Weekender Bahrain, Saturday, April 20 2019

Festival Fuels Start-up Growth

admin 16-Mar-2019

Festival Fuels Start-up Growth

Unbound Bahrain creates impact 

Over 3,000 startups, investors and businesses in AI, block chain, digital wellbeing, energy, fintech, investment and sustainability took part in Unbound Bahrain 2019.This year’s leading innovation festival was the biggest yet and was composed of 35% corporate and brand executives, 35% founders and entrepreneurs, 15% digital and media agencies, 5% Government and trade agencies, 5% investors and 5% journalists. The event, which celebrates global innovation, was the anchor of Startup Bahrain Week which is under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB). 

Unbound Bahrain provided regional and international entrepreneurs with unique networking opportunities, workshops and speaker sessions that gave unique insights into the latest in tech innovation. A number of initiatives took place this year including pitches to investors, The Female Founders challenge, Flat6Labs demo day and ask the VC. Speaking about Unbound Bahrain, Founder and CEO Daniel Seal informed Weekender, “This year we welcomed nearly double the number from last year to network and gain insights into how to do business through our unique workshops. Thank you to the EDB for giving us the opportunity to do business in Bahrain and highlight one of MENA’s most promising ecosystems.” 

The event took place in conjunction with StartUp Bahrain Week, a community-led festival that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation connecting attendees from around the world. It takes place as the corporate innovation model taking hold in the MENA region over recent years gathers pace with corporations venturing into the startup realm to find solutions to an ever changing marketplace.Unbound bridges the gap between entrepreneurs, corporate business, governments and trade agencies to fuel a digital future. It encourages innovation by showcasing pioneering ideas to digital communities around the world. 

What the Speakers Addressed: 

Weekender presents insightful views some of the speakers shared with the audience at the event: 

His Excellency Khalid Al Rumaihi (Bahrain), Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) opening remarks:

“You have a government here who is willing and able to help you succeed” 

Tom Goodwin, EVP Innovation Zenith, Author & Speaker on unleashing the power of disruption:

“The deeper you apply technology the greater the benefit you get. Technology is amazing. I think we act as if we don’t want it around us, particularly in larger corporations. We have the internet and the mobile. Collectively I think some businesses act as if they wish the internet never happened. Corporations should focus on people not technology. This is a terrible way to think of innovation. Businesses need to be enthusiastic and have a genuine curiosity in technology.” 

Wafa Al Obaidat, CEO, Obai and Hill speaking about women who wish to progress their careers in corporate innovation:

“We as women have a responsibility to be transparent about challenges. Let’s reinforce knowledge sharing by women for women. Studies have shown that women don’t want a female boss and men don’t want a female boss. What’s a woman to do? I think there’s a huge culture change we need to adopt at both ends.” 

Hadya Fathalla, Executive Director of C5 Accelerate speaking about women who wish to progress their careers in corporate innovation:

“I always say don’t give me a seat at the table because I am a woman. Give me a seat because I am the best person.” 

Harvider Hingh, Chairman of AirSensa, on collaboration possibilities:

“We’ve had positive messages to meet likeminded people and progress a plan here. We came to Bahrain to explore opportunities and we’ve had very positive discussions. If we can secure roll out of our product, Bahrain would be an ideal place to set up business.”