Seedstars Will Host the MENA Regional Summit in Bahrain
Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Bahrain on December 15th, 2016 to host Seedstars MENA Regional Summit at CH9 Hub in Manama. The Regional Summit is the culmination of Seedstars’ work to develop the MENA entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the year. The event will bring together startups from Tunisia, Egypt, UAE, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, GCC, and Algeria to pitch in front of an audience of 300 investors, media, and entrepreneurial representatives. All of the participants are the winners from their respective countries and following the MENA Regional Summit, they will travel to the Global Summit in Switzerland on April 6 to represent the region as they compete with 65 startup winners from around the world for investments and prizes over $500K.
The MENA Regional Summit will commence with a bootcamp for the participating startups and culminate with a Conference and Pitch event on December 15th that will feature the startup pitches, keynotes, and panel discussions that will engage a range of topics and ideas pertinent to entrepreneurs in the region. The conference will showcase success stories of entrepreneurs who scaled successfully and look into the success factors as well as the elements that still need to be improved in order to allow a MENA startup to scale and compete on a global stage. The event is made possible with the generous sponsorship of the Bahrain Economic Development Board and Tamkeen. Seedstars is coming to Manama with the help of local organizer CH9, a business accelerator in Bahrain, who will be hosting the first Seedstars MENA Regional Summit and promoting Bahrain as a startup hub.
Prior to the the Conference, Seedstars World will host a 2 day invite-only Bootcamp for over a dozen startups (all winners from the 2016 Seedstars World competition across the region) who will work with world-class local and international mentors on improving their business models, working on their growth strategy and mastering the investor pitch. Mentors and investors will come from across Africa, Europe, the US and the MENA region. In addition to that, this year’s program will give entrepreneurs the opportunity to be selected for the Seedstars Growth program, a seed investment that comes together with a 4 month acceleration program for early stage startups.
The participating startups come from a wide range of sectors: Tutorama from Egypt is a highly curated marketplace connecting parents with top quality tutors, Evey from Tunisia is web & mobile platform that helps community managers realize real time votes/surveys with automated data analysis, Segmentify from Turkey boosts online store's sales by offering Amazon level personalized product recommendations and business insights, Mind Rockets from Jordan develops assistive technologies for the Deaf Community, using avatars to deliver speech/text to sign language interpretation, MakerBrane from Lebanon is a physical and digital platform that lets anyone design, build, and sell cool toys using stuff they already have, Asafeer Education Technologies from UAE is a smarter, cost-efficient way to teach and track reading skills for school students, Meddy from Qatar is a medical platform that helps patients find best doctors based on patient reviews and credentials and doctors find new patients effectively, Democrance from UAE’s mission is to democratize insurance by making it accessible to the lower-income population of MENA through their mobile phone, and Dalil from Algeria is an object recognition and navigation system for visually impaired people.
“Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. We honestly think the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship” explains Alisee de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO.
The Seedstars Global Summit will also feature industry-specific tracks in parallel to the general Seedstars World competition prize, similar to the 500,000 USD travel-specific prize awarded at last year’s summit. The Jacobs Foundation is also offering a grant of 50,000 CHF for product customization or a pilot project in the francophone market. The past winning participants of Seedstars World have raised over 33M USD together cumulatively, providing employment to over 885 employees around the world.
The basic criteria for applicants stipulates that the seed-stage startups have less than $500,000 raised, that it has been less than two years since the startup was founded, and that a MVP (minimum viable product) exists. Seedstars World looks for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market. With partners such as MEST, Google for Entrepreneurs, and Microsoft, Seedstars World identifies fast-growing and pioneering startup scenes and is on the mission to support regional businesses and their growth.
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