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  • 10 May 2021 6:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lebanon has proved over the years to be a great test bed for scalable tech startups, given its small market size and large pool of talent. 

    Such is true for Ostaz, a private tutoring matching platform that started in Lebanon in 2016 with plans to scale globally after its recent acquisition by Inspired Education Group, a global group of premium schools. 

    Founded by three inspiring women, Audrey Nakad, Zeina Sultani Nakad and Sibylle Nakad, Ostaz - previously known as Synkers - built a name for itself by solving the problem of finding qualified private tutors and supporting students throughout their academic journey, starting from school to official exams and college admission. Today, the platform features over 1,000 qualified tutors and has completed over 90,000 tutoring sessions by working with around 50 schools and universities. 

    Ostaz cofounders Zeina Sultani Nakad, Audrey Nakad and Sibylle Nakad 

    The startup’s original name Synkers was changed to Ostaz, which means ‘teacher’ in Arabic, because it resonates well internationally and it is easy to remember, as explained by co-founder and CEO Audrey. 

    To validate their idea early on, the team joined Speed accelerator to receive an initial funding and build a viable product to showcase traction. During its acceleration period, Audrey flew to California to participate in the third edition of LebNet Ignite, a residential program launched by LebNet and designed to immerse Lebanese startup founders in the Silicon Valley culture. The program’s edition was done in partnership with Speed and BlackBox Connect. 

    “LebNet Ignite was the best experience ever. We had access to people we can never have access to in Lebanon. The Lebanese market is in need of more role models and success stories they can look up to and seek advice from,” said Audrey in a previous statement given to LebNet. 

    Small Middle Eastern Startup Going Global 

    Shortly after joining Speed, the startup gained traction in universities via word of mouth and soon after became known in several top Lebanese universities. Following its graduation from Speed In 2017, it closed its first seed funding with Phoenician Funds. By September 2020, it raised a $1.8M Pre-Series A funding round, led by Dr. Lama and Dalia Al Sulaiman, 500 Startups, Phoenician Funds, iSME Kafalat, Mulcan International, Seeders, CE-Ventures, and Dubai Angel Investors. 

    Aside from Lebanon, the platform currently operates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).  

    In April 2021, the founders announced the acquisition of Ostaz by Inspired Education Group for an undisclosed amount. “They [Inspired Education Group] recently launched their online school and focus on premium education and we were really honored when they approached us to work with us and then acquire us,” said co-founder and CMO Zeina during an interview with Ostaz. 

    The recent acquisition will allow the Lebanese startup to expand its operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and elsewhere. “We will still focus on MENA, mainly GCC and Egypt. We will start our global expansion in Europe this upcoming academic year. Our target markets are the UK, Spain, and Italy,” said Audrey. 

    Such great news coming out of a small country riddled with conflict and crises is truly a breath of fresh air and encouraging for many struggling Lebanese entrepreneurs. It is also  proof that hard working Lebanese will always shine everywhere. 

  • 23 Mar 2021 3:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In October 2019, Lemonade Fashion was one of the four startups that flew from Lebanon to San Francisco to attend a 5-week bootcamp powered by Draper University, as part of LebNet’s Ignite program.

    In January 2021, online designer marketplace with made-to-measure technology, Lemonade Fashion received financing of $300,000 from a syndication by seven LebNet members, with plans to raise additional funds to complete the seed round from VCs in the US and GCC to further expand its presence in Dubai and scale to San Francisco in the next six months, where the startup is incorporated.

    “We had a really good relationship with LebNet. We were in San Francisco, met with LebNet members there and stayed in touch. [...] LebNet decided they wanted to help us grow,” said Arthur Bizdikian, co-founder and CEO at Lemonade Fashion. With the raised amount, the team will use the money to expand to new markets, develop a mobile application, uplift the quality of designs, focus on marketing and partnerships and put together an ambassador program.

    Since its graduation from LebNet Ignite and after receiving funding from Draper University Ventures right afterwards, Lemonade Fashion grew from 5 to 18 employees, enlisted over 150 designers on the platform and featured over 3,500 items. The Lebanese startup was initially discovered, funded and supported by tech accelerator Speed, which  sponsored Lemonade Fashion's participation in LebNet Ignite in San Francisco. 

