PRESS RELEASE • 30 JULY 2018
Nest Expands into Bahrain with First FinTech Corporate Accelerator Programme with American Express Middle East
Nest announced today its market entry into the Kingdom of Bahrain with the launch of the very first global corporate FinTech programme in the region, ACCELERATE ME, in partnership with American Express Middle East.
Nest and American Express Middle East will be running the first Accelerator programme focused on delivering innovative digital solutions to Customers and Business Partners in the Middle East. ACCELERATE ME programme will scale up to 15 local and international startups with 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 thrilled to be partnering with Nest on ACCELERATE ME programme, to create a platform for local, regional and international startups and give them the opportunity to pitch their innovative solutions to American Express Middle East. We at American Express Middle East put innovation at the forefront of everything we do. It is the driving force that shapes our success and is the reason we continue to maintain a leading position in the region.”
“We have a lot to offer the startup community, and we are very excited to be setting up a regional ecosystem that inspires them to grow and fulfill their ambitions. This new partnership with Nest will allow us to work closely with the startup community and complement the work we do at “Bahrain FinTech Bay” as one of the founding partners to strengthen Bahrain's position as a leading financial and economic center in the region and a hub for innovation”.
Nest’s expansion comes at a time when Bahrain is positioned for rapid growth. Government support for startups and a strong momentum for innovation will give entrepreneurs the opportunity to access new markets and resources. As a pioneer of the corporate accelerator programme model, Nest has helped over 140 startups scale their businesses in collaboration with leading corporates such as DBS Bank, AIA, OCBC Bank, INFINITI Motors and Fedex in Asia since 2015.
Nest has been awarded the Tamkeen Labour Fund tender, an initiative by the government to create opportunities for Bahrainis in the labour market and for enterprises to develop and flourish. Together with the government, Nest intends to drive ecosystem growth by running various corporate innovation programmes and sharing ecosystem insights such as the Gateway Gulf Report.
Lawrence Morgan, Nest CEO said, “Nest is headquartered in Hong Kong where Asia’s financial hub is. We are excited to bring our experience of helping high growth startups to connect and collaborate with leading financial institutions to the region, together with our corporate partner American Express Middle East. At Nest, we believe in taking a global perspective to connect our core markets - Asia, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA) to the rest of the world in order to empower startups to scale across industries and borders.
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.