August 2021 (Manama, Bahrain) – The National Bank of Bahrain in strategic partnership with one of the region’s leading FinTech hubs, Bahrain FinTech Bay, launches the Digital Banking Challenge, and is accepting applications.
The NBB Digital Challenge will encourage and motivate participants to develop new and creative solutions focused on NBB’s new digital banking app. In line with Bahrain’s Vision 2030 objectives, the NBB Digital Challenge will contribute in upskilling Bahraini youth digital capabilities and enable them to explore various emerging tech trends. The program is open to university students in Bahrain aged between 18-24.
The challenge will consist of an intensive bootcamp and selection process, followed by a 6-week Digital Incubation period. During the bootcamp, applicants will get the opportunity to understand NBB’s digital outlook through several technical and strategic sessions with their business teams. Following the bootcamp, shortlisted students will be matched and formed into teams according to their skill sets to initiate their ideas and further develop them during the incubation period.
This is in line with NBB’s three-year sustainability roadmap to educate, implement and move towards a more sustainable future. Programs such as these fall under several of NBB’s sustainability pillars which are community investment; to effectively enhance their community investments through leveraging their full resources and capabilities, economic growth; contribute to the society and Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, and responsible banking; to raise financial literacy and accessibility.
The incubation period comprises three tracks; the Startup Track, NBB Track, and Mentorship Track, where students will be able to develop their ideas further into early-stage startups. During the incubation period, students will have key one-on-one sessions delivered by NBB’s team from several departments including Strategy and Digital Banking, Digital Transformation, IT Team, Product Development, Marketing, Business Development, Sales & Customer Service, and Customer Relations.
Students will also be part of a peer-to-peer learning environment at Bahrain FinTech Bay with weekly mentorship sessions led by the FinTech Bay team to support students at different stages of development, gain hand-on experience in building a startup and coming up with a viable solution.
The program will conclude with a demo day event that will award the top 3 best ideas with prize money, incubation at Bahrain FinTech Bay and more.
Khalid Dannish, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain FinTech Bay commented, “We are delighted to be collaborating with NBB to deliver this unique program and provide a platform for the Kingdoms young innovators to directly shape NBB’s digital efforts. Our ecosystem is defined by our talent, and young Bahrainis will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions and fast track their ideas. It is vital that we nurture talent and we are proud to be launching this joint national initiative.”
Yaser Alsharifi, Group Chief Strategy Officer at NBB commented: “We have an inherent responsibility as one of the pioneers of banking in the Kingdom to support the development and upskilling of the Kingdom’s youth. We want to engage with the youth and have them showcase their innovative solutions for our digital banking app. Ultimately, this serves as a direct conversation with our future users and we have a crucial role to have them be a part of our digital efforts. Furthermore, these initiatives are vital, as they allow the young talents to emerge themselves in entrepreneurial and challenging environments, enhance their skills and allow them to contribute their creative efforts towards the kingdom’s growth.”
He added, “It is our aim to shift markets towards sustainability and to maximize our impact within the Kingdom, and make significant contributions to share skills, knowledge and experience with all sections of the community. The NBB Digital Banking Challenge is a prime example of one of our sustainability efforts when it comes to education, community investment and knowledge sharing.”