    "Lemonade Fashion made quite an impression on our LebNet mentors when in November 2019 Arthur attended the Ignite bootcamp in Silicon Valley. We felt compelled to help in the fundraising for such a promising Lebanese startup. We are very grateful to our members who took part of the syndication and we're assuming our board seat representation resolutely and with the utmost dedication,” said George Akiki, CEO and co-founder of LebNet.

    In 2020, the marketplace - which connects emerging designers all over the world to clients looking for bespoke fashion clothing to fit them from the comfort of their home - saw a 2000% growth over the year, with a 400% growth in the last quarter only, according to Bizdikian. “We’ve been able to manage and maintain that momentum in Q1, 2021. We know much better what we do today. We handpick the designers, the photoshoot and content creation and this builds trust with our clients.”

    Lemonade Fashion keeps adding new collections and helps more local and international designers sell their designs globally. Its current run rate is $500,000 per year and the co-founder hopes to grow the number by five to six times by the end of the year.

    “We’re very happy with our growth and the partnerships we were able to build with LebNet. We’re excited about 2021. This is a very important year for us and we are glad we have the right people to back us up,” he concluded. 

  • 22 Dec 2020 6:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aleb Lebanon is a pilot program incubated by LebNet and launched in partnership with Al Majmoua to support the Lebanese population living below the poverty line through sustained remittances on a family-to-family basis. 

    Aleb, which launched on December 22,2020, works by connecting donors worldwide to needy families in Lebanon and facilitating the transfer of their donations in USD bills for immediate cash disbursement. It does so by partnering with Lebanon-based NGOs such as Al Majmoua to source and vet needy families and on-board them on the service. Most of the families featured in this pilot are well known to Al Majmoua, having been recipients of microcredit loans before their situation deteriorated dramatically over the last year. 

    Aleb Lebanon, a new program to facilitate worldwide donations to families in need in Lebanon.

    Each donor will be able to read about and select the family they want to support on Aleb’s website before making a recurring monthly donation of $200 US Dollars plus $30 fees for a period of six months. Payments will be made in USD using a credit card via PayPal and collected at LebNet’s US bank account to guarantee delivery, then wired to Al Majmoua before being disbursed by OMT/Western Union in USD bills to the intended families. You can find more details on this page

    “This is an extremely important initiative for us”, said Sarjoun Skaff, cofounder of Aleb. “As expatriates, we feel powerless watching from afar as Lebanon’s economy collapses dramatically with no obvious way to help. That’s why we wanted to build a vehicle for our diaspora to actively and meaningfully support the homeland. Cash assistance is a very effective form of support, and complements existing in-kind programs, so we are excited to make it available to the world.”

    The monthly $200 donation is estimated as the minimal amount to help needy families  secure food, clothing, and medication. 

    Why now? 

    On top of Lebanon’s currency crisis, the economic situation has drastically deteriorated, causing widespread poverty and high unemployment rate. More than half of Lebanon’s population is now living below the poverty line, inflation reached 120% in August 2020 and food insecurity is looming. The situation is unlikely to improve in the next few years. 

    Many expatriates are looking for ways to help, and supporting a family for a sustained period of time is a powerful way to assist them in landing on their feet. The goal of this program is to help these families survive and support them while transitioning into self-sufficiency. This pilot will assess the needs and the success factors during the first 6-month period in order to scale the system to a large number of donors and families.

    “We, at Al Majmoua, have been working for more than 20 years towards greater financial inclusion in Lebanon, by providing access to capital to the ‘unbanked’ and the most vulnerable members of society, so they can invest and sustain their small and micro businesses,” said Youssef Fawaz, Executive Director of Al Majmoua. 

    “Of late, we have witnessed firsthand how the combined effect of the economic crises and Covid-19 have devastated communities and left many families, who were still productive and self-sufficient a mere year ago, slide into extreme poverty and destitution. 

    We welcome our partnership with Aleb and join our efforts to reach out to the diaspora to help numerous families in their hour of need.” 

    For more inquiries: aleb-lebanon@lebnet.us  

  • 25 Nov 2020 4:57 AM | Anonymous

    May 8th, 2019 – Beirut, Lebanon: LebNet and the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), signed a Memorandum of Understanding at AUB’s faculty to announce the launch of a joint initiative called SiliconValley@MSFEA.

