PRESS RELEASE • 29 OCTOBER 2018
Nest & American Express Middle East launches ACCELERATE ME in Bahrain, Bringing Powerful Backing to Powerful Ideas
American Express Middle East has launched its first accelerator programme, ACCELERATE ME, in partnership with Nest, the corporate innovation specialist, aimed at bringing together the next generation of startups and newly established SMEs (Small and Medium size Enterprises) from around the world. The programme is focused on delivering innovative digital solutions to Customers and Business Partners in the region.
Operating from a specially appointed innovation lab at American Express Middle East’s headquarters in Bahrain, ACCELERATE ME will provide a highly supportive and collaborative environment for the selected seven startups and give them the opportunity to pitch their solutions. The startups will deliver innovative solutions to cater to deliver unique customer engagement, automated payments, and alternative physical and digital platforms for merchants.
Mazin Khoury, CEO of American Express Middle East, commented:
"We are delighted to be launching ACCELERATE ME at this time, and to be able to give the powerful backing of American Express Middle East to some of these powerful new ideas. We continuously strive to put innovation at the forefront of everything we do, and are excited to create new and stimulating partnerships that can become a catalyst for growth for both American Express Middle East, and for the cohorts participating in the ACCELERATE ME programme. This eight week programme, in partnership with Nest, will provide real time opportunity for those participating to work alongside the highly experienced digital and business innovation teams within American Express Middle East, as well as helping them explore Bahrain’s emerging FinTech and startup ecosystem."
CEO of Nest, Lawrence Morgan said, “We are excited to have seven world best-in-class startups from as far west as Silicon Valley and east to Hong Kong to join ACCELERATE ME. It is a first for Bahrain to have a global accelerator in the financial services sector. Nest will focus on driving commercial traction for each of the startup companies that we bring to Bahrain, and we couldn't wish for a more proactive and innovative partner than American Express Middle East to make this a reality.”
The ACCELERATE ME programme has attracted a number of startups and SMEs from around the world, from Seed funding through to Series B stage. The seven teams that have been selected are committed to spending eight weeks in Bahrain alongside American Express Middle East, to develop their proof of concepts focusing on four principal areas of business. A public demonstration day, where the cohorts will present their work, will be held on the 2nd of December.
Connect · Collaborate · Scale
Nest operates corporate accelerator programmes, invests in seed to growth-stage startups, and runs an entrepreneurial community called Mettā. Nest has built an innovation ecosystem to connect the fast-growing markets of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
With a mission to empower great entrepreneurs to change the way we live, Nest provides access - for startups to scale and commercialise; and for corporates to foster innovation. Since 2015, over 140 startups have been accelerated via Nest’s corporate and government programmes across a broad range of industry sectors.
About American Express Middle East
AMEX (Middle East) B.S.C. (c) - American Express began operations in the MENA region in 1959 and set up its first office in Bahrain in 1977. In 1992, AEME was established in Bahrain as a joint venture company owned by American Express and Mawarid Investment Limited. Today, American Express Middle East employs a very diverse workforce of more than 500 employees, covering its consumer card, corporate payments and merchant businesses across the Middle East and North Africa region.
AMEX Middle East is a payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business across the Middle East and North Africa.
For more information, visit our website at www.americanexpress.com.bh.