On September 24 during Seedstars GCC, won the competition and will represent the GCC at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland to compete for over 500K USD in equity investment.
Manama, Bahrain, September 24, 2016 – Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its GCC round to a successful close during Seedstars GCC. The event took place Saturday, September 24 at CH9 where 15 selected startups from 5 GCC countries were invited to present their ideas in front of an international jury panel.
The event attracted interest from 220 attendees, and brought together entrepreneurs from the GCC and beyond. There were two Seedstars GCC first place winners, Meddy from Qatar and Democrance from the UAE. Democrance is a FinTech platform that makes insurance affordable and accessible to the lower-income population through a mobile application. More than 350 million people in MENA do not have access to insurance so Democrance set out to build a FinTech platform that makes insurance affordable while adding value to insurers and distributors. Meddy is a platform to connect doctors and patients in Qatar. Doctors struggle to build patient base and brand awareness so Meddy developed an online platform to help patients find reviews on doctors while enabling doctors to do targeted advertising to reach their patients. Both Meddy and Democrance were selected as the best startups in GCC for its unique approach to translation, technology, and social impact. Meddy and Democrance will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in April 2017, a weeklong training program with the opportunity to meet the other 65 global winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning over 500K USD in prizes and equity investment. Meddy and Democrance will both have the opportunity to participate in the Seedstars MENA Regional Summit in December 2016 in Bahrain.
TechB3 Inc., a platform providing tech info like CNET in the Arabic language, came in second place. The 3rd place runner-up, eshraq, devised a platform for hiring part-time workers in KSA and GCC at large to bring more nationals into the workforce.
The other pitching startups included: JobSmart (UAE), a platform enabling job search from mobile devices, Tamarran Sports Online Service (Bahrain), an online platform for booking sport venues and activities, MaktApp (Qatar), a cloud-based software for office and team management, Gulf CX (KSA), a cloud-based customer experience, CMS (KSA), an online platform for construction materials, Decor Manzi (Oman), a marketplace in MENA region for design experts, renovation professionals, and service providers, Geeks Valley (KSA), an online learning platform in Arabic, e-shop, and workshops provider, Biker.AE, a United Arab Emirates social network and gathering platform for motorcycle riders, Kasper Cab (KSA), an application for ride sharing for daily commuting students and working females, IESoft Technologies FZC, PriceJugaad (Bahrain) is an AI and Big Data based platform for price comparison, product discovery, deals, and sentiment analysis, and SpotCube (KSA), a platform that activates social networks and e-commerce processes.
Geeks Valley got 500BD cash prize from Ahlia University as an extra prize, whereas Décor Manzil and Tamarran Sports Online Service got 300BD and 200BD respectively. `
The event was made possible with the generous sponsorship from the Silver Sponsor Saudi Aramco, the Bronze Sponsor 9/10ths Startup Accelerator by HRDF, the Local Partners Bahrain Economic Development Board and Tamkeen, and the In-kind Sponsor Ahlia University. Seedstars World came to Bahrain for the first time with support from local organizer CH9, a business accelerator in Bahrain, Telecom Sponsor Zain Bahrain, Consulting Partner Grant Thornton, and local supporters Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism, Bahrain Development Bank, SMES Bahrain, Tawasul, Social Media Club, TURN8, MBAN, LARI Group, and Media Partners: Entrepreneur Middle East, Cinqo Media, Arabnet, Wamda, and Magnitt.
The 15 startups pitched in front of a prestigious jury, competition include Alexander Wiedmer, Partner of Iris Capital Management, Dr. Abdulmalek Al-Jaber, Founder and Vice Chairman of CH9, Pierre-Alain Masson, Co-founder of Seedstars, and Trey Goede of ARAMCO Entrepreneurship Ventures. Prior to the competition there was a full day mentorship and pitch bootcamp training session at CH9 with a host of international and Bahraini mentors. The mentors included: Ozan Sonmez, Accelerator Manager, 9/10ths, Tiffany Obser, MENA/CEE Senior Associate at Seedstars World, Amal Dokhan, Co-director of KAUST Accelerators, Ali Almajthoob, Business Advisory Unit of Bahrain Development Bank, Ali Sabkar, Founder of Social Media Club, Hisham Khalifa, Architect, Developer & Consul at ExchangeWire, Pakiza Abdulrahman, CSR Manager at Zain Bahrain, and Ali Awadh Specialist IN Engineer at Zain Bahrain. Ali Al Majthoob, Business Advisory Unit of Development Services Division of Bahrain Development Bank conducted a workshop titled “Are you listening?”. There was also a workshop “You are what you design” by Amal Dokhan, Co-director of KAUST Accelerators, and an “Are you social?” workshop by Ali Sabkar, Founder of Social Media Club, and a “Pitch to win” workshop by Ozan Sonmez, Acceleration Manager of 9/10ths Startup Accelerator.
Continuing on its world tour of startup scenes in emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, Seedstars World’s next stop is Moscow, to select the best startup in the Russia. Seedstars World is looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market.
“They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican proverb
Seedstars (seedstars.com) is a global organization based in Switzerland with activities in more than 50 countries around the world. Its mission is to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through entrepreneurship and technology. The company’s goal is to develop and foster startup ecosystems by connecting, building and investing in driven entrepreneurs. Seedstars connects the best entrepreneurs with investors, corporates and media, and helps them to scale to new markets. They build companies by bringing together resources, talents and growth techniques, and eventually, invest in the most promising entrepreneurs. Sharing the values of trust, efficiency and diversity, Seedstars aims to support the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem from entrepreneurs to investors passing through governments and corporates.