After 8 months travelling in 9 countries, the MENA Seedstars team ended the tour in the region with Seedstars MENA Summit in Bahrain, where the 9 startups finalists from the MENA region showcased their projects and how they can impact the region’s development by leveraging innovative technologies:
Below is the list of startups that pitched during the Summit:
🇦🇪 United Arabic Emirates – Junkbot is a DIY robotic kit that helps you turn your junk into robotics.
🇱🇧 Lebanon – Vision in Motion has developed a B2B software solution that helps retailers understand their customers using security cameras and computer vision.
🇧🇭 Bahrain – WNNA is an AI-driven contextual search system that uses Big Open Data & Semantic Web to provide users with personalized recommendations & actions.
🇯🇴 Jordan – 3oun is an on-demand mobile application that connects you with vetted handymen around you.
🇹🇷 Turkey – Paym.es is a secure shopping chatbot that helps users sell or purchase items on messaging apps.
🇹🇳 Tunisia – Favizone has developed a plug & play personalization solution that enables retailers to deliver recommendations across all channels: e-shop, emails, and messaging app.
🇪🇬 Egypt – WideBOT is the first bot builder platform in the MENA. WideBOT allows anyone to build his/her own intelligent chatbot without any coding in only 10 minutes.
🇲🇦 Morocco – Hooplacar connects brands with drivers to create on-vehicle advertising campaigns, live-monitored through GPS tracking and marketing KPIs.
As part of their prize, all 9 winning startups will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2018. This will be a weeklong training program with the opportunity to meet the other 65 winners from the other regions: Africa, Asia, Latam and CEE, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million equity investment.
Bootcamp Day 1
During the first day of the MENA Regional Summit, Seedstars partner Charlie Graham Brown introduced Growth methodologies to the MENA Startups. This session was a mix of theoretical and practical content, with input provided by the Seedstars Investment Team on growth team roles, growth equations, growth goals, and growth methodology (such as OKRs and KPIs). The startups put this new knowledge to use by putting together their own growth models, which they then received feedback on. It was followed by another session of acquisition channels and worked on the practical application of the theory, where the startups brainstormed on channel prioritization and ideated new experiments to leverage these channels.
Bootcamp Day 2
The morning of the second day was dedicated to one-to-one mentoring sessions with mentors from across the MENA, as well as from Europe and the United States. All startups had 3 rounds of 45 minute long mentoring sessions. We had 13 experienced mentors from many different backgrounds, 10 of whom were international, joining us in Bahrain.
We also hosted keynote speeches “Human Dynamics of the Team” by Craig Smith – CEO of Dhahran Techno Valley, “Doing Business in Bahrain” by Fajer Al Pachachi from Bahrain EDB and “Startups Funding Cycle” by Ahmed Fayed from General Senses. The bootcamp day ended with Q&A session with Kamran Elahian – Global Innovation Catalyst.
The Summit Day
The Summit day started off with a “Media Chat” where some of the main partners discussed their current goals and objectives, announced the launch of new initiatives and answered questions from the press. It was full of the mainstage content; startup pitches, keynotes, panels & networking sessions. The 9 Seedstars startups showcased the wealth of great ideas and business coming out of ecosystems from the Middle East and North Africa. There were keynotes from Simon Galpin on Bahrain EDB’s support of entrepreneurship and Kamran Elahian’s talk on the importance of innovation, as well as panels on Governmental support for entrepreneurship in MENA, the future of food and technology, the commercialisation of virtual reality, and mapping the MENA landscape in 2018.
At the end of the Summit, prizes were awarded to some of the startups. Hooplacar, the Moroccan startup was awarded $4000 worth of legal services from Al Tamimi & Company, a leading law firm with offices across the MENA region.
Seedstars MENA Summit was hosted by local ambassador organisation CH9 Corporate Hub, with the support of main partners Startup Bahrain, Bahrain EDB, US Embassy in Manama and, in strategic partnership with Tamkeen. The event was also supported by our global partners: Amazon Web Services, Enel, Merck and TRECC.
Our Seesdtars MENA team is looking forward to coming back to the region, and continuing its journey in 2018!
Meanwhile, come and see the startups participating in the big final of Seedstars World Competition: the Seedstars Summit on April 12th! Request your invitation here!
Discover some testimonials of the Regional Summit!
“For the past year, these have been the best quality start-ups I’ve seen in one place” Hussain Almarhoon – Managing Partner at Financial Horizon Group
“This was the first event in my start-up history that was actually effective” Wael El-Ahmady – Founder & CEO of General Senses
“Outstanding job and great execution!” Craig Smith – CEO of Dhahran techno Valley Co.
“Seedstars exceeded my expectations. Usually, I don’t expect much from relatively small events. But Seedstars was efficient, they managed to bring the perfect small number of very relevant startups and investors.” Manaf Asfour – Propeller Inc.