Startup Weekend Bahrain

    Thursday, November 15 - 17, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Bahrain

Thursday, November 15 - 17, 2018

Thursday, November 15 - 17, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Bahrain FinTech Bay
3rd floor, Arcapita
P.O. Box 11299
Bahrain Bay, Manama

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No Talk. All Action. Build a Startup in 54 Hours!

Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skill-sets - primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people - to build applications and develop a commercial case around them. Projects pitched should be within the field of ICT and e-business.


Thursday November 15th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Friday November 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 17th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:00 pm

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Khalid Saad
Chief Executive Officer at Bahrain FinTech Bay

Khalid Saad is the Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain FinTech Bay, the largest FinTech hub in the Middle East. He works with financial players, financial associations, central bank, government entities, FinTechs, lawyers and others to drive development of the FinTech ecosystem.

Previously, he was focusing on financial services with the Bahrain Economic Development Board, which is a dynamic public agency that is responsible for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, enhancing the investment climate and driving economic development. He focused on promoting Bahrain's financial services sector and attracting new investments into this sector. Successes include expanding existing companies and attracting new ones such as banks, asset & wealth managers, insurers, ancillary services providers and FinTechs.
Before joining the Bahrain Economic Development Board, he worked for Ernst & Young and SEI Investments in London. 
He has a MSC from Imperial College London and a BSc from the University of Exeter (first class honors).

Pakiza Abdulrahman
Manager, Business Developments at Bahrain Economic Development Board

Pakiza joined the EDB in 2017 in the capacity of Manager for the Startups. She is considered the Project leader for the @StartUpBahrain, working closely with the digital startups & collaborating with community stakeholders within the private & public sector to establish Bahrain as a global startup hub for the MENA region.

With 14 years experience in the telecom sector, Pakiza has lead the Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility department,  responsible for the company’s strategic programs for community development, youth empowerment and environmental stewardship
Out of her formal role at the EDB,  Pakiza is a Foodie – she is the founder of @PacosTacosBH a home food concept for Mexican Food since 2013. She enjoys playing table tennis & volunteers with INJAZ, AYADI, AIESEC.

Metin Zavrak
Value Added Services Manager at VIVA Bahrain

Metin is the Emerging and Value Added Services Manager at VIVA Bahrain, the Kingdom’s leading telecom operator. He has more than 16 years of experience within telecom industry working for key mobile network infrastructure / services suppliers and mobile network operators. Metin has extensive expertise on Mobile Financial Services, Mobile Payments, Internet of Things, Value Added Services, Digital Media, and OTT Partnerships. He is currently working on VIVA Cash and few other exciting mobile financial services.

Coaches and Mentors

Fawaz Shakralla
Head of IT at BIPD

Head of IT BIPD and Founder of Btech Blockchain Group with over seventeen years experience in IT, experience in Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. He has successfully completed projects for cloud services, telecom, banking, and the government sector and currently had of IT at BIPD, a semi-government entity that conducts training programs, and conferences for government staff.

Fawaz started the blockchain journey in 2016 after reading Blockchain Revolutions by Alex Tapscott. Astonished by what blockchain has to offer, Btech Blockchain Group was founded with the man puropose to conduct awareness sessions and trainings in blockchain development.

Nadia Muijrers
Founder of Alphard Consulting

Nadia is an independent management consultant and lecturer at the Arab Open University, specializing in organizational behavior and change, conflict resolution, consumer insight, and social innovation and entrepreneurship. She is fascinated by interpersonal and cross-cultural dynamics, and has a passion for tackling people-centered problems in organizations and in society.

Nadia’s expertise lies at the intersection of business and the social sciences. Prior to her current roles as consultant and lecturer, her work experience included working as an organizational change consultant with SHM Productions in London, as well as investment banking and business advisory roles at EY, Arab Banking Corporation, Samena Capital, and as a freelance consultant and trainer in Bahrain.

She completed her MBA as a Fulbright Scholar in the US specializing in Culture, Organizations and Social Innovation. She also holds an MPhil in International Development from the University of Cambridge, and a BSc in Economics and Political Science from the University of Birmingham.

In her spare time, Nadia volunteers as a facilitator with Soliya’s Connect Program, an online cross-cultural dialogue and education program for university students. She is also a volunteer with Injaz Bahrain where she trains university students in work readiness skills, including collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and conflict management skills.

Moyez Kassam
Managing Director at Growth Alliance

Moyez is an accomplished management executive, entrepreneur, and consultant with diverse experience in formulating innovative solutions to complex challenges.

As an entrepreneur, Moyez has founded, co-founded, developed and managed start-ups in the GCC and South America that provided technology-based solutions and consulting services. He was the founder of 21stCentury Skills, a pioneer in bringing technology-assisted learning to the Arabian Gulf regions. He also co-founded two Satellite-based telecommunications ventures, one of which, has evolved into a highly successful nation-wide wireless telecoms operator.

As a mentor, Moyez is actively involved with helping and inspiring Bahraini entrepreneurs in starting and developing their businesses by sharing his diverse experiences, knowledge, and wisdom.  

Nada Darwish
Marketing & Communications Specialist at GBM

Nada is the Curator of the Manama Hub of the Global Shapers Community, which is an initiative of the World Economic Forum. The hub is led by young people that have the drive to contribute in socio-economic projects in their community. In her daily life, she is a Marketing & Communications Specialist at Gulf Business Machines (GBM).

She worked closely on the co-marketing strategies and event planning with tech companies such as IBM, Cisco, and Apple in the region.

Nada has an extensive graphic design and creative thinking background, experience in branding, media, communication, as well as print and digital marketing.

