Bahrain - Rokn, specialising in special education tools, was crowned winner at the fourth edition of StartUp Bahrain Pitch series as four other startups came out with flying colours at the event organised by StartUp Bahrain.

Rokn, founded by Eman Sharaf, produces games and tools that help develop the skills of children with special and psychological needs.

The showcased startups represented various sectors and specialties, each presenting their innovative solutions, including b4bhcom, a comprehensive platform showcasing Bahrain's events and activities; Cartoon Planet, a creative startup focusing on 2D and graphic advertising; Dar Ma Daar, a marketing platform that gamifies domestic tourism; and Silent Power, dedicated to providing sustainable solar energy solutions for homes and businesses.

Industry stakeholders

The event was held in collaboration with industry stakeholders, including the Ministry of Industry & Commerce, the Labour Fund (Tamkeen), the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and Bahrain Development Bank.

In his keynote speech, expert venture capitalist Abdulrahman AlJiffry, Partner at 500 Global, shared his insights around the importance of funding and supporting startups and its impact on facilitating ecosystem growth.

Five local startups had the opportunity to showcase their businesses and ideas to a distinguished panel of judges such as Nawaf Alkooheji, CEO of Tenmou, Sara Enan, Principal at VentureSouq, Abdulrahman AlJiffry, an expert angel investor as well as a partner of 500 Global, and Hussain Haji, a seasoned entrepreneur and head of regional corporate innovation at Brinc.

Connect with investors

The event served as a platform for startups to connect with potential investors and gain recognition for their innovative solutions. Prior to the event, the participating startups underwent an intensive pitching bootcamp conducted by Bahrain Entrepreneurship Organisation (BEO) in collaboration with the World Business Angel Investors Forum (WBAIF) designed to enhance their fundraising and pitching skills. The course equipped them with essential techniques and strategies to deliver compelling pitches that effectively conveyed their unique value propositions to investors.

AlJiffry said: “These events create great incentives for entrepreneurs and unifies the efforts of all stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. I was very pleased with the effective communication presented by the founders of the startups, which is a testament of the positive outcomes this experience brought to them. I also appreciate the efforts put forward by Tamkeen with all the partners to provide better financing solutions for Bahraini entrepreneurs.”

Meticulous evaluation

The panel of judges meticulously evaluated each startup's potential, recognising their remarkable endeavours.

Commenting on her win, Sharaf said: “I am extremely happy to achieve the first place, as I have worked hard to find appropriate solutions for children suffering from psychological issues. Through producing the games and tools required to support children with special needs, I hope to raise their capabilities and help them become active participants in the community."

She continued: "Winning the first place motivates me to keep the momentum and move forward to obtain the necessary financial solutions that supports my business.”

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