The TechWadi Roadshow Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs came to Beirut, Lebanon for the first time on October 24 -25, 2015.
TechWadi RoadShow was developed in partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs (GFE) a division of Google designed to support entrepreneurial ecosystems as an opportunity to expand outreach to the MENA region.
The “TechWadi Roadshow” consisted of two day-long educational workshops led by TechWadi and powered by Google for Entrepreneurs that brought experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and stakeholders straight from Silicon Valley to mentor local startups in Beirut.
The mentors included seasoned professionals from companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, as well as founders of various Silicon Valley startups. The event took place in UK Lebanon TechHub, the local host and partner who worked with additional ecosystem partners to accommodate as many entrepreneurs as possible.
The event kicked off with Daniel Navarro, Marketing Manager at Google for Entrepreneurs (GFE) & Christina Ashtary, Program Manager at TechWadi, who welcomed the attendees and introduced TechWadi Organization and it’s dedication to building bridges between Silicon Valley and the MENA region in partnership with GFE.
The event consisted of multiple sessions that provided engaging presentations discussing entrepreneurship, market development phases, startups and investments in the MENA region allowing attendees to learn from established experts including Sherif Badawi, a serial entrepreneur and technology executive, who currently serves as a partner to VCs and startups at Google, Ramy Adeeb, Founder & CEO, Snip.it (Acquired by Yahoo!), Walid Hanna, Managing director at MEVP and many more.
Day 2 was exclusively limited to a selected group of partners startups and entrepreneurs and focused on tailored mentorship meetings and design thinking workshops.
Attendees shared their excitement during the event by live-tweeting speaker quotes and photos of the event on social media using the following hashtag:
Sony showcased it’s latest products in an exclusive event at Beirut’s Le Yacht Club, including the latest range of BRAVIA 4K LCD televisions and a new line-up of high resolution audio products including stylish headphones and a Walkman.
The high-end, invite-only event included Sony’s key customers in Lebanon, Club Members and media, was hosted by the head of Sony Middle East Marketing Company, Satoru Arai and in the presence of his excellency Seiichi Ostuka, Ambassador of Japan featured a DJ set, live jazz and live demos and exclusive first looks of some of Sony’s recently launched products.
Some of the key features of Sony’s New Bravia 4K LCD televisions include a new 4K processor X1 and color accuracy. The new series are thinner than the iPhone 6 making it Sony’s thinnest range of TVs. It also enables video, streaming, voice search and utilizes Google’s latest Android TV operating system.
Sony has also unveiled the new headphones and Walkman with a distinct finish in a vast array of colors that lets customers match their own style. Sony’s expanding range of High-Resolution Audio products aim to reproduce music just as artists truly intended.
Head of Sony Middle East Marketing Company, Satoru Arai, said Sony has exciting plans for Lebanon.
“We are delighted with the high resonance and uptake that Sony products continue to enjoy in Lebanon. We are looking to bring in more products and ensure that product release dates are unified globally to allow local consumers to experience the technology at the same time as the rest of the world. We look forward to hosting much more events in lebanon in the future,” he said.
Hadafi, the women entrepreneurship program launched in 2013 is a FREE development program that provides female entrepreneurs with expert training & consultancy, financial support, entrepreneurial coaching and, of course, lots of priceless media exposure.
The program is directed towards women, aged 18 years and above, located in the MENA region with a scalable business idea, a startup or a newly established business.
Hadafi provides multiple awards for the winners including:
- Cash prizes,
- Being featured on “UN Women”,
- Invitation to “AllWorld Network Summit” at Harvard
- Coaching from “Girls in Tech”
- Access to the “Ahead of the Curve” training program
- A Booth in one of “Mompreneurs Bazaars“
- Training by Arab “ArabWomenPreneurs”
- Special Offer from “Eureeca- Crowdfunding “
Potential, Hadafi founders, just announced the launch of its fifth season. Participating in the program requires 3 simple steps:
The program is offered in collaboration with multiple strategic partners such as MBC TV, Pepsico and Ministry of Youth in Kuwait in addition to multiple regional and local partners such as Girls in Tech, Embassy of the United States in Kuwait, AllWorld Network, Eureeca, Arab Womenpreneur, In5, Flat6lab and many more.
Check out this video recap of the previous season:
Hadafi is a great program for all women out there with innovative ideas. Make sure to register & give your business the head start it deserves!
For the first time in the MENA region, Intel announced on August 10, 2015 the launch of Challenge ME! An IoT (Internet of Things) competition in collaboration with reputable educational institutions and non-profit entrepreneurship across the Middle East and North Africa.
If you have a start-up idea or you’re an entrepreneur developing technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) market, make sure to sign up and submit your prototype before the closing date of the submission on October 22nd. The project idea should be aimed at developing or using new technology trends within the areas of the Internet of Things (IoT) with great business potential, such as: Drones, Wearable Products, Smart Homes/Cities, Automotive, Aerospace….
Experts from Intel corporation and the business community will assess the submitted projects based on two major areas; Innovative aspects of the IoT Technology Components and the attractiveness and scalability of the Business Model. Shortlisted projects will be invited to travel to Beirut in November 2015 for the final pitching with a chance to win over $15,000 in prizes and an opportunity to attend the Intel Innovation Summit in UK.
Eligibility: Participants must be above 18 years old and located in the MENA region: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Intel will also be conducting a series of webinars to assist participants and answer any questions regarding the submission process. Webinar Details
If you go back to the recent incidents happening in Lebanon from theft, violence, and public sector corruption and the outrageous reaction of the Lebanese on social media towards the absence of governmental actions to find solutions, you would expect at some point to see this coming as i have previously written about Social Media in Lebanon: A Powerful Force for Change.
Social movements do no just happen, but develop through different stages. “طلعت_ريحتكم” or “YouStink” is the result of oppression and injustice that Lebanese have endured equally for a long period of time and the garbage crisis was only the straw that broke the camel’s back. Despite their religious, socioeconomic status, Lebanese society came together as one, to voice their disgust over the garbage crisis that united them together for the first time in years.
The Lebanese cabinet failed to agree on a solution for the country’s long-running garbage crisis while trash piled up across Beirut and elsewhere posing a threat to people’s health and environment. Anger about the massive amounts of trash accumulating on the streets provoked the rise of a trending “online campaign” after thousands flooded social media with pictures and posts telling the government you stink.
The campaign became trending worldwide gathering more than 200k tweets and “طلعت_ريحتكم” Facebook Page managed to attract more than 120k people in less than a week.
Fed up with the situation, a group of activists urged people using different social media networks to join their protest and the demonstration that started with few hundreds developed to thousands of Lebanese who took the streets with the support of civil society groups against the government’s failure to take action and have the large piles of rubbish which have been building up in the capital for weeks removed. The demonstrations led to clashes with riot police after police fired rubber bullets and doused demonstrators with water hoses. Dozens of demonstrates and police were injured and now “YouStink” is demanding the government to resign.
Lebanon’s garbage crisis has managed to reveal political paralysis. Whether “YouStink” will succeed in achieving a revolution or transform into a political movement, it has definitely given hope that the spark of change has not died in Lebanon.