FinTech Startup Weekend Bahrain 2019

    Thursday, November 21 - 24, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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FinTech Startup Weekend Bahrain 2019

Thursday, November 21 - 24, 2019

Thursday, November 21 - 24, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Bahrain FinTech Bay HQ
Block 346, Road 4606
Arcapita Building, 3rd Floor
Bahrain Bay, Manama

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

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a working prototype 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.

This year's Startup Weekend focuses on the development of Bahrain's FinTech talent by bringing together fintech enthusiasts and corporates to address problem statements, share perspectives and take the first steps to establish FinTechs.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.
Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action, build a startup in 54 hours!


Thursday November 21st

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

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

8:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

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 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

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

1:30 pm

7:30 pm

8:00 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 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

1:00 pm
Pitch Practice
Our facilitator will assist you in perfecting your pitch for the final day! (Highly recommended)

1:30 pm

4:00 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
Wrap-up and prep for tomorrow's pitch!

Sunday November 24th

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
You have 5 minutes to pitch + Q& A, to a panel of judges who are experts in their fields, in the financial services industry.

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards
Winners are announced. Celebrate the end of an amazing weekend!

8:00 pm
Go Home!
Let's take a photo to commemorate the weekend, and enjoy some light refreshments and informal networking.

Event Judges

Yaser Alsharifi
Chief Strategy Officer at National Bank of Bahrain

Mr. Alsharifi joined NBB in 2017 as the Chief Strategy Officer after working with Al Rajhi Holdings and Ernst & Young. He has over 24 years of experience in investment management and corporate finance across the GCC, Europe and the US. He is responsible for innovation, strategy development and implementation, the project management office, business development as well as the Bank’s operations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Mr Alsharifi represents the Bank on the Board of Advisors of Bahrain Fintech Bay and the Limited Partners’ Advisory Committee of the Al Waha Fund of Funds.

Additionally, Mr Alsharifi serves as Chairman of Danat Bahrain Institute for Pearls & Gemstones, a board member of Edamah, Bahrain Bourse, Bahrain Clear, and Bahrain Car Parks Company BSC. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Pakiza Abdulrahman
Manager | BD-Startups at Bahrain Economic Development Board

Pakiza Abdulrahman, Sector Head of Startups at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Project lead for the StartUp Bahrain community initiative. With 14 years experience in the telecom, Pakiza is an executive board member of AIESEC Bahrain, GEN Bahrain and a founding member of GDG Manama.

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).

Dana Hamzah
Head of Economic Research at Central Bank of Bahrain

Dana Hamzah is the Head of Economic Research at the Central Bank of Bahrain. She holds a MSc in Finance and Economic Policy from SOAS, the University of London, UK and a BA in Industrial Economics with Insurance from the University of Nottingham, UK.  She participated in the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program at Michigan State University in 2016-2017 for being an outstanding mid-career professional in the field of Banking, Finance and Economic Development. During her fellowship year, Dana worked at the Michigan Department of Treasury in Lansing, MI and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. Her role at the Central Bank of Bahrain involves conducting research in various areas to ensure the financial stability of Bahrain’s economy and highlighting any emerging risks.

Khalid Alalawi
Entrepreneurship Support Manager at the Labour Fund (Tamkeen)

Khaled works as the Entrepreneurship Support Manager in the Partnerships and Customer Engagement Department at the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) where he contributes towards a number of projects that aim to develop and promote entrepreneurial activities.

His responsibilities include working on a number of strategic development initiatives, such as Tamkeen’s advisory services that provide business mentoring and coaching. Khaled also works with the relevant stakeholders to promote foreign investments to Bahrain.

Khaled is currently pursuing a doctorate in business administration (Business Mentorship) at Teesside University. He holds a master’s in public relations from Ahlia University and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Brighton.

Khaled aspires to contribute towards turning Bahrain into a regional innovation hub. Khaled’s interests are education, music, and arts.

Coaches and Mentors

Khalifa Al Mannai
Founder & Managing Director of Mannai Tech

Khalifa A. AlMannai is the founder and managing director of MannaiTech: a technology company established in 2014 that offers IT solutions, consultancy and award winning platform services which have been designed, developed and deployed from the Kingdom of Bahrain.  Khalifa is also the recipient of Bahrain’s Award for Entrepreneurship in 2016, by His Royal Highness the Crown Price of Bahrain, for his innovative start-up of the year. In addition to this, despite running a newly developed establishment for only a single year, he was placed 5th among 3700 business in the MENA region for the Intel business challenge. Furthermore, Khalifa is the Treasurer and a Board Member of the ASEAN Bahrain Council (ABC) and a Member of the Technology Committee at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). Throughout his professional journey, Khalifa has always carried a solid vision, to provide excellence through tailor-made, limitless and border-less services, that will bring experts, professionals and clients together.

Ameen Al Tajer

Ameen is the CEO 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 Saudi Aramco and the 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.

Abdulla BuAli
Head of Project Management Office at National Bank of Bahrain

Mr. Abdulla Buali joined NBB in 2018 as the Head of Project Management Office as part of the Strategy and Business Development Department bringing to his role more than 11 years of extensive experience in Strategy Development and Execution, Program and Project Management and Performance Measurement. His main focus is to be part of steering the Bank’s transformation journey through proper management and execution of the Bank’s various strategic projects and initiatives. Mr. Buali previously worked with global consulting firms such as KPMG and Protiviti, and has also assumed the role of the Chief of Capacity Building with Bahrain Information and Government Authority.