    The initiative was signed by George Akiki, LebNet’s co-founder and CEO, and Dr. Alan Shihadeh, the Dean of MSFEA. Both parties signed the MoU in the presence of faculty members.

    SiliconValley@MSFEA aims at leveraging the expertise of LebNet’s members in North America to support college students in Lebanon through several tracks: advisory, internship opportunities, talks and seminars, entrepreneurship support and mentorship, collaboration on Final Year Projects (FYP) and research with industry.

    AUB students will have access to LebNet’s existing internship program. Under the Silicon Valley Channel track, both AUB and non-AUB students will be able to join a series of talks and seminars delivered by LebNet members to share knowledge and expertise on various topics of interest.

    LebNet will also provide problems in search of a solution for senior students to adopt as their Final Year Projects and furthermore, LebNet members will define industry relevant research projects for graduate students and faculty members. LebNet will be represented at the MSFEA International Advisory board.

    Under the Entrepreneurship Program at MSFEA track, LebNet members will act as a brain trust by providing coaching, mentoring and advising.

    “Our network of over 1,000 members in the US and Canada is always looking for impactful and results-oriented opportunities to give back to Lebanon. We felt that AUB’s vision and MSFEA’s plans were inline with how we wanted to make an impact and we were very encouraged by Dean Shihadeh’s energy and detailed follow-up which increases our chances of success in adding value to Lebanese students,” said Akiki.

    “I was looking back in my notebook this morning. I had a meeting with George in a restaurant on February 26, where we cooked up on the back of a napkin this initiative. The project we were working on was to see how we can leverage the Lebanese talent in the technology sector in North America to make a difference here at AUB and create two-way opportunities,” said Shihadeh.

    About MSFEA

    ​​​​The Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) was named in January 2017 for alumnus, trustee, entrepreneur, investor, business leader, and philanthropist Maroun Semaan. Engineering education at AUB, however, dates back more than a hundred years to 1913 when the Faculty of Arts and Sciences introduced a program leading to a BS degree in engineering. AUB awarded the first engineering degree (BS in civil engineering) in 1944. The faculty is now AUB’s second largest with over 2,300 undergraduates, 350 master’s students, almost 100 doctoral students; and over 175 instructional faculty. In 2017, Dean Alan Shihadeh and his colleagues began to introduce changes to make MSFEA a catalyst for transformative change that embraces innovation, pedagogy, and knowledge production to promote human well-being.

    About LebNet

    LebNet is a network for tech professionals of Lebanese descent in North America. This premier Diaspora group is a US registered 501c3 non-profit organization launched in 1999 in Silicon Valley, California. Today LebNet has more than 1,000 members organized by communities in 10 cities across US and Canada and dedicated to enable tech entrepreneurs and professionals succeed on a global stage. It includes Fortune 500 managers and executives, CxO’s, Venture Capitalists and investors, Start-up founders and entrepreneurs, academics, consultants and small business owners. LebNet programs focus on education, mentoring, and internships promoting career advice and feedback on business plans including a flagship program LebNet Ignite, a 2-week residential accelerator boot camp in Silicon Valley for Lebanese startup founders. In pursuing its mission to Connect, Network and Nurture, LebNet hosts regular talks, meetups and sessions in the US and Canada and seeks to empower the Lebanese diaspora while giving back to Lebanese entrepreneurs, youth and professionals in Lebanon.

  • 25 Nov 2020 4:56 AM | Anonymous

    LebNet CEO and co-founder George Akiki and Endeavor Lebanon Managing Director signed a Memorandum of Understanding to mentor Lebanese entrepreneurs.

    LebNet and Endeavor Lebanon signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 13 to mentor Endeavor Entrepreneurs through LebNet’s network of diaspora professionals.

    This partnership will allow Endeavor Lebanon’s entrepreneurs to benefit from the support of the North American LebNet network of tech professionals to augment its mentoring capabilities by sourcing specialized support for their Lebanese high-impact entrepreneurs. LebNet members will have the opportunity to provide key assistance to Lebanese scale-ups ranging from punctual mentoring to more strategic guidance.

    “Our collaboration with such a renowned worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors is of great value to LebNet’s core mission of mentoring and we’re looking forward to adopt some of Endeavor’s best practices and to sharpen our assistance to Lebanese entrepreneurs,” said George Akiki, CEO and co-founder of LebNet.

