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Mumtalakat Sponsors ‘Startup of the Year’ Competition To invest in Local Startups in Collaboration with Tamkeen

Date 10 Mar 24

Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain, signed a cooperation agreement with the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) to introduce the 'Startup of The Year' competition. The initiative will showcase winning projects from past StartUp Bahrain Pitch events. The signing was made in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of Tamkeen and His Excellency Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and National Economy and Chairman of Mumtalakat.

Spearheaded by the SME Development Board, the StartUp Bahrain Pitch initiative has been instrumental in strengthening Bahrain's entrepreneurial ecosystem since its launch in 2023. The national initiative fosters stronger relationships between innovative entrepreneurs and potential investors, with support provided by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Tamkeen, the Economic Development Board, and Bahrain Development Bank (BDB).

As part of this collaborative framework, Mumtalakat will conduct a comprehensive feasibility study of participating companies in the competition. Based on this assessment, Mumtalakat will select one or more companies deserving of the esteemed title of Startup of the Year, and invest in them via direct capital injections, subject to a predetermined set of pre-approved terms and conditions, in light of this evaluation.

Commenting on this occasion, His Excellency Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, CEO of Mumtalakat said: “We are delighted to be working with the SME Development Board and Tamkeen through the Startup Bahrain platform to invest in emerging and promising local projects, in addition to providing them with the support they need to grow and succeed.”

“This aligns with the ongoing efforts of Mumtalakat to support the national economy by investing in innovative and promising opportunities within the kingdom. These investments aim to generate employment opportunities, promote economic diversification, and foster stronger collaborations between the public and private sectors in Bahrain,” he added.

Tamkeen Chief Executive, Her Excellency Ms. Maha Abdulhameed Mofeez, expressed her enthusiasm for the expected outcomes of this strategic initiative and for the partnership with Mumtalakat. She highlighted its potential for enhancing entrepreneurship in the Kingdom and fostering a more supportive ecosystem for local entrepreneurs.

“We launched the StartUp Bahrain Pitch initiative last year alongside our partners in the SME Development Board to address funding challenges for startups by providing them with the skills required to pitch their businesses to potential investors and secure funding,” added Her Excellency Ms Mofeez.

“As a result we trained over 64 startups through an intensive training bootcamp led by industry experts, and nine deserving winners were selected after presenting their ideas before a panel of expert judges and potential investors.
“We take pride in the outcomes so far and look forward to their participation in the ‘Startup of the Year’ competition."

This collaboration underscores Mumtalakat’s and Tamkeen's commitment to fostering innovation, nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit, and driving economic diversification in the Kingdom. By leveraging the unique expertise and resources of each institution, the “Team Bahrain” partnership is creating an empowering environment for emerging startups to thrive, expand, and positively contribute to the national economy.