American Express Middle East Hackathon

This March 7 & 8, unbound, in partnership with the Bahrain Economic Development Board and supported by Startup Bahrain, brings its globally established, award-winning innovation festival to Bahrain, celebrating The Kingdom’s commitment to fuelling a digital future for the MENA region.

unbound Bahrain is the anchor event of Startup Bahrain Week which is under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB).

The festival will attract and bridge the gap between 1,000 startups, investors and businesses, who will travel to Bahrain International Circuit to hear from 50+ influential speakers, uncover pioneering ideas and take part in immersive brand experiences, hackathons, startup battles and networking sessions.

Join the finest minds in fintech, adtech, AI, eCommerce, robotics and more to make invaluable connections and discover inspirational insight and emerging technologies that will shape the future of your career and your business.

Hack @ The Track

Organized by American Express Middle East and powered by AngelHack

The future is digital and cashless – that’s what we are aiming for!

40 years ago, when American Express Middle East first opened its offices in Bahrain, plastic was already delivering enhanced security, convenience, and rewards. Fast forward to today, and the next big wave of payment innovation is upon us which promises to deliver an even better experience.

Join us and show how you can be part of this digital transformation!

Apply today!



$20,000 USD for the winning team


$10,000 USD for the winning team


$5,000 USD for the winning team


Build a solution that encourages the embracing of digital payments by making them even more appealing, accessible and relevant.

When building your solution, you may wish to consider the following:

  • How can AI’s predictive algorithms and human insights be used? For instance, to deliver more individualised experiences and curated offers.
  • How can we leverage location data to optimize engagement?
  • How can social media data help personalize the experience?
  • With smart data powered credit scoring, how can we expand entrepreneurial credit / microfinance?
  • How can we help small businesses accept digital payments?
  • How can we leverage blockchain technology to provide enhanced capabilities and security?


American Express Middle East has partnered with IBM for AMEX Hack@theTrack to provide IBM Cloud Services to hackathon attendees.
Bringing together infrastructure and platform services, IBM Cloud is the home of 130+ unique services, including offerings like IBM Watson and Weather.com, and millions of running applications, containers, servers and more. IBM Cloud is used by over a million developers making over a billion API calls a day and starting over a 100,000 apps a month. Click here to view the catalogue of all IBM Cloud offerings including infrastructure, boilerplate applications, server-less containers like Docker, IBM Watson APIs, and IBM Blockchain Platform.

American Express Middle East will provide additional API services that enable credit card and payments lifecycle management such as authorisations, transaction data and history, merchant accounts, customer accounts and account information.e following:

  • ACCOUNTS – Access the user’s list of accounts and account information such as the balance.
  • TRANSACTIONS – Access the transaction history and metadata of accounts.
  • METADATA – Enrich transactions and counterparties with metadata including tags (e.g. category of spending)
  • MERCHANTS – Access to Merchant information

The Schedule 

Wednesday, March 7th:

9:00   –   Doors Open & Breakfast
10:00 –   Opening Ceremony & Presentations
11:00  –   Coding Begins
12:00 –   Lunch
13:00 –   Breakout Session
18:00 –   Dinner
20:00 –  Pitch Workshop
24:00 –  Midnight Snack

Thursday, March 8th:

00:00 – 7:00 – Hack through the night
7:00 –  Breakfast
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Submission Deadline
14:00 – Round 1 Judging
15:00 – Judge Deliberation
15:50 – Awards

*If you would like to hack overnight the event will be open and staffed

Judging Criteria 

Each submission will be scored in each round based on the following criteria with a minimum score of 0 and maximum score of 20 points, with the final score being the average of the judges’ scores:

Simplicity (5 points):

Is the application simple to use and can the team explain it clearly in three sentences or less?

Creativity (5 points):

How creative was the team in developing an innovative solution for the challenge?

Impact (5 points):

Did the team create an application that can have a real and valuable impact?

Design (5 points):

Was the UX/UI intuitive and appealing?


  • Teams of up to 5 participants are allowed. All team members must have completed the participation agreement to compete.
  • You may not begin your project until the competition officially begins. Please don't come in and build on top of previous projects if you want to win.
  • Teams have full ownership of everything they build at our events and are free to do with it as they wish.
  • Winning teams will be subject to a code-review at some point following the event or immediately before winning.

Apply to Take Part 

Please fill in your details below


In Partnership With


Supported By


2018 Partners

2018 Community Partners

[title only]


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AHlia uni

almoayed tech




start up

the greek campus
egypt innovate


impact hub


flat 6 labs

Social media club

mena bytes


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