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Zain Bahrain Partners with Alkeri Partners to Launch a New Startup Initiative ‘Zainnovate’

Zainnovate Initiative is a continuation of the efforts made by Zain Bahrain to support Bahrain's vision 2030 as a leading tech and startup hub in the region.

The new partnership aims to create a strategic partnership supporting startups and developing an entrepreneurial environment in the Kingdom of Bahrain and providing the necessary support for SME sector.

Manama – 4 May 2019: Zain Bahrain, a leading telecommunications provider in the Kingdom, and Alkeri Partners, a Bahrain based startup Foundry has announced a new startup initiative ‘Zainnovate’ to support the Bahraini startup ecosystem.
Zain Bahrain has officially launched the first phase of ‘Zainnovate’ initiative on 2nd May at Zain Headquarters with a signing ceremony to announce the partnership with Alkeri Partners.
The event showcased Oqal Angel Investors Network; the first angel investor community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since its incorporation in 2011, Oqal has grown to build an active Angel investor community of over 350 members across Saudi Arabia, arranged 100 meetings connecting entrepreneurs with Angel investors, overseen more than 300 investment opportunities within its platform and successfully its members investing over SAR40 million in Angel investments within the Saudi startup ecosystem.  
The Chairman and Founder of Oqal Saudi Arabia Faris Al-Rashid Al-Humaid, Jamal A. Al-Hazeem Chairman of Alkeri Partners and Khaled Zainalabedin Founder and Managing Director of Alkeri Partners announced a partnership with Oqal Saudi Arabia to setup Oqal’s first regional Chapter outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Kingdom of Bahrain.  Upon incorporation and launch of Oqal Angel Network – Bahrain, the Chapter shall operate within the Zainnovate initiative and platform in partnership with Zain Bahrain.  “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Zain Bahrain and Oqal Angel Network – Saudi Arabia to setup Oqal’s first cross border Chapter in the region considering the thriving growth and potential for startups and angel investors in both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. As part of this strategic partnership, early-stage startups, businesses, and angel investors affiliated with both ecosystems will now have access to unique funding perks, early-stage startup investment opportunities in both regions. We truly believe that this partnership will set forth a major milestone towards building future collaboration initiatives benefiting and enhancing cross pollination of both the Saudi and Bahraini startup ecosystems and developing the Angel investing sector being a major funding contributor for early-stage startups,” said Khaled Zainalabedin, Founder and Managing Director of Alkeri Partners. 
“The new Bahrain Chapter is a strategic decision that aims to close investment gaps within the region and supports regional investments for early-stage startups. OQAL believes that collectivist culture embedded within the region is the foundation that should be utilized to support the angel investors in contributing and growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Underlying the decision is the efforts to enforce the important role of angel investors in growing the maturing entrepreneurial scene” said Faris Al-Rashed Founder of OQAL Angel Investors Network
The event also announced the inauguration of a partnership between Russian Venture Company (RVC) and Alkeri Partners to launch GenerationS Accelerators across the Middle East region with Bahrain being the main headquarters and first Launchpad under the Zainnovate initiative. RVC is the Russian Federation’s venture capital fund of funds managing over 25 backed VC funds with over 200 startup portfolio companies and operates GenerationS Accelerators, Europe’s leading Corporate Accelerator with Clients the likes of Airbus, VT Bank, Alrosa, Unilever, Michelin etc.   the partnership was inaugurated by H.E. Alexander Povalko General Director, Chairman of the Management Board of RVC JSC, Jamal A. Al-Hazeem Chairman of Alkeri Partners and Khaled Zainalabedin Founder and Managing Director of Alkeri Partners. 

 “The partnership with RVC sets out a unique proposition linking the Russian Federation to the Middle East region and would setup up the pace for further sought after and mutually beneficially economic collaborations between both regions. We are confident that through launching the first planned GenerationS Accelerator in Bahrain will be a birthing ground not only for local talent, but also talented entrepreneurs from across the Middle East and the Russian Federation who yearn to revolutionize the tech industry by building innovative startups for the global consumer market,” said Jamal A. Al-Hazeem Chairman of Alkeri Partners.
“This agreement is the first step towards creating favorable conditions for the development of innovative cooperation between Russia and the Middle East. The partnership will allow RVC to work closely with Middle Eastern development institutions and major corporations through using the Kingdom of Bahrain as a Launchpad. This initiative confirms that RVC is a significant player in the international venture capital market that promotes Russian technology abroad. Our joint work will help startups to enter the MENA market and will help startups from the Mena market access and enter the Russian market and attract funding from local investors,” said CEO of RVC Alexander Povalko.
“The Kingdom of Bahrain is considered one of the best jurisdictions for doing business in the Middle East region and is also among the TOP 5 countries for expats. The GenerationS team will develop the first program in Bahrain followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and thereafter scale up the accelerator model across other regions within the Middle East,” added Ekaterina Petrova, director of corporate accelerator GenerationS.

Finally, a Zainnovate demo day pitch was later presented for five leading global and regional startups. The startups included AliHuda, a US based clean kids entertainment and content developer, Bayshore Networks, a US based industrial cyber security company, Surkus, a US based company offering, all-in-one solution that optimizes brands and consumer engagement, Flashh, a Bahraini based time-based deal platform for consumer products and Easy Financial Services, a leading Bahraini Fintech biometric payment gateway and block chain service provider. 
“The new partnership is a continuation of the efforts made by Zain Bahrain to support Bahrain's vision 2030 as a leading tech and startup hub in the region. Zainnovate initiative was also launched to create strategic platform through partnerships supporting startups in developing an entrepreneurial environment in the Kingdom of Bahrain and providing the necessary support for SME sector projects for them to grow, develop and sustain,” said Abdulla Bin Khalid, Zain Bahrain Director of Communications & Investor Relations.
‘Zainnovate’ comes under Zain’s contribution towards the startup ecosystem in Bahrain which is also in line with their corporate sustainability and social responsibility strategy which focuses on three core pillars: Innovation, Thought Leadership and Youth Empowerment.
For more information on ‘Zainnovate’ first phase initiative and Zain Bahrain startup support, please contact Khaled Zainalabedin, Founder and Managing Director of Alkeri Partners on and visit

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