As Hackquarters, we were at the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum for Young Business Hub Startup Summit with our 54 great startups from 25 countries. We actually had a chance to observe the Bahrain business ecosystem really well because 3 summits were happening at the same time. 18th Arab Businessmen and Investor Conference, the 3rd edition of the World Entrepreneur Investment Forum supported by UNIDO and Young Business Hub Startup Summit by ICFY with our partnership.
On the 11th of November, we were at the main area for a grand opening of the WEIF, ABIC and YBH Startup Summit with the participation of King of Bahrain, Hamed bin Isa el-Halife had a pack for the conference to follow up the schedule and connect with investors, startups and all other delegates in a tablet. Looking at the venue, logistics support, and swags… It was a really well-organized event.For the second day, we were at the WEIF summit for our program. Started with the opening ceremony of WEIF 2019 and panels. Before the summit, we contacted our mentors in Bahrain, invited them to summit to see how we can contribute to each other. With the special thanks to our mentor; Narayanan Ganapathy, 10 selected startups had a chance to met with Angivest VC. Narayanan and Fareed Bader, Managing Partner of Angivest, shared their experience and expectations; and listened to 10 startups selected out of the 56 startup invited by ICYF. Pakvitae, Plexus, Uservision, Instacare, Meerkiddo, VisitorLab, Minorpreneurs, Intixel, HealthiStory, Recycle Go Myanmar had a chance to pitch for the investors. After this session, the program continued with the bilateral meetings as an entrepreneur to the entrepreneur.
On the 3rd and last day of the conference, we started our program with the opening of Young Business Hub. Institutionalizing Innovation was the next session and Hackquarters Founder & CEO Kaan Akın was one of the panelists. The other panelists were Mr. Rasmus Wiinstedt Tscherning - Managing Director Creative Business Network, Denmark, Mr. Omer Oz - Senior President Advisor KOSGEB, Turkey and Kaiser Naseem - International Development Banker and Digital Transformation Expert, moderated very pleasantly by Weixi Gong - Chief of UNIDO’s Investment Promotion Division and Coordinator for the Investment and Technology Promotion Offices.The next session was a panel with Taha Ayhan, President of Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, Mehman Abbas, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the KOB Azerbaijan, Arda Ermut, Turkish Presidency Investment Office, Shaikha Abdullah Al Fadhel, Director of SMEs Development Directorate - Bahrain Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism moderated by Dr. Abla Adel Latif, Executive Director of Research of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies.We’ll share all the success stories related YBH Summit in a few days via our social media. Stay tuned!
As scaleup is the most challenging part of any startup business it was extremely important for us to provide access for our startups to the ecosystem of Bahrain; and MENA in general. Especially for the startups coming from Turkey and region covering OIC countries MENA and Bahrain in particularly is quite attractive in terms of new market access. At the same time accessing infrastructure directly from the ground benefiting out of all opportunities and resources provided by the Government and ecosystem has additional advantages for entrepreneurs. That was the reason why the Hackquarters team reached out to all our partners in Bahrain. Providing tangible support for the startups planning to access new markets and facilitate partnership and further collaboration Hackquarters team took an initiative powered by ICYF to invite major ecosystem players to one networking panel.Here, special thanks go to Pakiza Abdulrahman, Business Development Manager at Economic Development Board of Bahrain, who supported Hackquarters team from the planning stage of the event and helped to establish a good relationship with major institutions, Venture Capitals, and Startup Accelerators. After brief intro panel participants joined the open discussion and Q&A session from the audience; and networking with startups face to face.The panel started with the introduction of Simon Galpin, Managing Partners at EDB. Economic Development Board of Bahrain provides guidance for each new or expanding company, small or large, through every step of the investment journey. EDB team is ready to help each entrepreneur or company pursue local, regional or global business opportunities in Bahrain. Bahrain EDB can help you benefit from our business infrastructure, find a location for your business, discover talent, navigate any legal requirements.
Jenan Al-Muharriq from Startup Bahrain shared the success story of the organization and strategy in the region. Startup Bahrain is the national movement to promote tech startups and entrepreneurship in Bahrain and the region.Saleh Abbas, Marketing and Outreach Manager at Flat6Labs Bahrain share experience directly from the ground in particularly how Flat6Labs is dealing with startups. Launched in partnership with Tamkeen State Fund, Flat6Labs Bahrain is an accelerator program aiming to help accelerate the growth of local and international startups contributing to the rapidly growing venture capital ecosystem of Bahrain. It would be unfair not to mention Ryaan Sharif and Noor Bahman for their support and guidance in Bahrain.