Brinc Batelco Design Sprint

We recently wrapped up the Batelco Design Sprint, held at the end of March in Brinc Batelco. Led by Head of Program Marwa Aleskafi, this was the first time the team ran and facilitated  the unique design thinking-focused workshop. To provide the best possible experience, the team took an intensive two-week online training from Google. The preparation proved to be a success.

6 Batelco employees from product marketing, customer service, mobile services, and other departments tackled the the revamp of Batelco’s e-services platform, which was struggling with low conversion rates.

The three-day design thinking immersive workshop focused on the customer journey of buying mobile products and services from Batelco’s e-services platform. The first day was focused on defining the problem and brainstorming solutions, the second on prototyping a mobile solution, and the third on refining the prototype based on user testing. The result was a bespoke mobile app tailored to customer needs.



Reimagining Education: iLearn University Hackathon

As part of our commitment to community engagement through technology, Brinc Batelco regularly hosts hackathons throughout the year, inviting university students and the public to engage with local problems and create custom solutions around them. Why do we like hackathons? Well, in a nutshell, hackathons challenge individuals of various backgrounds and skills to meet and utilize technology to solve existing problems. Participants go through intensive, hands-on mentorship and workshops that help them create practical prototypes.

In February, we held our education-themed university hackathon, iLearn, where we invited students to build an IoT prototype in education. The solutions students came up with were nothing short of spectacular. From wearables to robots, the students really pushed beyond the boundaries of conventional solutions.

The winning team from the University of Bahrain, T-Kalem, prototyped a device that helps individuals with hearing difficulties communicate by translating sign language into spoken words. The device would utilize image processing by a camera connected to a database or by hand gesture vibrations and frequencies.

The runner-up teams also had a lot to contribute to innovation in higher education. AION conceived of robots to help students learn coding and technical education. Team K9 developed a smart earbud for learning new languages by connecting teachers and parents to learning dashboards. Team Stars thought of a smart backpack to reduce the load of carrying books to school.

What did the teams win? On a basic level, cash prizes and coworking prices. On a deeper level, however, students left equipped with the knowledge, tools, and resources to refine their prototype, which to us, is the best investment anyone can take.

To learn more about our educational programs and community engagement initiatives, visit our Instagram page at @brinc.batelco. Let us know what you think as well on mena@brinc.io.

A Big Welcome to the Brinc Batelco IoT Hub

Hello, and welcome to the very first post on the BB blog! This is where you will find the latest news and updates about activities and initiatives at the Brinc Batelco IoT Hub in Manama, Bahrain.

On Tuesday 3rd July 2018, the Brinc Batelco IoT Hub opened its doors for the official launch event. Over 100 esteemed guests filled every corner; from media to government officials, C-level executives from Batelco and Brinc, partners, investors, startups and many more. In addition to having some of the most recognisable names in Bahrain present, guests traveled from across the world to participate; we had attendees from Hong Kong and Barcelona, as well as neighbouring countries in the GCC. The atmosphere was vibrant; it was fantastic to see the space full of life after so many months of hard work to get it ready.

At the Brinc Batelco IoT Hub we have the purpose and mission of fostering an ecosystem to attract and develop IoT technology innovators from Bahrain and across the MENA region. We believe that by helping to develop entrepreneurs, we can deliver world-class connected hardware products for the global market and propel the next wave of economic development in Bahrain. We work together with local partners such as Tamkeen, Startup Bahrain and the EDB to build on the foundations of a fast-growing startup ecosystem.

The Brinc Batelco IoT Hub will be a birthing ground for talent; pioneers who are yearning to revolutionize the industry by building connected hardware products for global markets. It is a meeting place to create, ideate, innovate and collaborate. We have desks and offices available to rent right now, which includes a CR address!

Here, founders can work in a creative space, they can network and meet the community, they can build electronic prototypes, they can host or attend startup events and workshops, and they can learn from mentors and industry experts. We offer programs and services tailored for connected hardware startups and tech entrepreneurs looking for speed, support and expertise to build successful companies. This is an unprecedented opportunity to access mentorship, product design and development guidance, manufacturing and exposure to regional and global investors and markets.

Home to the MENA region’s first dedicated IoT accelerator, we bring the knowhow for manufacturing connected hardware products in China, access to funding through our wide network of investors and our partner Tamkeen, and business expertise from seasoned entrepreneurs who have real-world experience of building companies. MENA-based or Bahraini startups can apply for the next accelerator cohort until 25th July. Applications are open twice a year.

We have many more exciting events planned for the upcoming months… watch this space to find out more, and come to visit us soon! Our doors are always open.

Your BB IoT team