    “By connecting our local entrepreneurs with esteemed Lebanese diaspora professionals from LebNet’s network, we wish to encourage mentorship that can contribute to scalability, job creation and growing the Lebanese economy,” said Christina Chehade, Managing Director of Endeavor Lebanon.

    The MoU was signed by George Akiki, CEO and co-founder of LebNet and Christina Chehade, Managing Director of Endeavor Lebanon.

    Established in 1997, Endeavor is leading the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement to drive economic growth and job creation by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. To date, Endeavor has screened more than 70,000 individuals and selected more than 1,800 founders leading over 1,100 scale-up companies. Lebanon is Endeavor’s eleventh country and fourth in the MENA region. Since its launch in 2011, the Endeavor Lebanon office has selected 40 high-impact entrepreneurs from 31 companies.

  • 25 Nov 2020 4:53 AM | Anonymous

    Peer-to-peer car sharing platform Turo has recently raised $250 million in Series E, from media and internet company IAC, which was in charge of creating and growing company like Expedia, Match Group and Ticketmaster.

    This late Series comes after the company raised $92 million dollar in 2017 from Mercedes-Benz manufacturer, Daimler, and one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, SK Holdings, bringing Turo’s valuation to over one billion dollar.

    Since 2017, the vibrant car-sharing community has been rapidly growing

    And has now over 10 million sign-ups and nearly 400,000 registered vehicles shared worldwide, according to Turo’s blog post.

    In his post, CEO Andre Haddad spoke about the community’s growth over the past two years. “Turo has been on a tear for years — growing 2x year-over-year the past two years, and 8x year-over-year in our nascent international markets (the UK and Germany)”.

    Haddad has previously spoken about Turo’s success, spending money on user acquisition and the early beginning during a previous talk he gave at a LebNet event in San Francisco. He advised the audience to obsess about conversions and be disciplined about data and team management.

    “The car business is an 80 billion dollar market. There’s a lot of need for cars but what wasn’t clear back in 2011 was if anyone would be willing to share their car […] Throw yourself into something you are really passionate about and be engaged with the problem you are solving. It’s hard to have the long-term commitment during the ups and downs if there’s no real connection, if it’s not part of your life.”

  • 25 Nov 2020 4:30 AM | Anonymous

    On August 4th 2020, the Capital and heart of Lebanon, Beirut, was devastated by a huge explosion.

    The city was left in ruins within seconds. The damage is unimaginable , and it only added salt to the many existing wounds: economic collapse, social upheaval, and a Pandemic. One is too many for any nation.

    Lebanon, LebNet launched the Beirut Emergency Fund 2020, in collaboration with SEAL and LIFE, two reputed 501c3 US registered Lebanese Diaspora nonprofit organizations, and joined by non-governmental US-based Kuwait America Foundation and the Jamhour Alumni (in Europe and the US). The fund is also collaborating with Impact Lebanon on the allocation and disbursement of funds to avoid any duplication in funding. The Fund is collaborating with Qudurat and Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, among other Lebanese NGOs on the ground, with the support of 3QA, to ensure that the funds are disbursed in a coordinated and transparent manner to well vetted Lebanese NGOs that focus on Shelter, Food, Medication, Medical Support, Rehabilitation and Environment.

    The list of vetted NGOs includes AlGhina, Arcenciel, Beit El Baraka, Lebanon Needs, Lebanese Red Cross, Nusaned and Offre Joie. More organizations will be added to the list on a regular basis so make sure you visit the fund’s page for the updated list.

    The Beirut Emergency Fund was launched by LebNet, SEAL and LIFE, three reputed 501c3 US registered Lebanese Diaspora nonprofit organizations, and joined by non-governmental US-based Kuwait America Foundation and the Jamhour Alumni (in Europe and the US).

    LebNet has previously partnered with SEAL in April 2020 to help raise $1 million to feed families in need in Lebanon, through several partners on the ground. “We were overwhelmed by offers of support from friends and colleagues and wanted to offer them a reliable and trustworthy platform for their US Tax deductible donations. We’re so privileged to have great reputable partners like SEAL and LIFE who quickly agreed to establish the Beirut Emergency Fund 2020 to be that vehicle for donations and we continue to on-board new partners who believe in the power of collaboration for Good,” said George Akiki, LebNet CEO.

