The Build for Bahrain Acceleration Program, held in partnership with Bahrain Fintech Bay and the US State Department’s MEPI, has now ended with the three winning teams successfully completing the acceleration program and 3-month incubation period (held at Bahrain FinTech Bay).
The program (in Bahrain) reportedly received more than 150 applications, and only 10 actually got shortlisted to advance to the 6-week acceleration program, where they were introduced to a network of industry leaders and mentors. Program participants were able to receive appropriate guidance and gain access to valuable resources in order to enhance their products.
The top three teams, TullabApp, The Nourishers, and Women Who Read, were chosen as the winners during the demo day that took place earlier in 2021. Each winner received prize money as well as a 3-months incubation period to support their product development efforts at Bahrain FinTech Bay.
Shreya Rammohan, Co-Founder and CMO of Women Who Read, stated:
“Build for Bahrain enabled us to learn from experts and the ecosystem of startups within the program. We were able to demystify the process of pitching and raising funds whilst also re-strategizing the right business model for us. Winning re-affirmed confidence in our approach, and we’ve been motivated to launch the free-access community to pique interest. We have been able to scale to 400 official members on our mailing lists, circulated pre-prototype surveys, interviewed an NYT Bestselling Author, built custom proposals for three entities in Bahrain & KSA, established a bookstore partnership in Bahrain, tested a brand partnership campaign, grown our social audience by 1.2K organically and onboarded trainees to support.”
Shreya also noted that they’re currently engaged in refining their MVP with a new approach based on market feedback in order to offer a more inclusive all-digital platform under Women Who Read that “accommodates multiple book club categories with co-host partnerships that can be subscribed to.”
Women Who Read is a digital book club app that aims to encourages women to read together as a community of reading ambassadors. It provides access to masterclass workshops and a truly engaging reading experience.
Azzam Quradhi, Co-Founder, Tullab App, remarked:
“The fund we attained has facilitated us to kick-start and launch our app. The incubation program has further increased our knowledge, which allowed us to gain access to various new skills and opportunities. Meeting other startups was one of the most beneficial aspects of this program.”
Azzam also mentioned that his team has now registered their company and has been able to connect with stakeholders, such as the University of Bahrain, “for future collaboration opportunities.”
TullabApp is a Cloud-enabled app that comes with a multilingual user interface that is designed according to a student’s specific requirements. It aims to empower learners via a secure digital community that lets then manage their study life, effectively communicate with peers, and share their skills.
Founder & CEO Hamad Al Saad noted:
“Bahrain FinTech Bay is a dynamic center that nurtures startups to provide them all the resources and guidance needed to excel.”
The Nourishers is described as a holistic directory of lifestyle and wellbeing professionals who are ready to provide support to users in their journey. Additionally, it offers coaching with a extensive management system and assists in supporting them along with their services.
The Build for Bahrain Acceleration Program, established with assistance from Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) and the US State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), was introduced to support MENA region startups.
These companies aim to provide tech-enabled services to address various challenges.