Startup MGZN

7 Things You Should Not Have Missed at the Seedstars GCC Competition!

The Seedstars GCC competition that was held this past Saturday at CH9 in Bahrain was surely a blast. A lot of exciting things happened: startups got to pitch their ideas in front of certified professional juries, entrepreneurs had the opportunity of networking with other entrepreneurs and potential investors, oh and let’s not forget Maya Delices’ mouth watering desserts that were to die for.  

The Seedstars event was organized in partnership with CH9, the Economic Development Board, StartUp Bahrain, Batelco, and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

The event is held in part of Bahrain’s growing ecosystem under StartUp Bahrain that aims to foster and support the growth of the startup ecosystem within Bahrain.   

Didn’t get the chance to visit? Well, worry no more, we have decided to compile you a list of the 7 best highlights that happened during the event:

  1. The 11 startups from across the GCC region that pitched their ideas. Bahraini startups included: WNNA an app that allows users to stay up to date with the latest events, restaurants and more; Glare a platform that helps users practice their public speaking skills through virtual reality; Fish.me; Khadamaaty; Al Rawi; Eshipsol. Saudi startups included: Mathaqi a food delivery service that delivers authentic and homemade food, and Sprent. UAE startups BulkWhiz and Junkbot. And finally the Omani startup Hadaya, an online platform that allows you to send gifts to your loved ones.  
  2. Careem Business Development Manager Husain AlShehabi’s inspiring speech about the startup’s success story and the importance of supporting local talent and giving them a chance to work in your startup. According to Husain: “Talent delivers more value in entrepreneurship. You can even offer them equity as a method of encouragement.”
  3. JunkBot, a UAE startup that encourages children to be innovators through building their own robots, has won first prize! Not only that, but they will be flying to the land of chocolates and watches (Switzerland) next year to compete against international startups in the Global Summit.
  4. Bahraini Startup WNNA crowned as GCC’s Most Promising Startup and are also flying to Switzerland next year for the Global Summit. “We’ve always aimed high and we are pretty determined to win the Global Summit,” says Ali Mohsen, co-founder of WNNA.
  5. The runner up startups: Mathaqi, Glare and BulkWhiz that received an iPhone from the event’s partner Batelco.
  6. The panel discussion “Building and Scaling a Startup in GCC” which included Pakiza Abdulrahman from the Economic Development Board, Sonya Janahi founder of Maya La Chocolaterie, and Mike Stanford the Chief Marketing Officer of Batelco. The panel discussed how startups in Bahrain are rapidly emerging, and that organizations like Tamkeen, the Economic Development Board, Startup Bahrain, and accelerators like C5 Accelerate and CH9 are playing a big role in shaping and supporting the startup culture.
  7. The jury’s useful and critical feedback to the startups which included Trey Goede from Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, Meghan Warner the MENA Associate at Seedstars, John Kilmartin the Executive Director ICT at Bahrain EDB, and Yasin Aboudaoud the Chief Development Officer at Brinc.

This, however, is not the end, the finalists are still going to compete for the final round against startups from all across the world next year in Switzerland, in April. Regional contests are also still held on a yearly basis, so if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a brilliant startup, you should definitely apply! Make sure to follow their updates through their website!

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Interested in launching your startup in Bahrain? Or are you just genuinely curious about knowing more about the startup scene within Bahrain? Then you should definitely check out StartUp Bahrain for more information.

If you want to see more of this event coverage, follow us on social media: @StartUpBahrain on Twitter and Instagram.

Bayan Al-A'abed

Bayan is a writer for Startup MGZN