Manama: Amid unprecedented Indian interest, StartUp Bahrain Week, the community-led festival of startup events, returned to Bahrain for the second time from 3 -10 March. The event which also saw extensive participation by founders, investors, incubators, and accelerators from across the region and beyond was hosted in partnership with the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and Tamkeen.
The initiative witnessed a large Indian delegation representing the startup eco-system from India. 37 delegates from various parts of the country participated in the week-long gala event. These start-ups represented sectors as diverse as AI, Fintech, cyber-security, IOT, and e-commerce.
A number of delegates from the southern Indian state of Kerala also participated at the event alongside the Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Alok Kumar Sinha. These delegates were supported by the Kerala Startup Mission, Government of Kerala and were provided with a separate pavilion at Unbound Bahrain, the showpiece event of StartUp Bahrain Week.
The unprecedented interest of the Indian start-up community in Bahrain’s start-up and tech space is a testimony to the opportunities that the island Kingdom has to offer for start-ups from India and across the globe to grow and thrive, a view echoed by David Parker, Executive Director, Bahrain EDB.
“StartUp Bahrain Week 2019 was a real community effort, packed full of inspirational events for entrepreneurs and investors that will encourage innovation and growth in the start-up ecosystem – not just here but across the region,” remarked Parker.
The delegates at the event had the opportunity to meet with captains of the industry, investors and potential business partners in Bahrain. In fact, start-ups who are considering the possibility of setting up shop in the region were provided appropriate guidance on various aspects of doing business in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
There are already strong historical links between India and Bahrain. The population of Bahrain (c. 1.5 m) is just 1/1000th the size of India’s, but a large proportion of Bahraini residents – roughly a third – are Indian. This has helped to create a ‘Bahrain-India Business Corridor’ which accounts for bilateral trade worth more than $1 bn per year.
StartUp Bahrain a huge success. Overall, it was a hugely successful event and headline events included Unbound Bahrain, a two-day innovation festival which hosted over 100 influential speakers in the fields of AI, FinTech, the blockchain, sustainability, investment, digital health and more.
An ‘Ecosystem Tour’ allowed founders to meet key members of the Bahrain startup scene, such as StartUp Bahrain, EDB and Tamkeen. At the GCC Startup Meetup, major players in the GCC start-up scene gathered to discuss common problems, exchange expertise, compare products and services, and help local startups access regional markets. This story is provided by NewsVoir.