that aims to ignite the ‘makers’ culture in Qatar and grow it to the region.
Khalid has taken every opportunity to try to cultivate a passion for science and entrepreneurship in Qatari students. As a regular guest lecturer for the Master in Business Administration class at Qatar University, he speaks about his experience in the business world. He also traveled to the United Kingdom to engage with Qatari students studying abroad. There, he encouraged them to learn about the role of entrepreneurship in building a knowledge-based economy.
Khaled has addressed audiences at Qatar’s Global Entrepreneurship week, the World Innovation Summit for Education, and TEDxQU.
“One of my most deeply held lessons from Stars of Science was how to effectively communicate the benefits of my invention,” said Khalid. “Oliver allows its users to enjoy healthy, delicious food. But it also ensures that we better utilize our most precious resource – time. I thank all my friends, mentors, and colleagues at Stars of Science for helping me to realize the true impact and potential of innovation.”
Read more about Else Labs and Oliver:
Watch Khalid’s interview with TechCrunch and see Oliver in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYQfwRZD9Vg
Check out Wamda’s report on Tahi:
Read about ibTECHar’s Sanea initiative:
Watch a video about ibTECHar’s Arabic teaching app for pre-schoolers:
Watch Khalid presenting at TEDxQatarUniversity in January 2013:
Watch Khalid contribute to a Global Entrepreneurship Week panel entitled “Fostering Entrepreneurship in Qatar: What’s Next?”