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We had a super packed few days last week as StartUp Bahrain Week kicked off from the 3rd to the 10th of March with exciting activities for the startup community across Bahrain and the region! The eventful week hosted conferences, panel talks, workshops, and forums about topics ranging from innovation, AI, investments, technopreneurship, and more. We even hosted startups from across the globe that flew in to attend events during the week and learning more about the welcoming startup ecosystem in Bahrain.

StartUp Bahrain Week was held under the patronage of  His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB), in collaboration with Tamkeen.

In case you didn’t get a chance to attend all of the events, we put together some highlights  that took place during the week:

  1. More than 100 startups from across the globe were invited to attend the week’s activities and were part of an ecosystem tour that gave them the opportunity to learn more about the growing startup ecosystem in Bahrain. Some of the startups include Boulder, a Kuwaiti startup that is a climbing center, UniqoLabel, a startup based in India that addresses the issue of selling fake goods through its brand protection technology, and Mole, an online science store based in Kuwait. The startups were given a tour of the Bahrain Economic Development Board and Bahrain FinTech Bay, and met some of the residents in the co-working space!
  2. The international startups were taken on a tour throughout the Kingdom in collaboration with the Bahrain Tourism and Exhbition Authority. The startups were taken on a trip to Bahrain Fort to witness a beautiful Bahraini sunset, as well as the Food Festival, featuring some of the Kingdom’s best places to grab a bite to eat.
  3. One of the keynote speakers of Unbound, an innovation festival celebrating the digital future of the MENA region, Tom Goodwin, talked about blockchain, artificial intelligence, and disruptive technologies. The two main takeaways from his speech were the importance of digital disruption and digital business transformation. “Disruption is the process and the outcome of launching the first product in a new paradigm”, he said.
  4. Startup MGZN held its 22nd popular Startup Evenings with H.E. Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, the Minister of Finance & National Economy. The Minister held an informal discussion on the state of the economy in Bahrain and the future of innovation within the Kingdom. The event was an opportunity for audience members to ask questions and learn more about the future of the economy in a casual and informal setting.
  5. Tamkeen hosted a workshop in collaboration with the American Global Consulting to empower entrepreneurs and address and overcome the challenges of entrepreneurship. The attendees of the workshops were taught the basics of leadership, along with innovative ways to solve modern-day problems.
  6. John Sanei, from AIRBRN spoke at the Unreasonable Thinking Summit, a 2-day forum on innovation, disruption, and out-of-the-box thinking. The summit aimed at educating and inspiring the Bahraini business community to think outside the box to come up with innovative solutions that solve real-world problems and to encourage creativity. John discussed a new innovative way of doing things, introducing new concepts like Amazon Go, a new kind of store featuring the world’s most advanced technologies.
  7. Eight startups pitched their ideas to an audience of investors, startups, and businesses across the Kingdom. The startups were part of Flat6Lab Bahrain’s Demo Day, graduating from the four-month cycle to move into the pitching stage. The startups were local and international, ranging from sectors of FinTech, EdTech, E-commerce, and more. The startups that pitched their ideas were Telp, uTrack, Express Base, Tamarran, Swap, Akalati, Alqabael, and Sinc.
  8. Startups and entrepreneurs learned how to take their ideas to the next level by participating in the three-day boot camp hosted by Yo Startups and Angivest at the Sheraton Hotel. The bootcamp taught them ways to commercialize their ideas, pitch to clients and investors, know their customers and expand their startups.
  9. Startups were introduced to the Savour Ventures Scouting Tour, the Middle East’s first food vertical accelerator hosted an informative talk about the accelerator’s programs and investments, that support food entrepreneurs to bring their products and services to market super speed. Managing partner Mona AlMukhaizeem was invited to speak about Savour Ventures while answering questions about the accelerator’s programs.
  10. Zain Bahrain hosted a special panel on “Diversity in the Workplace” to discuss equality when it comes to gender and race in the workplace. The panel was moderated by Hadya Fathalla from C5 Accelerate, and hosted Fatima Haidar from Zain, Tala Fakhro from Economic Development Board (EDB), Wafa Al Obaidat from Obai and Hill, and Leena Al Olaimy from 3BL Associates. The panel held a discussion on how to encourage diversity in the workplace, to encourage women to take on leadership positions, and to embrace cultural and educational differences.
  11. A panel was held during Unbound on how Bahraini businesses can build their future moderated by Pakiza Abdulrahman of EDB, with Abdulla AlRadhi from Akalati, Hussain Haji from Inagrab, and Hala Sulaiman from AlRawi Media, and Yasser Abdulaziz from Malaeb. The entrepreneurs discussed their challenges, and how they overcame them to build their companies to where they are today.

All of these events and more were an important part of the week, bringing together Bahrain’s finest minds to share knowledge and ideas. Although StartUp Bahrain Week is over, we are very happy to have met all of the amazing local and international startups, and we hope to see you again next year!

StartUp Bahrain Week is coming back next year, but until then follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to learn about more events coming your way! You can also check our Events page to learn more about upcoming events.