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Seedstars World, an emerging-markets focused entrepreneurship forum, is back this year to scout for promising GCC startups, and in a first, the action this time is centered around Bahrain. Seedstars GCC 2016, to be held on September 24, 2016 in Manama, will see startups from across GCC pitted against each other in a pitch competition. A jury panel comprising of Pierre-Alain Masson, co-founder, Seedstars, Mohamed Altawash, founder, MBAN, and Trey Goede, Origination, Investment and Portfolio Management, Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, will assess startup pitches to award promising seed stage startups. Besides pitching sessions, the event will also host fireside chats, keynotes and panel discussions. Two winning startups will represent the region in the global Seedstars Summit taking place in Switzerland in March 2017, to compete for investments worth over $1 million.
The global Seedstars Summit brings together key entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and institutions from the local ecosystem, offering opportunities to build business relationships with investors and other partners and accelerate growth. Workshops, panel discussions and keynote addresses are all part of the summit, in addition to the competition. At each local edition of Seedstars, 10-12 startups are pre-selected and given a platform to showcase their venture. Earlier, in May 2016, the UAE round of Seedstars, held in partnership with in5, saw nine startups present their ideas to a jury. Asafeer Education Technologies, a company that provides schools with an online Arabic digital library, won the first place and won a chance to participate at the global summit. Swiffix, an on-demand home and car service app, came in second place, and OTTAA Project, a visual communication platform for the speech impaired, came third.