Ahmed Gerashi
Technical Consultant/Advisor

Ahmed Gerashi is a co-organizer at GDG Manama, he has a demonstrated history of working in DevOps and application development. Ahmed is a  certified ethical hacker since 2016 conducting several workshops in Web and Application development and security for GDG Manama, US Embassy and  the Ministry of Youth and Sport.

Ahmed is also a skilled in team management, cloud computing, business planning and analytical skills.

Hejer Krichene
Technical & Business Consultant at INSOMEA Computer Solutions

Hejer is a business and technical consultant at Insomea Computer Solutions focusing on Cloud Computing, Office 365 and Azure DevOps. She helps companies and startups get the best experience possible when building their apps and moving them to the cloud. Other than consulting and writing code for a living, Hejer advocates for bringing more women and minorities into tech, thus her involvement with Women Who Code and different tech communities. Hejer participated in serval international competitions and programs where she had the chance to mentor people on how they can transform their ideas to real solutions and how they can start an IT Project. Hejer trained diverse communities from different age groups and using different languages in IT and Soft Skills.

Ahmed Samir, CFA
Head of Business Performance and Digital Channels Commercialization at National Bank of Bahrain

Mr. Samir joined NBB in 2019 as Head of Business performance and digital channels commercialization as part of Retail, commercial and SMEs Department bringing to his role 8+ years of extensive experience in Strategy Development and Execution, Performance Measurement, as well as digital banking & FinTech. His main focus is to lead the implementation of digital transformation projects for the bank identifying new commercial opportunities that capitalize on digital banking technologies. Mr. Samir has previously worked as a business consultant in one of the leading European consulting firms, Roland Berger, advising big corporate and middle eastern public institutions on multiple topics across different industries with focus on financial services.

Ali Ghuloom
Head of Digitization & Projects Management at National Bank of Bahrain

Mr. Ali joined NBB in 2017 as Head of Digitization and Project Management as part of Information Technology Department bringing to his role 16+ years of extensive experience in Technology and Digital space. His main focus is to transfer the Bank’s digital strategy into reality by overlooking all  digital initiatives implementation. Mr. Ali has previously worked as a Senior Associate in Arcapita Investment Management and prior to that he worked in Batelco and Ministry of Finance. He held a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and a Master degree in Business Administration.

Hassan Al Hamad
Chief Executive Officer of Fathom Media

Hassan Al Hamad is CEO of, a marketing agency focused on crafting solutions and creating the tools to generate measurable results for its diverse set of clients including:

– Royal Charity Organization
– Nasser bin Hamad Awards
– Ministry of Culture
– Red Bull
– Rowad
– First Bahrain
–  Al Ghalia
–  McLaren Shadow
–  Berger Paints

Fathom is currently working with Benefit, Tarabut Gateway and Al Salam Bank as itʼs expanding into providing marketing solutions in the Fintech space. With a strategic plan to diversify products and services, Fathom is investing into growing its consulting, app development and tech solutions. Hassan has been in the marketing space for over a decade and has been devoting that experience to grow and develop Fathom to be a game changer locally, with regional and global aspirations for the brand, focusing on internal process, growing talent and strategic, agile adaptability to market needs.

Sayed Ali Alkamel
Head of Mobile at Gud Juju

Sayed Ali Alkamel is a Mobile Apps Developer. Throughout the past 5 years, Sayed has developed more than 10 apps with the a successful achievement of more than 1.6 million downloads and 4.7/5 ratings on one of the apps. He also held multiple workshops on Mobile Apps development with GDG Manama with the goal of empowering developers to publish their ideas to the world.

Hussain Haji
Co-Founder & CEO of Inagrab

Hussain is a serial entrepreneur that has launched 4 companies and successfully sold two of them before his most recent venture Inagrab inc. Hussain comes from a banking background where he worked for several well known investment firms before one day deciding it’s time for him to pursue his own dreams. He left without a plan, failed twice, and continued learning before his third company was sold to a private equity firm, and then his 4th Company got acquired by a family business. His current vision is to bridge the gap between businesses and people by monetizing word of mouth ultimately helping the unemployed 30% of youth in the MENA region using Inagrab’s core product Dalooni.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The FinTech Startup Weekend Bahrain 2019 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.

Under The Patronage Of

Strategic Partner


Supporting Partner

Marketing Partner

Education Partner

Organizing Team

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

  • Amina
  • Suzy
    Al Zeerah
  • Douaa
  • Hawra
  • Ameera
  • Mahmood


Simone Demelas
CEO of / Product Manager of BBE SRLS

Sardinian, currently based in Rome. Degree in Natural Sciences, GIS and Satellite Remote Sensing expert, after working as GIS analyst decides to begin to understand how business works and was amazed by the startup universe. It all started in 2013 with the participation at Startup Weekend Cagliari, from there he fell into the black hole, participating in a lot of startupsweekend and working on his own projects. He is currently CEO of ARMNet, a company that deals with integrating augmented reality to the management of infrastructure networks. Passionate about technology in every aspect, music, fitness, new trends. Crossfit addited but also good food addicted, house music hard listener. There is always a different way to see things and solve problems and there is a song everything. At the moment is focusing on Corporate Innovation.

Event Staff

Amina Naar
BD & Events Associate at Bahrain FinTech Bay

Event Organizer

Event Blog

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