March 11, 2019
37 delegates from India representing startups in sectors as diverse as FinTech, e-commerce, AI and IOT
Delegates from Kerala supported by the Kerala Startup Mission
Ambassador of India, Alok Kumar Sinha, also present
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 unprecedented Indian presence
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 startups 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 a separate pavilion at Unbound Bahrain, the showpiece event of StartUp Bahrain Week.
The unprecedented interest of the Indian startup community in Bahrains startup and tech space is a testimony to the opportunities that the island Kingdom has to offer for startups from India and across the globe to grow and thrive, a view echoed by Mr. 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 startup ecosystem – not just here but across the region," remarked Mr. 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, startups 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, 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 startup scene gathered to discuss common problems, exchange expertise, compare products and services, and help local startups access regional markets.
About Bahrain Economic Development Board
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.
The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.
The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages and provide significant investment opportunities. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.
For more information on the Bahrain EDB, please visit www.bahrainedb.com.
For information about Bahrain, please visit www.bahrain.com.