Khalid Al-Ahli, the CEO of Eazy Financial Services, Yasin Aboudaoud, the COO of Brinc, and Pakiza Abdulrahman from Startup Bahrain from Bahrain attended the RISE Hong Kong 2017 Conference this year.

Startup Bahrain is a community initiative that brings together startups, corporate entities, investors, incubators, educational institutions, and the Bahrain government to promote and grow the startup ecosystem in Bahrain. It’s aim is to make Bahrain a strong global and regional player to help launch and scale startups from.

RISE is an annual conference that brings together the biggest names in the ecosystem, companies and brands, including Amazon, Facebook, and Google, passionate startups like Uber and Stripe, and media channels like The Wall Street Journal and CNN, and investors including but not limited to names like SEQUOIA, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Hans Tung.

They shared their experience with us and here’s what they had to say. Khalid described the conference to be the biggest technology conference for startups and investors in Asia that he’s been to. One where many industries overlap and share their latest and greatest from hardware, payment technology, electronic wallets, and software.

What stood out the most during the conference to Khalid was the “number of attendees along with the number and level of remarkable new technology solutions…it was astonishing”! For Yasin, the different startup competitions that took place were a great scene to be a part of, along with and the mind-blowing artificial intelligence robot that “[was] able to debate like normal human being”.


Those who attended from Bahrain brought back some key takeaways from the conference.
Khalid tells us once he got back.

Asian markets have their own characteristics in FinTech, and it’s been a leader in many industries with numerous and successful examples; it’s crucial to be a participant in these gatherings to see where the world is heading. We had a successful experience sharing (Eazy) with experts at the conference to evaluate opportunities [to] expand into Asian markets. A serious dialogue with the Government of Hong Kong was one of the key milestones achieved during this participation, as a part of our initiatives in designing our regional marketing strategies.

Yasin highlighted his takeaway from the RISE Conference to be the realization of a large number of startups opening in India and Asia in particular and how these numbers are going to impact people in the Middle East.

Pakiza’s takeaway, she tells us, was that

coming across different mindsets under one roof was a unique experience. Also, as you are presented with distinctive problems, it is important to know how to think creatively around each issue and how to tackle any challenge along the way.

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The Bahraini delegation had some thoughts on the Startup Bahrain ecosystem after being at the conference. Yasin is eager for the community to capitalize on the large number of expats within the community, their availability allows easier growth for startups to penetrate the market, start, find talent, and grow. Beyond that however, expats encourage collaboration amongst the players within the startup community which could lead to thoughtful and innovative ideas, not far off from the innovation he witnessed in RISE.

For Khalid, two thoughts for the Bahraini startup community. One, participate more when the chance is available at these conferences, they can open your eyes to unseen innovation, collaboration, and success. Two, the community should work on its own version of RISE to help develop and nurture an ecosystem that captures the interest of regional startups and investors.

Pakiza Abdulrahman, from Startup Bahrain added

Startup Bahrain is a new initiative and needs to be engaged in international events. RISE is considered to be the “it” conference in Asia. The startups had the opportunity to engage, network and gain the exposure to grow their businesses. RISE also provided Bahrain with the opportunity to shine and proved how aware the Kingdom is with the international events –hence being the only Arab country in RISE. Bahrain’s positive encouragement to the local startup scene in international events shines as it shows the country’s vision to grow, supporting local startups by engaging them in international events and attracting international investors to Bahrain.

RISE is a huge platform that opens doors to aspiring individuals to meet and benefit from each other. Don’t miss the chance and sign up for RISE Hong Kong 2018 now to live Khalid’s and Yasin’s experiences for yourself.

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