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Startup Bahrain Week Draws Innovators and Investors to Leading Entrepreneurial Forums

Manama, Bahrain, February 19, 2019 —

  • Week-long events provide insights into business-friendly Bahrain as a regional centre for startups
  • Highlights Bahrain’s dynamic diversification drive towards a digital economy

Bahrain’s focus on shaping a regional hub for entrepreneurs as part of its ongoing efforts to meet key goals within the Economic Vision 2030 comes under the spotlight next month when it hosts Startup Bahrain Week, a series of inspirational networking events for entrepreneurs, investors and businesses.

Running between 3-7 March 2019, the fast-emerging regional startup community will be able to enjoy a platform of events to network and learn about the startup ecosystem that has been created by Bahrain thanks to its business-friendly economic and regulatory framework.

H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “Startup Bahrain Week promises to be a week-long of inspirational events for entrepreneurs and investors that will encourage innovation and growth in the startup ecosystem. Currently, the regulatory climate we have cultivated, in recent years, has provided a solid foundation for the startup community. We look forward to sharing knowledge, great ideas, and most importantly the opportunities available in Bahrain.”

We are now seeing our financial services sector transform due to technology and disruptive startups, and we hope to see technology and startups play a role in other sectors as well, such as Manufacturing, taking us forward to the fourth industrial revolution.

Dr. Ebrahim Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Tamkeen, said:“Tamkeen is delighted to once again be a strategic partner of Startup Bahrain Week. It underlines our commitment to helping promising talent develop the right skills for the knowledge economy. These are skills that we need to encourage and develop within Bahrain and across the region. Startup Bahrain Week comes just weeks after Tamkeen announced the region’s first talent programme specifically for the financial services and technology industry focused on training and developing Bahrainis in the FinTech space, one of the fastest growing startup sectors.”

Organised by the EDB, strategic partner Tamkeen (Bahrain Labour Fund) and in collaboration with the startup community in Bahrain, Startup Bahrain Week will attract key stakeholders including investors, corporates, accelerators, incubators, educational institutions and government agencies. More than 2,500 delegates are expected to attend the week-long events featuring over 20 speakers and two startup competitions.

These include: –

  • Unbound Bahrain: The anchor event of Startup Bahrain Week, the global innovation festival will showcase some of the Middle East and North Africa’s most innovative startups and government initiatives.
  • Unreasonable Thinking Summit:A two-day forum on innovation and disruption designed to educate and inspire the Bahraini business community, especially startup entrepreneurs.
  • Entrepreneurship Training: Workshops aimed at discussing opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs from idea conception to business plan execution.
  • Bahrain Deep Tech Programme: A three-day boot camp with doctoral scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs discussing and showcasing cutting-edge technologies and how to turn their ideas into commercial opportunities.
  • Startup Bahrain Ecosystem Tour: An informative exploration of the burgeoning Bahrain startup scene, where participants will meet the key influencers who are driving forward the disruptive technology that is increasingly putting Bahrain on the map as the go-to destination for startups in the region.
  • Urban Experience: A networking event for the startup community to share ideas and identify potential areas of collaboration and cooperation.
  • Flat6Labs Bahrain: An opportunity to see startups pitch their inspiring ventures on stage to an audience of investors, government agencies and business leaders that could lead to securing investment and a future commercial deal.

The week also features a line-up of high profile speakers from around the world including Nawaf Alkooheji, CEO of Tenmou, Bahrain’s first business angel investment company; Tim Draper, one of the world’s most highly respected venture capitalists; Waleed Alballaa, of Saudi-based STV, the region’s largest venture capital fund, and a leading voice on the Middle East investment scene; and Wajeeha Awadh, a FinTech and digital banking expert with Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group.

Other speakers include Indian politician and writer Dr. Shashi Tharoor, who will be joined by best-selling author, motivational speaker and business strategist John SaneiKhaled Nuseibeh, GCC general manager of Careem, the region’s first hail-riding app; Amir Farha, CEO of BECO Capital, a venture capital firm focused on reinventing the Middle East through innovation and technology entrepreneurship; A. Al-Shaksy, founder of Oman-based venture capital firm Phaze Ventures; and Dr. Cameron Mirza, head of strategy at the University of Bahrain.

Bahrain is home to a vibrant regional startup ecosystem of over 90 companies. This includes a concentration on tech-based and tech-enabled startups, which is underpinned by the 23 incubators and 4 accelerators, and an onshore regulatory environment with multiple funding options that enable startups to test their innovative products and services. Skiplino became the first tech startup in Bahrain to secure series A funding from a Kuwaiti venture capital firm KISP Ventures. With technology and innovation transforming the global industries, Bahrain’s agile reaction to the transformation to a digital economy is an example of Bahrain’s action-orientated approach to supporting the startup community.

For more information about Startup Bahrain Week and to register, please visit startupbahrain.com/week.

Follow @StartupBahrain on social media to keep up to date with the agenda.

About Bahrain Economic Development Board

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.

The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.

The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages and provide significant investment opportunities. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.

For more information on the Bahrain EDB, please visit www.bahrainedb.com; for information about Bahrain please visit www.bahrain.com.

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