‘Sharks’ offer $1 million funding to five start-ups

 Five brave Bahraini entrepreneurs jumped into the ‘Shark Tank’ and walked away with a whopping $1 million as the first season of Beban drew to a close.

They were among a dozen start-ups who got the chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of investors that included Youth and Sport Affairs Minister and Hope Fund chairman Aymen Almoayed.

The brainchild of the Hope Fund’s investment arm, Hope Ventures, Beban is Bahrain’s first entrepreneurship-themed reality TV show that over the last four weeks pitted promising businesses against each other in wooing potential backers.

Taking inspiration from the famous American series Shark Tank, the programme is part of a series of strategic projects by Hope Ventures to enable, encourage and empower Bahrainis to launch and grow businesses.

In every episode, Mr Almoayed joined a four-member panel of ‘sharks’ or venture capitalists who challenged the start-ups, while making an investment decision in real-time, but also used their knowledge and experience to contribute to the business with the aim of opening doors, or in Arabic ‘Beban’.

The five deals, encompassing businesses across the three sectors of technology, food and beverage, and manufacturing, were made based on scalability potential, business value proposition, business traction, and team capabilities.

The investments were made jointly between Hope Ventures and multiple investors from the private sector.

All business founders who took part in Beban came to benefit from the show.

A number of businesses walked away with investment offers, and some received other opportunities to support the growth of their businesses, such as advance orders worth $120,000 made by investors who purchased products from businesses, closing significant deals.

Entrepreneurs additionally gained access to unique business opportunities with professionals in the field through training and mentorship from sector experts.

The show saw the doling out of more than $85,000 worth of perks, courtesy of seven partners, who provided complementary training, logistics, and marketing services to accelerate the growth of the businesses within and beyond Bahrain.

“Beban has left a powerful impact and impressed the Arab world, as it showcased the competencies, talents and capabilities of Bahraini youth in the entrepreneurship sector,” said Mr Almoayed.

“The show served to reflect their ambition and their ability to compete and excel globally in various aspects and fields, including the field of trade and entrepreneurship. We commend the entrepreneurs who took part in the show, acting as an inspirational model for creativity and innovation as they set out to achieve their goals. Through Beban, we seek to have a positive impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the kingdom, by supporting promising businesses to achieve regional and global growth, while securing rewarding returns for project owners and investors alike.”

Reflecting on the show’s outcome, Hope Ventures’ general manager Fajer Alpachachi said, “Through Beban, Bahrain’s portfolio of inspirational businesses has been brought to the forefront, showcasing their incredible potential and hard work. We are proud of all the entrepreneurs who have been able to pitch their concepts to a panel of professionals in their fields, gain valuable insight, and incentivise investments from both sector and regional investors.

“Through the dedication and resilience exhibited by the participating entrepreneurs, businesses in Bahrain are on their way to becoming global competitors. The first season of Beban is the beginning of our efforts towards paving the way for future investments in the kingdom’s businesses and its up-and-coming entrepreneurs.”

With the end of its first season, Beban recently announced that it has begun accepting applications for its upcoming second season which will feature 20 start-ups, providing more entrepreneurs with potential investment and growth opportunities.



Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1034319


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