Nest & American Express Middle East launches ACCELERATE ME in Bahrain, Bringing Powerful Backing to Powerful Ideas

October 29th 2018

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


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 Innovation

Nest is Asia’s leading corporate accelerator. We connect startups with corporates to help them with innovation. Our accelerator programme provides access for startups to scale and commercialise; for corporates to foster innovation and future proof their companies.

Nest Ventures

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


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 began operations in the MENA region in 1959 and set up its first office in Bahrain in 1977. In 1992, AEME was established in Bahrain as a joint venture company owned by American Express and Mawarid Investment Limited. Today, American Express Middle East employs a very diverse workforce of more than 500 employees, covering its consumer card, corporate payments and merchant businesses across the Middle East and North Africa region.

AMEX Middle East is a payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business across the Middle East and North Africa.

For more information, visit our website at

Like us on Facebook @AmericanExpressME

Follow us on LinkedIn @AmericanExpressMiddleEast

For more information please contact:

Nest Group
April Wong
+852 3620 3885

Memac Ogilvy Public Relations
Samar AbdelHuq
PR Senior Account Director
(+973) 1756 1716