This week, BTW turns the spotlight on Moayed Almagabi, cofounder of Pick A Dive, a new and innovative business endeavour in Bahrain. We spoke to Moayed to learn more about his venture how his team won the second place in the Startup Weekend Bahrain competition.
Has inventing new technology been a new-found calling or passion for you right from the beginning?
With the rise of the Internet in the 90s, people were using it for entertainment & education mostly. Things have changed with the rising of huge companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google and others. The nice thing is that they all started as startups!
Tell us briefly about how and when the Pick a Dive app was founded. What are its utilities?
Pick A Dive (PAD) is a platform that links the scuba divers & prospective scuba diving students with the diving providers and diving instructors to plan their diving trips or diving lessons, as the case may be. Diving is fun! And we always struggle to plan our next dive, starting from finding a suitable boat, to finding the right instructor or diving buddy to accompany us on our trip. That’s why PAD saw the light in Startup Weekend Bahrain
What were the initial challenges and how did you overcome them?
As any new business, a startup needs proper funding and connections. We participated in #SWBahrain, and we believe that it has benefited us financially and mentally. The second price was BD2000 which was good enough to start our website but not our mobile App. We will need more funding in the coming period.
What are the obstacles that you are still encountering?
For every startup, there is a risk that needs to be taken; starting from jumping off the cliff and quitting our jobs to taking the journey of building a high impact startup which will be involved in the regional economy.
6. How has Pick a Dive grown or evolved since its inception?
We are working very hard every day to get the platform up and running by the end of the winter.
How is Pick a Dive unique from its competitors?
We have competitors in the far west; no one has come up with what we are trying to do so far in the region. We will deploy technology in a different way to get a bigger market segment by the end of 2016.
What has been the kind of response that you have received from subscribers of Pick a Dive?
We had arranged two trips during Startup Weekend within 54 hours; one to Sharm Al Shaikh in Egypt and another in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Our next trip is scheduled for next week in Bahrain. We have more than one thousand Likes on Facebook. People are appreciating different types of recreation, especially the underwater world. We like that!
What are your future plans?
All I can say is that our spirits are very high and we will be doing our best to achieve more and more in the region and go ahead globally as well.
What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
There is a starting point for everything, let the starting point be your baseline for success. Aim high, you will reach there with your hard work and dedication.