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Tenmou picks 4 start-ups for investment

Manama, January 31, 2012

Tenmou, the first ‘business angels’ initiative from Bahrain, has announced the inaugural batch of four innovative start-up businesses that qualified for an investment boost from the company.

The recipients of the funding include a weight loss boot camp (Pankooshi’s Weight Loss Centre), a 3D animation studio (Reality Animation Studios), a gaming community centre (Live Gaming) and an IT security services company (Reload Consulting).

The applicants have been selected through a competitive selection process. The selction was made after careful evaluation based on the uniqueness of their ideas and the potential for regional, and perhaps even global, expansion in the future, said a company statement.

Established with a start-up capital of $2.7 million, Tenmou said it will invest an average of BD20,000 ($53,000) for a stake of on average 20 per cent in each project that meets its criteria, and will provide a three-month mentorship period, including support services, at no cost to the entrepreneurs.

The individual entrepreneurs behind the ideas were also assessed for both their practical skills and their passion for their respective propositions, it added.

'The businesses ideas we selected are off the beaten track, aiming to fill certain gaps identified in the entrepreneurs’ respective markets,' remarked Tenmou CEO Hasan Haider.

'The originality of the business idea was among our main selection criteria, but first and foremost, applicants had to demonstrate passion and commitment to their proposals,' he stated.

Tenmou chairman Sami Jalal said, “This is not a charity project, but an initiative which provides a much-needed foundation to start-up companies and entrepreneurs, while playing a long term role in job creation and Bahrain’s economic development along the way.'

'If we did not firmly believe in these ideas, we would not fund them or offer them the valuable time and expertise of our board members,' he added.

Unlike the venture capitalistic approach, which manages pools of investor capital and which tends to be more selective, ‘business angels’ invest their own funds and aim to invest in as many businesses with firm long-term potential as possible, explained Haider.

In order to implement its long-term vision, Tenmou has established firm contacts with influential public and private sector partners and supporters, including Economic Development Board (EDB), Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), Alba, Unisono, BDO Bahrain, 4SPOTS, Ernst and Young, and the Capital Club.

In addition to a BDB representative, Tenmou’s current board includes successful local businessmen Adel Maskati as vice-chairman, Fawaz Algosaibi, Mahmood Alkooheji, Abdulla Buhindi and Abdulhussain Dawani, who are acting as mentors to the beneficiaries.

Commenting on the event, Sami Jalal said “The businesses we selected all have their names registered, with initial staff in place, and operational plans developed, so they can begin benefiting from the funding immediately.'

'Significantly, Tenmou’s business model provides funding by equity rather than debt. Free from loans which could potentially drag down their companies, a thriving group of young entrepreneurs can have wide ripple effects on the economy and job creation,” said Haider.

“With the ball now rolling, we have already started the selection process for the next group of investments, which we will be announcing in due course,' he remarked.

The key beneficiaries of the Tenmou fund include:

*Budoor Al Ansari; Pankooshi’s Weight Loss Center, the first business of its kind in Bahrain, will start operating the second quarter of this year, in Durrat Al Bahrain. Its focus will be to help obese women get into shape through a two-week boot camp which includes a healthy diet, light exercises, massage, sauna baths, yoga, meditation and a weight maintenance workshop.

*Mansoor Toorani and Redha Habib; Reality Animation Studios will be creating animation videos that organizations may require animation for marketing purposes and other special projects. They are currently working on their own Arabic animation cartoon project, which will be launched during Ramadan.

*Mohammed Al Hammad; Bahrain's Gaming Center will be a community for gamers in Bahrain, offering a lively atmosphere for young people in Bahrain to gather and have fun.

*Ahmed Hussain; Reload Consulting Services is an information security consultancy firm that's been in operation since June 2010. It offers services such as ‘ethical hacking’ and security breach monitoring, targeting governmental, banking, and industrial sector clients in Bahrain and Qatar.

According to Haider, Bahrain has such a deep talent pool from which to pick, and we are extremely proud and delighted to be able to play a role in helping to expand it even further.

'We would also like to thank the government of Bahrain for the leadership and support in making this possible,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | investment | business | start-up | fund | Tenmou | gaming centre |

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