Speed@BDD, a startup accelerator and the Lebanese American University (LAU) will launch an entrepreneurship initiative entitled “Achieving Creative Entrepreneurs” (ACE), a series of workshops delivered by Speed@BDD mentors. The startup accelerator will also complete its third three-month acceleration program for five tech startups on December 20. $150,000 was invested in the startups during the three-month cycle and an equivalent amount in ‘in-kind’ services. A fourth batch of accelerators is due to start in March 2017.
Speed@BDD has announced that it is to collaborate with LAU on entrepreneurship initiative, ACE. The initiative will consist of five full-day workshops spread over two months and delivered by Speed@BDD mentors. The workshops will explore the basics of entrepreneurship, covering business models, pitching, and marketing, in order to help students transform their ideas into innovations. The initiative will commence early 2017.
The startup accelerator will also announce the completion of its third acceleration program for five tech startups. $150,000 has been invested in the startups during the three-month acceleration cycle and an equivalent amount in ‘in-kind’ services, as well as around $200, 000 in perks from Speed’s recent membership in GAN, which provides the accelerator with access to a pool of worldwide mentors from more than 70 international accelerators.
The five startups that completed the third program are due to pitch their businesses and showcase their products on December 20 during ‘Demo Day’ in front of potential investors and ecosystem players at LAU’s Beirut campus.
Sami Abou Saab, CEO at Speed@BDD, said: “The startups will be looking for a combined investment of $1.5 million.”
The startups include dentiflow, a cloud-based and on-premise practice management platform tailored for dentists, Tradimum, a cloud-based work management platform for small and medium businesses, Petriotics, a platform for home delivery service for pet products, Parkr, a mobile platform designed to provide commuters a means to locate and reserve available parking spaces, and Wango (short for ‘Wanna go’), a women-friendly dating app with a gentleman’s touch.
Lucien Chemaly, Chief Technical Officer of Dentiflow, said that being part of the program has helped them in connecting to investors and to the ecosystem itself.
“We really didn’t have a business when we first signed up onto the program. Now we have 16 registered dentists testing the dentistry app,” he said.
Dentiflow will now call for $350,000 investment over an 18-month period. The funds will be put toward product development and hiring computer engineers and development managers.
“We want to test the market here first for 12 months before tapping into the Saudi or UAE market,” he said.
Dentiflow currently has a team of three: Samir Khattar, Co-founder, and Joseph Sabbagh, Market Analyst, as well as Chemaly.
The support of the Central Bank’s circular 331, Middle East Venture Partners, Berytech, and IM Capital are reinvesting in Speed@BDD for it to continue supporting startups for the local ecosystem.
Speed is now calling for applications for up to ten startups for its fourth batch, due to start in March 2017.
Reported by Derek A Issacs