Nest & American Express Middle East Launches ACCELERATE ME In Bahrain, Bringing Powerful Backing To Powerful Ideas

Hong Kong, October 29th, 2018 – American Express Middle East has launched its first accelerator program, 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 program 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 program. This eight-week program, 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 program 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.

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