Yazin Alirhayim
CEO of Verify

Yazin is the CEO of Verify, a startup founded in 2017 that provides a simple API for moving money efficiently and at blazing fast speeds. Before starting Verify, Yazin was a VP at’s Payfort division, directly overseeing online payments across all SMEs.

Yazin joined Souq through the acquisition of his company, White Payments, in 2015. Before that Yazin worked at GE for 5 years, his last role being Global Finance Leader for GE Energy. Yazin enjoys coding and writing in his spare time, and has deep practical experience in the Financial Technology sector. 

Lana Al Attar
GDG Organizer

Lana is a serial social tech entrepreneur that has dedicated her life to empowering socially good projects/businesses initiatives with technology.

Empowering good by empowering good: Lana Founded GudJuju, a digital agency with a conscious providing development & IT consultancy to social good initiatives & companies with good CSR all over the globe. It also advises clients on how to make their businesses/ideas more social. GudJuju is powered by women, refugees both internally & externally displaced, and most recently are working to create online job opportunities differently abled individuals.

Education: Lana’s first business venture was when she was 13, she ran an after school tutoring service from her home. Lana is the Founder & Lead of Google Developer Group’s Manama chapter, through it, in just a few months they have accomplished almost 1000 attendees receiving free and hands-on and technical training in the latest technologies.

Women Empowerment: Lana is a Women Techmaker lead in Bahrain, this Google program provides Women community, resources and visibility to women in Tech at all stages of their careers.

Lana was mentioned as 1 of 100 Bahraini notable women who transformed Bahrain (1 of 10 in the Engineering & IT sector) in 2017 and listed as one of Bahrain's Most Influential Women Entrepreneurs in 2018.

ana started working at 13 which has earned her an amazing 18 years of work experience (8.5 in Banking & Finance and the rest in Education & Technology). Lana also holds a BSc in Computer Science which she had achieved at the age of 19. Lana was the developer on the winning team of Startup weekend Bahrain 2014. She is an Ashoka ChangeMaker Exchange Alumni and also a Global Shaper which is an initiative under the World Economic Forum.

Esra Al Shammari
GDG Organizer

Esra is an experienced Data Scientist, Speaker and Assistant Organizer at Google Developer Group Manama and Women TechMakers Manama.

Esra received a Fulbright scholarship from the US Department of State to pursue her MSc in Data Science. Prior to moving back to Bahrain, she worked with startups in the US and Silicon Valley to layout the ground of their data analytics . She won the worldwide Teradata Data Challenge in 2017 after competing with 230 worldwide applicants and was one of the top 10 finalists in the Queen City Data Hackathon in Charlotte, USA.

Mohammed Buallay
GDG Organizer

Mohamed Buallay is an entrepreneur and founder of "Kiwi", he has worked on many AI projects some of which cooperated with WNNA, University of Bahrain and Ministry of Youth and Sport. He is experienced in Deep learning, Natural Language Processing, Computer vision and Parallel Processing. He was also the winner of The Zayed Hackathon.  

Mohamed is a Regional AI Speaker who has delivered many workshops In Bahrain, Dubai and KSA. He is a Co-Organizer at Google Developer group Manama, and has collaborated with IEEE Polytehnic and Maker faire.

Ayesha Abduljalil
GDG Organizer

Ayesha Abduljalil is speed developer, she is an expert at bringing to life tech projects in record time. She is also an experienced instructional designer. Ayesha is a Speaker and Assistant Organizer at Google Developer Group Manama and a Woman Techmakers Manama. She is also a Global Shaper, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Ayesha regularly serves as an external examiner for graduating projects for the Department of Computer Science at the College of IT, UoB. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Bahrain. 

Ameen Al Tajer
Managing Director of INFINITEWARE

Ameen is the managing director of INFINITEWARE, an artificial intelligence company that provides products and services to several clients across the globe, INFINITEWARE has been working with large clients such as Saudi Aramco, VIVA and the government of Bahrain.

Ameen has been in the software business for more than 15 years, Ameen used to work in R&D in both Saudi Aramco and in Oblong Industries (US), his experience spans multiple technical disciplines ranging from artificial intelligence (AI), security and penetration testing, 3D programming and simulation, hardware design and programming, he’s the founder of the game development scene in Bahrain where he teaches the magic of game development and AI.

Ameen is also also a recognized international speaker who gave talks in big conferences like Amazon Web Services (AWS), MEGA game development conference and Dubai World Game Expo (DWGE), he also trains professionals in Bahrain's biggest financial institute: Bahrain Institute of Business and Finance (BIBF) where he teaches artificial intelligence, ethical hacking and blockchain, he's been training thousands of professionals in and off Bahrain.

Ali Abdulla
Head of Marketing & Conferences at Bahrain FinTech Bay

Ali Abdulla the Head of Marketing & Conferences of Bahrain FinTech Bay. 

Ali is Co-founder of Vibe Media, a design and media agency. Through it he has built extensive experience in leading creative projects, with a focus on helping SMEs and startups set goals and reach their fullest potential through digital media. His love for music is key to his creative output and it has inspired his passion for business and creative projects. 

Ali is also co-founder and partner at Odisi wll. An events and experiences platform focused on both showcasing and creating unique experiences together with local partners to show a side of Bahrain that is rarely experienced. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Bahrain team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Strategic Partner

Gold Sponsor


Telecoms Partner

Knowledge Partner

Media Partner

Supporting Partner

Creative Partner

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Bahrain is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Amina
  • Ali


Ahmed Al Rawi
CEO of Malaeb App

Event Staff

Amina Naar
BD & Events Associate at Bahrain FinTech Bay

Event Organizer

Event Blog

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