Nest Expands Into Bahrain With First FinTech Corporate Accelerator Programme With American Express Middle East

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Hong Kong, August 21, 2018 - 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.

About Nest Connect · Collaborate · Scale

Nest operates corporate accelerator programmes, invests in startups and runs a global entrepreneurial community called Mettā. Nest has built an innovation ecosystem to connect the fast growing markets of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Our goal is to help entrepreneurs, corporates and governments to connect, collaborate and scale.

We provide access for startups to scale and commercialise; and corporates to foster innovation and future-proof their companies. Everything that we do is to empower businesses to achieve the extraordinary and drive positive impact in the world.

Nest Ventures Nest Ventures invests in Late Seed and Series A stage companies that have gone through our own innovation programmes.

Mettā Mettā is a club for the entrepreneurial community to connect, share knowledge and bring ideas to life.

Nest is headquartered in Hong Kong with a global network spanning Bahrain, Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, Nairobi, and London.

About American Express Middle East AMEX (Middle East) B.S.C. (c) - American Express provides a service experience that makes a difference every day, through reliable, flexible, tailored and rewarding solutions for its Cardmembers, merchants and business partners.

American Express began operations in the MENA region in 1959 and set up its first office in Bahrain in 1977. In 1992, American Express Middle East B.S.C (c) was established in Bahrain as a joint venture company owned by American Express and Mawarid Investment Limited. Today, American Express Middle East employs more than 500 staff in the region, covering its consumer card, corporate payments and merchant businesses across all the Middle East and North Africa region.

American Express is the Card for those individuals who value world class service, rewards, access and peace of mind wherever they are in the world. The company issues dollar currency Credit and Charge Cards, and also offers a range of local currency-denominated Credit Cards to give Cardmembers across the region even greater flexibility. American Express Middle East also offers a range of corporate expense management solutions, helping companies achieve savings, financial control and collect rewards.

For more information, visit our website at www.americanexpress.com.bh

Like us on Facebook @AmericanExpressME

Follow us on LinkedIn @AmericanExpressMiddleEast

Press ReleasesChloe Wong