Success Stories

Story of

Khalid Aboujassoum

1st Place Winner

About the Project

Khalid Aboujassoum, the first Qatari winner of Stars of Science, was brought up in a home where fresh and healthy home cooking was highly valued. He moved to Canada to study engineering at the University of Ottawa. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle got a lot more difficult there. Like any college student, Khalid did not have time to prepare nutritious meals. He didn’t want to fall for the temptations of ready-made, low-quality packaged food either so he decided to start cooking. What he needed was a fully-automated cooking genius, one which prepares quick, healthy meals. Khalid’s healthy cooking journey led him to come up with ‘Tahi.’

Tahi, now rebranded as ‘Oliver,’ is a fully-automated, smart cooking appliance. It’s combined with a smartphone app and contains pre-programmed recipes from professional chefs. Whether you’re an athlete, college student, running a household, or just plainly busy, this cooking wonder would suit you.

Beyond Stars of Science

Khalid and his innovation ‘Oliver’ have come a long way since his victory in Season 4, six years ago. Khalid established Tahi Technologies Inc. in Qatar, filed for a patent in the US, and received a R&D grant from Qatar Development Bank (QDB). The ambitious Qatari filed for a second patent, developed a newer version of Oliver, and received another grant from both QDB and the Qatar Science & Technology Park.  

2016 was a transformative year for the company. Tahi Technologies was rebranded as Else Labs. Along with his co-founder, Khalid opened a branch in Canada and expanded his company with nine employees. The dream team successfully raised 1.8 million USD from a subsidiary investment fund from QDB. The total amount raised over the past years is a stunning +3 million USD in grants and equity investments.

The entrepreneur has gained a lot of recognition for his work. At Seattle’s Smart Kitchen Summit in 2016, Oliver was recognized as one of the top 15 kitchen startups. Oliver was featured in various prestigious magazines, and online media such as The Business Insider, CNET, The Spoon, TechCrunch, and Fast Co Design.

Khalid is planning for 2018 to be a pivotal year - Oliver will be officially launched. When asked about how he sees himself in two to five years, Khalid responds: “My goal is to be listed on the NASDAQ exchange as a successful public company.”

He hopes for Oliver to become the leading automated cooking appliance in the world.

Personal Reflection

Stars of Science was created to unleash human potential. It has clearly become the manifestation of that great vision.” In his experience, the show’s unique added value for innovators is the well-rounded exposure to a product lifecycle – from concept, to design, validation, and on to going to market, commercialization and marketing. “It teaches you to ask the right questions at the right time,” Khalid added.

As for his advice to the new batch of innovators, Khalid insists that reaching the finals, being disqualified, or winning the title is secondary. “The real value is in the outcome of the journey and that is the new you.”

Follow Khalid

Twitter: @bojassom


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