Fin Tech Focus

Weekend venture

December 4, 2019

Gulf Weekly Naman Arora
By Naman Arora

Gulf Weekly Weekend venture

Coders, entrepreneurs and finance industry professionals worked together over 54 hours starting on November 21, as part of a special edition of Startup Weekend focused on developing Fintech solutions.

Startup Weekend is a global event during which participants work in teams over a weekend to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) to pitch to judges after the weekend. Those who participate become part of the world’s largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with representation in over 1,475 cities in 156 countries around the world, running for a decade with 410,000 participants and 7,000+ Startup Weekend events.

The three-day event in Bahrain highlighted the current FinTech landscape, and outlined how customers’ expectations are changing, with the ever increasing demand for services and goods to be provided through digital channels.

Education and knowledge partners conducted workshops and mentorship sessions to support the teams in all the stages of creating an idea from forming the team, building an actual product, and pitching their ideas.

Khalid Saad, CEO of Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) stated “FinTech has emerged as one of the key themes driving Bahrain’s financial services sector over the past few years. The outcomes of FinTech Startup Weekend Bahrain 2019 highlight the growing interest in not only participating in this ecosystem, but also addressing industry’s current and future needs. Bahrain FinTech Bay will continue supporting such key initiatives to drive the FinTech ecosystem forward.”

Fintech Startup Weekend was hosted by Bahrain FinTech Bay in Strategic Partnership with the National Bank of Bahrain, the Economic Development Board and Tamkeen. Additional partners for the event included Supporting Partner Batelco and educational partners; University of Bahrain and Bahrain Polytechnic.

12 mentors were present at the event from various sectors such as marketing, technology, design thinking and consultancy, data analysis and more

Three teams with the best pitches were selected by 4 judges from the National Bank of Bahrain, Central Bank of Bahrain, Tamkeen, Bahrain FinTech Bay, and the Economic Development Board.

First place was won by FORK: an automatic payout interface for corporates and multi-vendors. In addition to a residency at BFB, the team won a cash prize of BD 1500.

BasmaBot, a WhatsApp integrated chatbot that simplifies applying for the loan process, won second place and a cash prize of BD1000.

Third place and a cash prize of BD500 was won by LAMMA, a bill splitting app that integrates multiple applications.

Jaibk, an app that helps users perform enhanced budgeting, aiming to fulfil a serious regional gap in the ecosystem, received an honourable mention.

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