Zain Bahrain successfully concluded the 6th edition of Zainnovate in partnership with Alkeri and Oqal Angel’s Network

Press Release.

Manama – 29 November 2020:  Zain Bahrain, a leading telecommunications provider in the Kingdom, is proud to announce it has successfully concluded the 6th edition of Zainnovate in partnership with Alkeri and Oqal Angel Investors Network. Through the Zainnovate initiative, Oqal Angel Investors Network, the first Angel investor community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Alkeri Partners, a Bahrain based startup foundry, successfully supported securing investors from its network to invest in three of its Bahrain Chapter cohort startups in the GCC. Okadoc, a Dubai based booking platform for doctors; Dalooni, a Bahrain based e-commerce application and Unipal, a Bahrain-based student platform application based in Bahrain.

Since its launch in 2019, the Zainnovate initiative has hosted 6 editions both physically and virtually and has seen 19 startup founders pitch their business ideas to investors to raise funds during the ‘Demo Day’ sessions. Three cohort startups successfully gained the attention of investors from the Oqal Angel Investors Network. With a total attendance of 40 pax per event, Zainnovate has been a huge success amongst the startup community since its launch. Zain Bahrain has positively managed to host the event at their premises pre pandemic and virtually during the pandemic to continuously support startups to grow, develop, and sustain even during challenging times, in addition to creating an entrepreneurial environment in the Kingdom. By providing a strategic platform such as Zainnovate, Zain Bahrain has uninterruptedly made efforts to support Bahrain’s Vision 2030 as a leading tech and startup hub in the region that offers the necessary support for the SME sector.

Zain Bahrain virtually hosted the 6th edition of Zainnovate which consisted of three sessions. The opening session was addressed by Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Director, Communications & Investor Relations at Zain Bahrain, followed by Mr. Jamal A. Al-Hazeem, Chairman of Alkeri Partners and Oqal Bahrain Chapter, and Mr. Khaled Zainalabedin, Managing Partner of Alkeri Partners and Founder and President of Oqal Bahrain Chapter. 

The second session was addressed by Guest Speaker Mr. Roberto Wyszkowski, Partner at Sia Partners. Mr. Wyszkowski, whose experience spans over 20 years across various industries, spoke in-depth about ‘the need for CVCs in the GCC, its importance and impact on the GCC’s startup ecosystem and economy’. 

The third session, ‘Demo Day’ included three leading startups in the sport, automotive technology, and health & lifestyle technology sectors from the GCC region. The first pitch was by Fahad Al Rashdan from Meras, the first specialized sportswear marketplace in Kuwait, followed by Glenn Harwood from Algo Driven, a Dubai-based B2B automotive data startup, and Hamad Saad from Nourishers, a Bahrain-based startup focusing on health and lifestyle technology.

Commenting on hosting the 6th successful Zainnovate event, Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Director, Communications & Investor Relations at Zain Bahrain said, “Zainnovate is an initiative which we at Zain Bahrain are extremely proud and passionate about. We are pleased that the startups have received strong support from the investors in the Oqal Angels Network to further the development of their businesses despite challenging times, which validates our view to support Bahrain’s Vision 2030 as a leading tech and startup hub. We wish the startups who have pitched during the 6th edition of Zainnovate every success, and we will continue our efforts to nurture an entrepreneurial environment in the Kingdom.”

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Speaking on the occasion, Khaled Zainalabedin, Managing Partner of Alkeri Partners, and Founder and President of Oqal Bahrain Chapter said, “During the demo day we always ensure that a robust due diligence process is followed. We, along with our partners and investors, see the founding team’s commitment, their innovative platform, as well as the enormous impact we can create together to provide something new to the market. If you see the positives of the pandemic, it has accelerated digital trends, and the companies that have raised funding has everything an investor looks for in an investment—a passionate team of experienced entrepreneurs, a bold and disruptive vision, defensible technology, and an enormous market opportunity.It is indeed a proud moment for all of us, and we hope to provide more startups with opportunities in the future.”

Zainnovate targets different types of people, such as startup founders who want to pitch their new business ideas or those who are looking to learn from industry experts. With the support of Oqal Angel Investors Network; Zain Bahrain is contributing towards creating the startup ecosystem in Bahrain by providing a platform for exceptional minds that are building companies which will redefine the future. This initiative is in line with Zain Bahrain’s corporate sustainability and social responsibility strategy focusing on three core pillars: Innovation, Thought Leadership, and Youth Empowerment. 

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