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Nest, a Hong Kong-based corporate innovation accelerator, has officiated its launch in the kingdom with its first panel discussion.
The event followed the theme of ‘Why Startups and Corporates Need Each Other?’ with eminent figures in Bahrain’s entrepreneurial scene starting up the conversations.
The panel included Simon Galpin, the Economic Development Board’s MD, Amal Kooheji, MD of Human Capital Development Advisory and Alharith Alatawi, co-founder of employment platform ONEGCC and Skiplino, an intelligent cloud-based queue management system with 1,500 clients globally.
In recognition of Bahrain’s entrepreneurial spirit, Nest said it wanted to create a platform where the conversation of how start-ups and corporates can collaborate for mutual success was discussed.
“Nest has built an innovation ecosystem to connect the fast growing markets of Asia, the Middle East and Africa,” said Lawrence Morgan, its CEO. “It is important for corporates and start-ups to work together towards achieving greater collaborative success and Bahrain has proven to be a strategic location of tremendous potential.”
Nest operates corporate accelerator programmes, invests in seed to growth-stage start-ups, and runs an entrepreneurial community called Metta. As well as Bahrain, Nest has regional offices in Bangkok and Nairobi too.
Since 2015, more than 140 start-ups have been accelerated with its corporate partners including Bangkok Bank, Infiniti, FedEx, DBS, Amex and various governments.
The panel discussion was one of the first events of the recent Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Bahrain.
A partnership between the Global Entrepreneurship Network and the kingdom has been supported by Tamkeen, the semi-governmental organisation that has been working to advance entrepreneurship here for more than a decade.
Nest also highlighted its initiative with American Express Middle East that is running a corporate accelerator programme focused on delivering innovative digital solutions to customers and business partners across the region.
The Accelerate ME programme aims to assist seven local and international start-ups to deliver unique customer engagement, automated payments and alternative physical and digital platforms for merchants.
Mazin Khoury, CEO of American Express Middle East, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Nest on the programme, to create a platform for local, regional and international start-ups and give them the opportunity to pitch their innovative solutions. We put innovation at the forefront of everything we do.”
Nest has been awarded a Tamkeen tender, an initiative by the government to help create opportunities for Bahrainis in the labour market and for enterprises to develop and flourish.