Brilliant Lab - Mentoring & Empowering Startups to Achieve their Goals

Neda Aldihany, FounderThe Middle East has been emerging as a prominent region for businesses in recent years. The region gathered over $1 billion in venture capital funding in 2016, and Bahrain has been at the forefront as an important ecosystem for businesses in the region. Besides, the boom in startups and venture capital in recent years has coincided with the emergence of new players in the startup ecosystem, and the new players are considering Bahrain as the best place to get established. This is the reason why startup accelerators have also received a great deal of attention. Looking at this opportunity, Brilliant Labs (BL), a Bahrain based startup accelerator, was established with an aim to support early stage, growth driven companies through education, mentorship, and financing solutions.

BL was established in 2011 by Neda Aldihany (Founder), who obtained his MBA from IE Business School in 2011 after majoring in the establishment and management of startups. In order to achieve maximum knowledge and exposure for local startups in the Middle East region, BL engaged itself in an international collaborative effort with various European and American entrepreneurs & bodies.

Just after its inception, BL partnered with Zain Kuwait to bring the first corporate technology startup accelerating program to the surface. The program Zain Great Idea was crafted to incubate new technology ventures by developing human capital, intellectual property, and the resources to commercialize proven technologies. Under this
collaboration, BL and Zain empowered & enabled more than 76 startups to develop their business and reach most of the users. In 2017 BL joined with KFH (Kuwait Finance House) to offer a new funding program specialized in postseed and pre series A stages. Currently BL is offering two different services which include providing funds for acceleration and tendering co-working space to potential startups.

The Perfect Base for Establishment
The firm considers Bahrain as the best suitable base for its business operations, as the place offers multiple benefits to entrepreneurs who launch a startup company including 100 percent foreign ownership, zero taxes, cost competitiveness as well as an attractive regulatory environment and an ecosystem which has been designed to incubate startups and give support in scaling a business.

Bl engages itself in an international collaborative effort with various european and american entrepreneurs & bodies

Under government support and the encouragement of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to the private sector to invest in business incubators and accelerators, which are considered important and effective mechanisms for the development of startups MOICT has launched the business incubators and accelerators license. “The Bahrain Government has given access to 40+ commercial licenses specialized only for technology startups, and this is the core reason why we have selected Bahrain as our operational hub,” states Neda. The Kingdom of Bahrain possesses the components and expertise necessary to understand the needs of national & international investors. This includes competitive prices, increased accessibility to the GCC market worth more than $1.4 trillion and the remaining countries of the Middle East in addition to the modern infrastructure and labour legislation.

Bahrain’s startup scene is expanding at a rapid pace and includes companies within software development, e-Commerce, Cybersecurity, Health, and FinTech. Looking at this scenario, BL seeks to achieve its objective of establishing itself as a regional leader in venture development through a multi-disciplinary approach that includes running business plan competitions on a regular basis, providing infrastructure support, expertise, and knowledge exchange for technology based startups, and building a network to stimulate the exchange of entrepreneurial skills through various programs and events.