An interesting talk with the three Founders of Level Z, Bahrain’s 1st Start-up Factory
- Tell us briefly about yourselves (founder and co-founders)
Zaman Zaman – Chief Executive Officer Background: Technology, Investments & Media
Alharith Alatawi – Chief Operating Officer Background: Corporate Finance, Finance & HR Tech and Investments
Ali Mohsen – Chief Product Officer Background: IT, Startups and Product Development
- Level Z whose idea was this and how did it come about?
We invested in Startups before, we had some success and more importantly, some failures. This is why we stopped investing in individual Startups but rather decided to come together as seasoned entrepreneurs each specialized in their own domain. Instead of investing in separate individual Startups, we built a model where we invest in resources, and roll out different Startups at a time. Therefore, we identify as a Startup Studio (a.k.a. Startup Factory).
- Any organization that helped you to start up Level Z?
This is an individual effort and although many organizations have started discussing how they can collaborate with us, nothing materialized yet.
- Tell us briefly about how Level Z works.
Level Z is a startup factory. It operates on the concept of sharing resources between companies. Instead of acting as a holding company and assigning resources to each company’s startup, we share those resources, test the products, and launch them. Once a product has been tested, we roll it out as a company of its own—and with it, one or two of our employees, to grow the company organically.
- How has the reception of the Level Z concept been in Bahrain?
We are the first Startup Studio in the MENA region, and since our launch we have been getting a lot of positive feedback both locally and internationally. Our first project has already been featured in producthunt.com and has been reviewed by international tech magazines and blogs.
- What has been the major challenge since you started up Level Z? Have you been able to overcome it? If yes then how?
The major challenge was really in finding the right talent and put together a strong team that can compete globally. We are very proud that we were not only able to overcome this hurdle, but with much effort and search we were able to form a 100% Bahraini team that has been able to build a full product from design to development to distribution in a record time. Moreover, their work is now recognized on a global scale as mentioned before.
- What are the different start-up businesses that you have partnered so far?
Level Z is a Startup that builds and invests in its own startups. We have not partnered with any other startups yet. However, we are in heavy negotiations with some global startups that have millions of users to see how we can sync our products and co-market them globally.
- What according to you are the key requirements for a start-up to sustain itself successfully?
For every startup there are 5 main factors that will make it a success and entrepreneurs really need to focus on them.
- The right solution
- Scalability & market growth
- Strong Team and partners
Although many entrepreneurs will focus on the solution and funding, you will find that many of the successful startups we see today had a very strong combination of all the above with a focus and emphasis on Timing!
- Where do you see Level Z five years from now?
At Level Z we are very ambitious and confident in our business model. We see huge potential working in this region and Bahrain as the perfect hub for us. We aspire to roll-out 5 potential unicorns in the next 5 years!
- What is your message to other start-upers of Bahrain?
Don’t wait for others to come hold your hands and help you succeed. The only times we succeeded was when we didn’t wait for anyone’s support. We narrowed down the major steps as follows:
- Build something that everyone needs and can use, not just yourself.
- Focus on great design and your customer experience.
- Don’t drown yourself building features, take the initial product to the market and improve it based on user feedback.
- Your Startup is not only development and operations, give equal time, money & effort to marketing activities and achieving solid growth.
- Once you’re successful, everyone will want to fund you, choose the right partners for your product!