Dubbed Zainnovate, this new venture was inaugurated on May 2 at Zain headquarters as both founding partners formally entered an alliance. The aim of Zainnovate is, of course, to add more firepower to the support infrastructure for the Kingdom’s fast-growing startup ecosystem.
Among other important feats, the launch event also demonstrated Angel Investors Network, the first angel investor community in Saudi Arabia that has been serving as a key stakeholder in the region’s entrepreneurial scene since 2011.
To put things into perspective, OQAL currently has more than 350 members across Saudi Arabia and together they have participated in more than 300 investment opportunities.
Speaking on the occasion, Faris Al-Rashed Founder of OQAL Angel Investors Network, said: “The new Bahrain Chapter is a strategic decision that aims to close investment gaps within the region and supports regional investments for early-stage startups.”
He added: “OQAL believes that collectivist culture embedded within the region is the foundation that should be utilized to support the angel investors in contributing and growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Underlying the decision is the efforts to enforce the important role of angel investors in growing the maturing entrepreneurial scene.”
Meanwhile, the event also witnessed the beginning of a new partnership between Alkeri and Russian Venture Company (RVC). Per the new agreement, both entities will launch a chain of GenerationS Accelerators across the region with Bahrain being the headquarter.
Ekaterina Petrova, director of corporate accelerator GenerationS, chipped in by saying: “The GenerationS team will develop the first program in Bahrain followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and thereafter scale up the accelerator model across other regions within the Middle East.”