Lebanese Startups & Investments Ecosystem

Steve Wozniak, Tony Fadell, Brett King, Brian Solis, Alex Hunter, Ben Huh, Raph Crouan, Loic Le Meur, Keith Teare, Monty Munford, timoni west, Marvin Liao … in addition to 120 global speakers attended the biggest startup conference in the Mediterranean which was organized by BDL Accelerate 2016. More than 23,000 attendees from 90 countries along with $400 million under the umbrella of the 331 circular concentrated on prompting banks to invest in companies that would enrich the Lebanese national wealth and to embrace innovation in Lebanon.

Around 100 incredible startups were selected in various industries such as FinTech, E-commerce, HealthTech, FoodTech, IoT… All of which flew in from more than 30 cities in order to participate in competitions to get regional and international exposure.

Tony Fadell (iPod, iPhone, Nest CEO & Angel Investor) — BDL Accelerate, Beirut 2016

The incentives granted for technology entrepreneurs by the Lebanese Central Bank and its governor @RiadSalame — NEW YORK, 2016, Global Finance magazine: one of the World’s Best Central Bankers — powered up building an attractive ecosystem by guaranteeing up to 75% of the value of the commercial bank investments in the capital of startups, which enabled building 15+ private equity funds, and 50 plus companies funded in multiple stages.

Riad Salamé is the Governor of Banque du Liban, Lebanon’s Central Bank — BDL Accelerate, Beirut 2016

Numerous acquisitions in a variety of sectors took place since 2011, including but not limited to: “ATC-VLSI” (Telecom Chip design startup — Optical technology) acquired by a NASDAQ company, the French Webedia acquired the digital media company “Diwanee”, OLX bought “Dubizzle”, and the Japan’s Cookpad bought “Shahiya”, (an Arabic recipe website) for $13.5 million.

Lebanon, a mosaic democratic country, made breakthroughs during the 15th century BC. These include the first alphabet as well as ships. Today, it is one of the few Mediterranean countries that enjoy peace and aim to empower innovation in a region eager for creativity and peace. Through a series of fiscal incentives granted by its Investment Development Authority IDAL, via full exemption from the corporate income tax for up to 10 years and many more, this has become possible.

Steve Wozniak (Apple Inc co-founded) — Marianne Hoayek ( Director of the Governor’s Executive Office at Banque du Liban) — BDL Accelerate, Beirut 2016

Tens of startup events, incubators, and accelerators programs showed up in the past few years: Arabnet, Wamda, Startup Lebanon Silicon Valley Road Show, Startup Lebanon — Singapore/ New York , TechWadi, Startup Megaphone, MIT Enterprise Forum — Pan Arab Region, American University of Beirut — Darwaza Center, Smart ESA, Bader Lebanon, Lebanese Canadian Tech Hub, UK-Lebanon Tech Hub, Speed, Berytech, Alt City, Elevate Accelerator…

By how far did these initiatives promote consideration in the innovation infrastructure to build strong hardware startups? How about hardware innovations? The coming years will answer these questions. Stay tuned for more articles revolving around Global Technology Ecosystems.

Lebanese Hardware Startups’ Survey: You are a Hardware entrepreneur and looking for growth, please contact me to fill the hardware ecosystem survey.

For further information about the incentives granted by the Lebanese Government and its financial institutions check the full guide here and join the Hardware Startups — Lebanon group.

Related articles: “Make in L.A.” is Now Recruiting Hardware Startups

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