BUILD FOR BAHRAIN: Fintech boost for hi-tech pioneers

Three teams of hi-tech pioneers have been able to develop their projects after winning a highly competitive search for positive ideas that can make a difference, championed by Bahrain and the US.

The Build for Bahrain Acceleration Programme, held in partnership with Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) and the US State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), has successfully concluded with the triumphant trio completing the programme and three-month incubation period at BFB.

The initiative received more than 150 applications, 10 out of which were shortlisted to progress to the six-week acceleration programme, where they were exposed to a diverse network of thought leaders and mentors who guided them with the resources to grow their solutions further.

The top three teams – TullabApp, The Nourishers, and Women Who Read – were selected as ‘winners’ during the demo day held earlier this year, with each receiving prize money and three-months incubation at Bahrain FinTech Bay.

“Build for Bahrain enabled us to learn from experts and the ecosystem of startups within the programme,” said co-founder and chief marketing officer of Women Who Read, Shreya Rammohan.

“We were able to demystify the process of pitching and raising funds whilst also re-strategising the right business model for us.

“We have been able to scale to 400 official members on our mailing lists, circulated pre-prototype surveys, interviewed an New York Times bestselling author, built custom proposals for three entities in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, established a bookstore partnership in Bahrain, tested a brand partnership campaign, grown our social audience by 1,200 organically and on-boarded trainees to support!

“We are presently engaged in refining our minimum viable product with a revised approach based on market feedback to develop an inclusive 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 application that encourages women to read together as a community of reading ambassadors with access to master class workshops and a fun customised reading experience.

Azzam Quradhi, co-founder, Tullab App, reflected on their journey, adding: “We’re exceptionally pleased to have been a part of this programme.

“The fund we attained has facilitated us to kick-start and launch our app. The incubation programme 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 programme. We developed relationships with like-minded individuals who provide so much insight as well.

“The programme’s mentors facilitated us to better shape our vision through several workshops – their consistent provision and belief in our idea gave us the additional enhancement to go into the future with our startup.

“Since the completion of the build for Bahrain acceleration programme, we have proudly finalised with officially registering the company and connecting with key stakeholders, including the University of Bahrain, for future collaboration opportunities. We’re now fully confident to take this to the next level.”

TullabApp is a cloud-based application with a multilingual user interface that is tailored to student’s needs. It empowers students through a secure digital community that allows them to manage their study life, communicate with peers and share their skills with others.

Founder and chief executive officer Hamad Al Saad said: “Bahrain FinTech Bay is a dynamic centre that nurtures startups to provide them all the resources and guidance needed to excel. This programme played a vital role in opening up opportunities and aiding in the growth of our business.”

The Nourishers is a holistic directory of lifestyle and wellbeing experts ready to support users in their journey. It also provides coaches with a comprehensive management system and helps in promoting them and their services.

The Build for Bahrain Acceleration Programme, in partnership with Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) and the US State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), was launched to nurture startups that offer tech-powered solutions to current challenges.




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