It wasn’t too long ago when startups in Bahrain and the broader region had very few funding options available at their disposal. Over the past few years, the landscape has changed dramatically, and in a positive way.
So if you are a startup or an aspiring entrepreneur on the lookout for funding to back your project, you have landed just on the right part of the Web. Because, today, we’re going to highlight one such avenue for securing funding for your startup in Bahrain.
Meet Flat6Labs’ flagship startup accelerator program where promising new businesses can score up to $32K in funding. Let’s delve into the details.
Here’s what Flat6Labs has on the menu for Bahraini startups:
Seed funding: Eligible startups stand a chance to secure up to $32K in funding. Additionally, there are a number of perks and benefits that cumulatively amount to more than $300K. Being a part of the Global Accelerator Network, along with a number of other partnership spanning a large spectrum of sectors, it facilitates added benefits from key allies including Amazon Web Services (AWS), and a host of other perks.
High-quality mentorship: Flat6Labs has more than 300+ highly experienced regional and global mentors in its network. These mentors are tasked with guiding entrepreneurs by giving them in-depth insights into industry trends, business challenges, investor relations, entrepreneurial experience, and tactical issues.
Access to investors: Besides the seed funding you are entitled to by being a part of the Flat6Labs family, you will also have a shot at securing further funding from other global and regional investors and VC firms.
Media coverage: Adequate exposure through media coverage is a must-have for any successful marketing campaign. Especially when you’re a startup with limited brand awareness in the target market. With that in view, Flat6Labs has forged relationships with leading PR firms and media houses across the world so all the startups under its wings stay in the limelight as frequently as possible.
Legal support: Even though entrepreneurs have to deal with fewer red tape while starting a business in Bahrain today, there are still certain legal and regulatory requirements that are best navigated with the help of qualified professionals. Flat6Labs takes care of that issue too by providing startups with a dedicated team of lawyers specialized in corporate and startup affairs.
Co-working space: Flat6Labs offers participating startups 24×7 access to a premium co-working space in the heart of a commercial hub. Located in the NBB Tower, Flat6Labs Bahrain offers some of the best views of the Manama skyline, while offering a collaborative and flexible co-working space.
Here’s how you can become a part of the Flat6Labs family:
Each application is thoroughly reviewed by a team of experts, who then shortlist the best applicants for a 30-minute interview.
Interview: The primary goal of the interview is to assess the founders of shortlisted startups. You will be asked a wide range of questions designed to give the judges an insight into who you are, why you are launching a startup, your understanding of the market, your plans for solving specific problems faced by your target customers, and so on. This phase is where Flat6Labs narrows down the 50+ shortlisted teams to 20 or so.
Interviews are usually scheduled two months prior to the start of the cycle.
Bootcamp: If you make it to this round, be assured that you managed to make a good initial impression on the judges with your vision and business model.
This round consists of a 5-day bootcamp where the 20 selected teams work on developing, polishing, and testing their business models so the judges can get a better understanding of their vision, and potential to succeed in the real world.
The bootcamp is typically held five weeks prior to the start of the cycle.
Selection committee: At the end of the bootcamp, each participating team gets to pitch their business models in front of a selection committee comprising a diverse group of industry experts, partners, mentors, investors, and entrepreneurs within the Flat6Labs network. This is where the final list of startups eligible for the accelerator program is finalized.
Company registration: As the selection process wraps up, each selected team is now required to undergo the due legal and procedural steps. There’s not much to do here except for company registration, signing terms papers and legal agreements, and due diligence.
4-month acceleration cycle begins
This is where the fun (and all the real hard work) begins. For four months, you and your fellow entrepreneurs will be required to work relentlessly to develop a core business model.
You will be tasked with building a prototype and move on to acquiring a customer base by the end of the cycle. But be assured that you will be not alone in the race. If you’re able to make it to the cycle, your startup is eligible to receive seed funding and all the other perks mentioned above. Also, there will be weekly workshops and educational programs to help you along the way.
The D-Day (Demo Day)
The Flat6Labs Demo Day is an invite-only event. It is the follow-up phase to the acceleration cycle where selected startups gain a platform to network with investors.
All the training you received during the four-month-long intensive cycle will come handy here as you get on with pitching to VCs, Angel Investors, and potential business partners. Among other perks, making it to the Demo Day also means that you’re now in the media limelight, which further adds charm to your appeal as a worthy investment choice.
So, that’s pretty much how you can score up to $32K in investment from one of the largest startup accelerator programs in MENA. We have admittedly skipped over some of the finer details to keep this article crisp and to-the-point. But you can always visit the official Flat6Labs website for more information.
Also, remember that although you will be leaving the Flat6Labs premise after Demo Day, you will continue to enjoy access to its extensive network of connections and support.