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Bahrain Technology Week has kicked off, and it’s been an unforgettable week! From Tamkeen’s announcement of its new program and scheme to the nail-biting Runway to Web Summit pitch competition. The week so far displayed and featured a fantastic lineup of startups, keynote speeches, engaging panel discussions, and talks.

Bahrain Technology Week put together by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) in partnership with Tamkeen and the StartUp Bahrain community, is a technology-packed week showcasing numerous opportunities for the advancement and development in Bahrain’s flourishing technology sector. The week aims to highlight how today’s rising technological trends are going to change industries across the GCC.

If you couldn’t make it to #TechWeekBH, then we feel bad for you because you missed out of a lot! Lucky for you, we’re here to give you the highlights:

  1. Callout to every Bahraini female technologist, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is close to opening its regional database center in Bahrain and is looking and urging females to apply for their newly opened positions. Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector of Amazon Web Services, said the initiative would create jobs in various departments and divisions, not only those relating to computing technologies. For their current vacancies, click here.
  2. Teresa Carlson as the keynote speaker held an inspirational session during the AWS Summit. The session showcased the iGA, businesses, and startups from the region on their AWS journey and how impactful and helpful AWS was in growing their company.
  3. An exciting panel discussion was held by Ben Butler from AWS and featured Esam Hammad from Tamkeen, Andre Pienaar from C5 Accelerate, Mohammad Zekrallah from Cura, and Ahmed Faraj from Equilibria Digital Solutions to discuss technological advancements and its effect on the startup ecosystem.
  4. Tamkeen announced its new AWS cloud program as part of its Enterprise Support Program. The program aims to enhance security and efficiency in the country. The scheme will help businesses reduce expenses to focus more on their core business. “Enterprises will be able to reduce expenditure as Cloud Computing offer businesses access to the power and performance of an enterprise-grade IT infrastructure without the maintenance cost of owning their hardware,” explained Tamkeen Chief Executive, Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi. Interested and eligible enterprises, SMEs, and startups are encouraged to apply.
  5. A fun and informative keynote speech was conducted by Dr. Michael Nelson from Cloudflare on the future of the internet and its implications, cybersecurity, and how startups and businesses can innovate by using cloud computing. Key takeaways: no matter what it is that you do, always empower your users.
  6. The MIT Innovation Forum conducted an insightful panel with Dr. Khaled Elmufti from Tatweer Research, Muhammad Qureshi from Bahrain EDB, Arun Bruce from The Boston Consulting Group, and Gary Chandler from QiO Technologies Ltd. to discuss Industry 4.0 and how startups can benefit from it.
  7. Tamkeen introduced a new program – the Minimum Viable Product Scheme and are willing to gift startups with high potential a good BHD 10,000 for their product. Announced during the Runway to Web Summit, the MVP Scheme is development support wherein startups can get grants from Tamkeen towards the development, design, and testing of its first product. For more information on the scheme, click here.
  8. The bankruptcy law seminar hosted by the EDB and Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism (MoICT), discussed the new bankruptcy law and its implications on the startup ecosystem. “I feel very comfortable that I don’t have to end up in jail for failing. The new law decriminalizes failure and allows startups to pick themselves up and bounce back,” says Alharith Al Atawi, Co-founder of Skiplino and OneGCC.
  9. The first edition of Runway to Web Summit was held in the region, and what an exciting event it was. Smart Crowd, MENA’s first and only regulated digital real estate platform, came out victorious and are heading to Lisbon for the Web Summit. The event saw nine startups from all around the region huddle up and pitch their business ideas to the panel of judges. Bahrain also got a shoutout from outer space for hosting the event.
  10. Huawei Day Bahrain 2018 held engaging talks about the future of Bahrain and its potential to develop smart cities, Huawei even announced that it has created an ICT platform to help support the implementation of safe and smart cities within the region.
  11. Talks about the implications of the soon-to-be-implemented of 5G were also discussed during Huawei day and how it can further the Kingdom’s vision and be a vital component in supporting the local economy. “Huawei has been one of our instrumental partners in working towards achieving the objective of creating a digital economy,” said H.E. Minister of Transportation and Communication, Eng. Kamal Bin Ahmed Mohammed.
  12. The Bahrain startup ecosystem was praised for being innovative and inclusive during the BCCI’s Tech Summit. “Bahrain is the perfect place for startups, it’s a sweet spot which combines both local and international players,” said Simon Galpin, Managing Director of the EDB.
  13. During the BCCI Tech Summit, industry influencers gathered together to give startups and entrepreneurs great advice, “If you have something you’re passionate about, go out and do it, and don’t be afraid to fail,” says Zulfie Ali, Chief Investment Officer of C5 Accelerate. “Entrepreneurs need to be more passionate and hungrier to make their dreams come true. Also, collaboration is key in growing and creating new jobs and opportunities” said Yasin Aboudaoud, CDO of Brinc Batelco IoT Hub.
  14. It’s great to hear StartUp Bahrain being acknowledged for what it is, Pakiza Abdulrahman, Manager of Business Development – IT in EDB, gave us a huge shout out during the BCCI Tech Summit.
  15. A fun, first ever demo day was put together by Flat6Labs to celebrate its first batch of fresh graduates from their accelerator program. The eight startups then took to the stage to present their businesses to a pool of investors and interested people in hopes of getting $$. Also, shout out to whoever created the playlist for the event.
  16. The BBK Emtech Summit held a panel discussion to address the importance of building a culture of technology and how innovation is the key to technological advancements in the region. “Technology is a tool, and just so happens to be the tool we are using right now to innovate. We need to adopt the mindset to innovate, we need a mindset that says we’re going to build, rather than buy,” stated John Kilmartin, Executive Director – ICT of EDB during the panel.
  17. Junaid Waheda, Founder and CEO of Wahed Invest was the guest of honor and speaker at the 10th edition of the Rowad Majlis. The session discussed the importance of investment as well as how Junaid founded and started Wahed Invest. “Honesty and integrity are essential when you have an investment firm; you need to be transparent with your investors to establish trust” Junaid advises.
  18. #TechWeekBH closed with an interesting Bahrain eGovernment Forum. A Ministerial session with H.E Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf and Mohammed Ali Qaed, CE of Information and eGovernment Authority discussed the importance of automation, new technology and how it can transform public sector. The session also highlighted the significance of digital transformation and how vital it is in securing the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.
  19. The fact that MIT, Runway to Web Summit, and the Bankruptcy Law Seminar were held at the beautiful National Theatre of Bahrain, The delicious and yummy food offered by Darseen Cafe, you needed to be there to witness and taste how good it was. From their delightful eggplant lasagna and paneer curry to their fancy orange and saffron juice. It indeed was a culinary experience.
  20. founders hour, and how it was organized by C5, Brinc, Nest, and F6ls.

Didn’t get a chance to visit to experience all of this? We’ve got you; you can always check out @StartUpBahrain on Instagram for the full live coverage.

For more information on the upcoming events, head on over here, and don’t forget to follow @StartUpBahrain on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for our live coverage of the week.