Seedstars World is Coming to the CH9 Hub in Bahrain

ArabNet , Aug 15 2016

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is coming to Bahrain on September 24th, 2016 to host a startup competition at CH9 Hub in Manama. Up to 15 startups will compete to win the title of GCC’s Best Startup and two will be chosen to represent the GCC at the Global Summit in Switzerland. The past winning participants of Seedstars World have raised over 33M USD together cumulatively, providing employment to over 885 employees around the world. 

Continuing on its goal to put the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is expanded its competition to more than 60 countries for 2016, up from the 36 countries in the 2014 edition. The regional winners of the local events from each country will be invited to Switzerland to pitch at the final event in April 2017 for a prized 500,000 USD equity investment.

The Seedstars 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 jury members of the Seedstars GCC competition will include Mohamed Altawash, Founder of MBAN and CH9, Pierre-Alain Masson, Co-founder of Seedstars, and Trey Goede of ARAMCO Entrepreneurship Ventures. The event is made possible with the generous sponsorship of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Tamkeen and King Abdullah University of Sciences and Technology. Seedstars is coming to Manama for the first time with the help of local organizer CH9, a business accelerator in Bahrain, and additional support from Magnitt, Cinqo Media, Tawasul, and Ahlia University.

CH9 is very enthusiastic about hosting the first Seedstars GCC competition and promoting Bahrain as a startup hub. Mohamed Altawash, founder and managing director of CH9, notes, “the number of talented entrepreneurs in this region is phenomenal, and CH9 would like to help these entrepreneurs gain visibility in and out of this market.” Trey Goede of Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures adds, “the GCC startup scene is evolving quickly, and the foundation is being laid to create the next great companies of tomorrow. The Seedstars GCC event will no doubt be a ‘can’t miss’ opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike.”

The winning startups will also be invited to the Seedstars MENA Regional Summit being hosted in Bahrain on the 14th-17th December 2016. Seedstars will continue to work on developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the region throughout the year, culminating with the MENA Regional Summit, which will bring together startups from Tunisia, Egypt, UAE, Jordan, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, and Algeria to pitch in front of an audience of 300 investors, media, and entrepreneurial representatives.

This event is in addition to the Global Summit in Switzerland which will bring together 60+ entrepreneurs from around the world in April 2017; the best startups in the GCC will be invited to pitch for the opportunity to compete at both the Seedstars Regional Summit in Bahrain and the Seedstars Global Summit Switzerland.

The competing startups will come from a wide range of sectors. The basic criteria for applicants stipulates that the seed-stage startups have less than 500’000 USD raised, that it has been less than two years since the startup was founded, and that a MVP (minimum viable product) exists. Seedstars World is also looking 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.

“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. “We look forward to seeing how the different startup scenes have evolved in a year and the new startups in the country.”

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