Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its MENA tour to a successful close with the Seedstars MENA Summit. The event took place on December 14 in CH9 Corporate Hub, in Bahrain where 9 selected startup winners of Seedstar’s local events from around the region were invited to present their ideas to a diverse audience.
9 startups from the MENA region showcased their projects and how they can impact the region’s development by leveraging innovative technologies. These startups are: WNNA (Bahrain), Widebot (Egypt), 3oun (Jordan), General Senses (Kuwait), Vision in Motion (Lebanon), Hooplacar (Morocco), Favizone (Tounisia), Paym.es (Turkey) and Junkbot (UAE).
As part of their prize, all 9 winning startups will be participating at Seedstars Summit which will be taking place in Switzerland in April 2018. The startups will have a weeklong training program with the opportunity to meet the other 65 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment.
At the end of the summit, day prizes were given to some of the startups. Hooplacar, the Moroccan startup was awarded with $4000 worth of legal services from Al Tamimi & Company, a leading law firm with offices across the MENA region.
The Summit also featured speakers from Governmental initiatives, global companies, business incubators and VC funds: Kamran Elahian (Innovation Catalyst, Global Innovation Catalyst LLC), Amal Dokhan (Director, BABSON Global Center), Hasan Haider (Venture Partner, 500 Startups), Alisee de Tonnac (CEO, Seedstars World), Simon Galpin (Managing Director, Bahrain Economic Development Board), Judith E. Baker (Economic Officer, U.S. Embassy Manama), Ahmed Fayed (Executive Chairman, General Senses), Sinan Khatib (founder, Sandwich Guys), Dr. Sana Farid (Co-Founder/ CEO, Munfarid), Walid El Saadany (Managing Director, Otlob), Mijbel AlQattan (Venture Partner, Savour Ventures), Zeid Husban (Co-Founder/CEO, POSRocket), Muna Al Shidhani (Project Manager, Sas Center for Virtual Reality), Pakiza Abdulrahman (Manager, Bahrain Economic Development Board), Mohamed Altawash (Chairman, CH9) and Alexander Wiedmer (Partner, Iris Capital Management).
Alisee de Tonnac, CEO at Seedstars, announced that in 2018 they will open new coworking and co-living space in Cairo and Casablanca for startups aimed at developing the people’s lives in the region – Seedspace, that will join the network of such spaces all over the world.
Prior to the Conference, Seedstars World hosted a 2-day invite-only Bootcamp, where 12 startups had over 100 one-to-one meetings with world-class local and international mentors and investors. The Investor Forum brought representatives from 500 Startups, WAED – Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Center, Raed Ventures, Vision Ventures, Oman Technology Fund, Iris Capital, Financial Horizon Group, Propeller Inc, M2G Innovation, Daal.io, Savour Ventures and other Angel Investors from across the region.
Seedstars MENA Summit was hosted by local ambassador organization CH9 Corporate Hub, with the support of main partners Startup Bahrain, Bahrain EDB, US Embassy in Manama and, in strategic partnership with Tamkeen. The event was also supported by our global partners: Amazon Web Services, Enel, Merck and TRECC.