Wahiba Chair

Student stars in Arab reality TV show

May 28, 2009

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MBA graduand Wahiba Chair is just back from Doha, Qatar where she spent 10 weeks as one of 16 finalists on the Arab docu-reality program, Stars of Science. It is the first Arab TV program to create a worldwide competition in which finalists work in a televised lab with assistance from mentors and experts to develop their business ideas into a marketable product. The five-week show airs in Qatar on May 29, with the winner yet to be determined by an audience vote.

Originally from Algeria, Chair was one of 5,600 applicants of Arab origin to enter the competition’s first round and one of only two females to make it into the final 16. Her product, PortaLife, is a mobile application that helps people shopping in supermarkets to identify food products that meet their needs. "It’s useful for anyone who wants a quick and easy way to interpret nutritional information," she says.

With an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from San Francisco State University, Chair enrolled in SFU’s new MBA program with the goal of starting her own company in health and technology. It is SFU’s first MBA program to accept only students with an undergraduate degree other than business. Chair developed her product prototype and business plan for her MBA thesis, and then sent it in her application to Stars of Science.

Participating in the competition was a huge opportunity, she says. "It was like a boot camp for your product and it happens on TV, so there is a lot of pressure and one has to be equipped mentally and emotionally to sustain it," she says. "You’re in there 12 hours on camera every day." A big highlight, she says, was the live audience reaction. "Audience members came up to me to say they had loved the presentation and product idea. They were so excited to know when my product would be on the market."

Chair hopes to get her product to market very soon. The competition, she says, helped pushed her closer to her goals. More than ever," says, "I feel this is the right time to make those happen."


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Go Wahiba go!!!

Wish you more good luck :)


Wahiba u are the best & we are all with u

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