In a move that underlines both Bahrain’s commitment to its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and its pioneering position in the region, the MENA region’s first Cloud-based Accelerator programme has launched in the Kingdom.
The purpose of the programme is to promote rapid adoption of Cloud Computing by local and regional companies – particularly those in manufacturing, financial services and technology development. By doing so, businesses can benefit from the many advantages that the Cloud offers over traditional IT infrastructure.
C5 Accelerator Ltd, a London- and Bahrain-based technology investment specialist, is implementing the programme in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and private-sector development organisation, Tamkeen.
How Bahrain’s accelerator works
Up to ten initial qualified companies will be invited to work for four months at the Cloud Accelerator premises in Manama, where they will formulate a Cloud-based commercial strategy. Participants will benefit from interacting with fellow programme members, receive training in strategy and business principles, and be mentored by C5 and its network of global business leaders.
AWS will advise each participant on developing networked applications on the AWS Cloud through established programmes such as AWS Activate, AWS Grants, AWS Training and Certification, as well as via developer-level support.
At the same time, the businesses can apply for funding from the Cloud Accelerator’s US $100 million allied venture capital fund, the Gulf Technology Corporation, which C5 will manage.
A home for technology
C5 Accelerator was quick to recognise Bahrain’s potential in hosting what is, in effect, an innovation hub for the region and a catalyst for future investment.
The accompanying infographic shows that Bahrain has excellent credentials in creating a technology environment that encourages entrepreneurship and drives economic growth – not least a liberal, open ICT sector based on a structured market model that is backed by supportive legislation and a skilled local workforce.
As a result, Bahrain ranks highly for ICT across a wide range of measures, such as being first in the GCC for e-Government development and 18th in the world for e-Government readiness, and 27th globally for ICT development.
Commenting on the Cloud Accelerator, Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB, said: “The GCC technology sector is expected to grow by ten per cent per annum over the next five years, whilst sector spending in the Middle East will reach nearly US $200 billion in 2015. However, the region faces a number of challenges around attracting investment in the technology sector, including start-up costs and access to funding; regulatory barriers; and attracting, training and retaining human capital. Bahrain is addressing these challenges and building on its broader strengths to develop a strong ecosystem that encourages technology focused entrepreneurship. The launch of the Cloud Accelerator program is one important step towards achieving this.”
Interested in the Accelerator?