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Flat6Labs ‘hub for startup ecosystem’

Bahrain Business
Wed, 11 Jul 2018
By Avinash Saxena
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MANAMA: Eight startups in education, e-commerce, gaming, hospitality and healthcare have been chosen by Flat6Labs Bahrain for its first-ever cycle in the country.

Each of them will receive $30,000 in cash seed funding and go through a 16-week mentorship-driven accelerator programme, turning ideas into investment-ready businesses. The eight were picked from more than 150 applicants representing over 30 countries.

This was announced on the sidelines of the inauguration of Flat6Labs’ Bahrain office, which is its sixth accelerator programme in the Mena region.

The new premises, located on the 15th floor of the NBB Tower in Manama, will serve as both a workspace to Flat6Lab’s entrepreneurs, as well as a hub for the kingdom’s startup ecosystem where developer group meet-ups and presentations will be held.

“Our Bahrain office will serve as a key destination for bringing together partners from across all fields to interact, support and assist in the evolution of startups,” said Flat6Labs chief executive Ramez El Serafy.

“The office space has been designed to encourage and facilitate interaction and productivity, giving startups the opportunity to work dynamically side-by-side with others.”

Through a partnership with Tamkeen, the Bahrain operation of Flat6Labs plans to support and invest in more than 40 local and international startups and entrepreneurs over the next three years.

Tamkeen CEO Dr Ebrahim Janahi said it has funded the establishment of three international accelerators including Flat6Labs “bridging a gap that will transform Bahrain’s economy”.

“Accelerators are currently playing an active role in supporting startups and creating a clearer perception of potential growth and opportunities available to businesses.

“We have witnessed the successful experience of Flat6Labs in many countries and we look forward to bringing the best practices to Bahrain and offer Bahraini entrepreneurs the maximum support possible,” Dr Janahi added.

Flat6Labs Bahrain plans to select about seven startups in an acceleration cycle, conducting two such cycles per year.

At the end of every cycle there will be a Demo Day where the graduates showcase their startups to a host of investors, media and potential business partners – all with the purpose of securing additional funding to keep them going and business opportunities to spur growth.

The programme will accept innovative startups from idea or prototype stage and beyond, and will target those working in financial services and payments; education; ICT and electronics; mobile apps and gaming; B2B infrastructure services; healthcare; tourism; real estate technologies; and hardware and industrial solutions.

EDB CEO Khalid Al Rumaihi said he expected Flat6Labs Bahrain to “generate a host of opportunities for entrepreneurs to initiate and expand their operations in the region”, and to “position Bahrain as an ideal startup platform; a crucial development, since startups, today, are the driving force of our economy”.

Flat6Labs has led to the acceleration of more than 140 startups in over 20 cycles across the Mena region since 2011. Entrepreneurs looking for funding can apply at www.flat6labsbahrain.com.

avinash@gdn.com.bh

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