New incubator programme set to boost entrepreneurship in Bahrain

MANAMA: A new incubator programme for women-founded tech start-ups in Bahrain aims to tap into the kingdom’s position as a hub of entrepreneurship.

The 2021 Bahrain Women’s Intensive is the result of a collaboration between Halcyon, a US-based nonprofit, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Startup Bahrain as the local partner.

All three organisations will participate in the selection committee, which will consider criteria including innovation, strength of the business model, and potential for impact at scale, in addition to the pre-requisite of being a woman founder of a tech-based impact-driven business based in Bahrain.

Fellows selected will receive mentorship and training from Halcyon’s network, as well as an introduction to the US market and potential investors.

They will also receive AWS cloud computing credits and technical support, training, and mentorship support from AWS experts.

A key feature of the programme is that no equity investment will be made in the selected start-ups.

“With so many women entrepreneurs poised to make a positive impact in the tech space, this will equip those founders with the tools they need to take their ventures to the next level. Access to cloud technology is key to enabling startups to move quickly, innovate, and grow, and AWS is committed to fostering a more diverse and inclusive tech sector,” said AWS Worldwide Public Sector and Regulated Industries vice-president Teresa Carlson.

Since it began in 2014, the Halcyon Incubator has provided fellowships for 111 impact ventures, which have gone on to raise capital of more than $150 million, create over 1,700 jobs, and impact more than 2.5m lives around the world. Among Halcyon Incubator ventures, 59 per cent have a woman founder or co-founder.

“Halcyon is proud to collaborate with AWS for this intensive fellowship experience through our flagship, the Halcyon Incubator,” said the organisation’s chief executive and co-founder Kate Goodall.

“From the moment these entrepreneurs begin their experience virtually in January, they’ll receive the best support our network has to offer.” Applications for the programme are open till November 23.

A cohort of 10 ventures will be announced in late 2020, with plans for the entrepreneurs to begin monthly programming in January.

A week-long residency at Halcyon’s headquarters in Washington, DC is tentatively planned for July 2021.




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