Zain Bahrain, a leading telecommunications provider in the Kingdom virtually hosted the 4th edition of ‘Zainnovate’ in partnership with Alkeri Partners, a Bahrain based startup foundry and Oqal Angel Investors Network, the first Angel investor community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Launched in 2019, Zainnovate initiative is a strategic platform through which Zain and its partner’s – Alkeri & Oqal support startups by helping them grow, develop and sustain in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The session was addressed by Mr. Jamal A. Al-Hazeem, Chairman of Alkeri Partners and Oqal Bahrain Chapter and Mr. Khaled Zainalabedin, Managing Partner of Alkeri Partners and Founder and President of Oqal Bahrain Chapter. During the first session, the guest speaker Mr. Samer Ibrahim Kurdi, Chairman of Al Sunbulah Group (KSA), spoke in depth about ‘The Benefits of Angel Investing and the Impact of Angel Investments on GCC Economies’ which was followed by a Q & A session.
The second session presented Oqal Bahrain’s startup cohort pitch sessions, which included three leading startups in the education and healthcare sectors from the Kingdom of Bahrain. The startups included Doctori, a Bahrain-based healthtech app that connects patients to expert doctors and healthcare professionals worldwide; Springring, a single platform that combines multiple forms of communication for educational institutions; and Unipal, an online platform dedicated to enhancing the student lifestyle by providing students with access to discounts and offers using a unique digital student ID.
Commenting on the successful hosting of Zainnovate, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Khalid AlKhalifa, Director, Communications & Investor Relations at Zain Bahrain said, “We continue to support Bahrain’s Vision 2030 as a leading tech and startup hub in the region and did not want this year’s Zainnovate to be hindered due to the COVID-19 situation. Hence, we along with our partners decided to host the meetup virtually as we feel that start-ups have continued to play a critical role in Bahrain’s economy even during these tough times. Most existing start-ups face significant challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis and have become even more financially fragile. Zainnovate is one such platform which will provide necessary support for SME sector projects in order for them to grow and develop. It will also ensure business integrity and sustainability.”
Speaking on the occasion, Khaled Zainalabedin, Managing Partner of Alkeri Partners and Founder and President of Oqal Bahrain Chapter, said, “These times are unprecedented. However, we believe in investing in the most exceptional minds that are building companies that will redefine the future. Without doubt, COVID-19 has served to accelerate the inexorable trend of digitization which we believe has ample of opportunity. We’d like to recognize some of the tech startups in Bahrain who using their technology to ensure the health and safety of our communities, have developed unique solutions and have focused on sustainability. We are also thankful to Zain Bahrain for their continuous support in hosting the 4th edition of Zainnovate and for developing an entrepreneurial environment in the Kingdom.”
Zainnovate targets different type of people such as, startup founders who would want to pitch their new business ideas, get funded or want to listen to experts. Zain’s contribution towards the startup ecosystem in Bahrain is in line with their corporate sustainability and social responsibility strategy which focuses on three core pillars: Innovation, Thought Leadership and Youth Empowerment.