If you haven’t heard yet; StartUp Bahrain Week is back! A series of events that gathers startups and participants from all over the world for community-filled activities. To catch up with this year’s festival, we met up with some of the participants during the week and asked them a few questions about their startups, and their impressions of the startup ecosystem in Bahrain.
Here’s what some of them shared with us:
- Valuefy: Shrikant Tawari is the Vice President of sales for Valuefy and he’s a first-time attendee and participant. Valuefy is a nine-year-old firm but has the agility of a startup, and they are located in India and Singapore. Shrikant told us “We heard how Bahrain promotes all of its FinTech businesses and provides an ecosystem that has the capacity to grow very largely in the region,” he said, “By personally being here, it’s easy to see and sense the connection.” Shrikant gave a shoutout to the Economic Development Board for helping them get to Bahrain and see the ins and outs of establishing in Bahrain.
- Cubical Services: Cubical Services are business incubators based in Kuwait. Operating since 2009, they help entrepreneurs start their business, and a part of cubical services corporate social responsibility is a program they have called Fikra, where they accept entrepreneurs for a period of 6 months and provide them with free tools and resources to achieve their goals. Mariam Al Rayes, Executive Vice President of Cubical Services, is present at StartUp Bahrain Week and she told us: “We brought some our entrepreneurs with us to Bahrain so they can have a better understanding of the launching process both in Kuwait and outside of it, and take a sense of what it’s like to expand into the GCC.” Mariam also mentioned that the acceptance of FinTech businesses and the existence of the accelerators in the Bahraini market is inspiring to witness. She finds StartUp Bahrain Week very interesting, a room that’s full of various nationalities and the excitement reaches through the roof. “It’s really such a great place to be, a place full of opportunities. This is a wonderful initiative on behalf of Bahrain.”
- UniqoLabel: A brand protection and consumer engagement platform, UniqoLabel ensures that the products consumers buy are 100% original, and aren’t knockoffs. They currently have more than 60 customers from around the world and they’re based in Bengaluru, India. Vikas Jain, the Co-Founder of the company, was very impressed by his first-time attendance by the support the Bahraini ecosystem has, and he was also pleasantly surprised by the many activities and people to engage with. He also noted that many agencies were within the attendees and they offered support to startups in various ways; whether it’s ensuring they receive funds, market access or support system, how well they were being taken care of stood out to Vikas. “The Middle East is a region we are considering expanding into,“ he shared, “And Bahrain might be our first choice.” We hope so too!
- One Pass: One Pass is an application based in Kuwait that offers activities for children in one place, including an online registration along with feedback, reviews, and price range comparisons. As a team, Zahra and Noora AlSalaman aim to include more than 100 activities that can offer children a learning experience while having a good time. Zahra described her experience in Bahrain, “I was pleasantly surprised at the welcoming environment that Bahrain has to offer for startups looking to grow and expand into the MENA region. When we first arrived, we learned about accelerators, investors, and as a first impression, we were very impressed,” she said.