Bahrain hosts Startup Week to promote entrepreneurial ecosystem

Bahrain hosts Startup Week to promote entrepreneurial ecosystem
StartUp Bahrain Week runs this week to showcase Bahrain's offerings for the startup sector.
Published: 2 March 2019 - 11:27 a.m.

Bahrain's focus on shaping a regional hub for entrepreneurs as part of its ongoing efforts to meet key goals within the Economic Vision 2030 comes under the spotlight next month when it hosts StartUp Bahrain Week.

Running between March 3-7, StartUp Bahrain Week will include a platform of events to network and learn about the startup ecosystem.

Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: "StartUp Bahrain Week promises to be a week-long of inspirational events for entrepreneurs and investors that will encourage innovation and growth in the startup ecosystem.

"Currently, the regulatory climate we have cultivated, in recent years, has provided a solid foundation for the startup community. We look forward to sharing knowledge, great ideas, and most importantly the opportunities available in Bahrain.

"We are now seeing our financial services sector transform due to technology and disruptive startups, and we hope to see technology and startups play a role in other sectors as well, such as Manufacturing, taking us forward to the fourth industrial revolution."

Dr Ebrahim Janahi, CEO of Tamkeen, added: "StartUp Bahrain Week comes just weeks after Tamkeen announced the region's first talent programme specifically for the financial services and technology industry focused on training and developing Bahrainis in the FinTech space, one of the fastest growing startup sectors."

Organised by the EDB, strategic partner Tamkeen (Bahrain Labour Fund) and in collaboration with the startup community in Bahrain, StartUp Bahrain Week will attract key stakeholders including investors, corporates, accelerators, incubators, educational institutions and government agencies.

More than 2,500 delegates are expected to attend the week-long events featuring over 20 speakers and two startup competitions.

Speakers include Nawaf Alkooheji, CEO of Tenmou, Bahrain's first business angel investment company; Tim Draper, one of the world's most highly respected venture capitalists; Waleed Alballaa, of Saudi-based STV, the region's largest venture capital fund and a leading voice on the Middle East investment scene; and Wajeeha Awadh, a FinTech and digital banking expert with Bahrain-based Al Baraka Banking Group.

Other speakers include Indian politician and writer Dr Shashi Tharoor, who will be joined by best-selling author, motivational speaker and business strategist John Sanei; Khaled Nuseibeh, GCC general manager of Careem, the region's first hail-riding app; Amir Farha, CEO of BECO Capital, a venture capital firm focused on reinventing the Middle East through innovation and technology entrepreneurship; and Dr Cameron Mirza, head of strategy at the University of Bahrain.

Bahrain is home to a regional startup ecosystem of over 90 companies including a concentration on tech-based and tech enabled startups.

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