    LebNet members, Lebanese supporters and friends living in Canada can also donate safely online by visiting this link. LebNet Canada partnered with The Canadian Red Cross to provide tax deductible donations.

    “The humanitarian needs in Beirut are immense following the recent explosion, which has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation in a country that is currently hosting the largest number of refugees per capita and is struggling with environmental and economic uncertainties,” said Fadi Joseph, President of LebNet Canada. Some of the most urgent needs on the ground include emergency medical services, shelter, food and water; and personal protective equipment as responders provide life-saving care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    For US donations click here: https://www.seal-usa.org/BeirutEmergencyFund

    For Canada donations click here: http://www.redcross.ca/lebanon/Lebnet-Canada

    Featured image from Reuters.

  • 25 Nov 2020 4:24 AM | Anonymous

    Lebanese diaspora organizations allocate $2 million Dollars in the first round, to hospitals, medical support, shelters and reconstruction in the wake of the devastating and deadline Beirut explosion. 

    The Beirut Emergency Fund 2020 coalition formed by US-based non profit SEAL, non-profit organization LIFE, LebNet, Jamhour Alumni (US/Europe) and the non-governmental, US-based Kuwait-America Foundation announced on August 18, 2020 that it will disburse the first batch of $2.0 million, which was raised by the Beirut Emergency Fund, to hospitals, medical aid, shelters and reconstruction in Lebanon, following the horrific explosion in the Port of Beirut. 

    To date, the Beirut Emergency Fund has raised over $5 million in response to the August 4, 2020, explosion in Beirut that killed so far 170 people, injured more than six thousand, caused total material and infrastructural damage to the majority of Beirut, and left more than a quarter of a million people homeless. This devastating tragedy exacerbates the humanitarian and economic challenges already facing the impoverished nation. 

    Transparency and accountability ensure that every dollar raised by the Beirut Emergency Fund 2020 goes directly to those in need. 

    The first round of disbursement, totaling $2.0 million, has been allocated to the following organizations: 

    • Hospitals: St George, Geitawi, Hotel Dieu 
    • Medical Support: Lebanese Red Cross, Arcenciel, Lebanon Needs 
    • Shelter and Reconstruction: AlGhina , Beit El Baraka, Nusaned, Offre Joie 

    The Funds and the Needs

    The Beirut Emergency Fund is focused on supporting non-profit, non-governmental organizations that are working to meet the humanitarian needs among vulnerable populations impacted by this tragic disaster. These include shelter, food, medical supplies, physical and mental health, as well as mitigating any environmental damage. 

    The partners in Beirut Emergency Fund: SEAL USA, LIFE, LebNet, Jamhour Alumni (US/Europe) and the Kuwait-America Foundation are responding rapidly and effectively, using contributions to the Beirut Emergency Fund to address these core issues, while constantly assessing current and emergent needs. 

    This is a time of uncertainty for all Lebanese. We are truly grateful for all our generous donors and dedicated partners on the ground, who are doing the work to help save lives. We are stronger together. 

    For tax deductible donations, please visit the fund’s page here: https://www.seal-usa.org/BeirutEmergencyFund 

    For any inquiry, please email us at info@lebnet.us 

  • 25 Nov 2020 4:21 AM | Anonymous
    “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

    The learning curve has a beginning but not an end. Investing in young talent has a great impact on a nation because the future depends on the youth, especially in a country like Lebanon. To help Lebanese students gain global knowledge and prepare them for the labor market, Maroun Semaan’s Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) at The American University of Beirut (AUB) partnered with LebNet to give engineering graduates the rare opportunity to work with US-based companies for their final year projects (FYPs) and course projects.

    Four teams from AUB worked with two companies in the US: Asurion (a device insurance, warranty, and support services provider for cell phones, consumer electronics, and home appliances) and FADEL (the creator of rights and royalty management software).

    In 2019 and 2020, each of the four teams either worked on an FYP or a course project, closely collaborating with mentors from FADEL and Asurion.

    Projects at a Glance 

    Expert Helper (FYP)

    Students: Sara Hammoud, Aya Eido, and Dana Daoud
    Company: Asurion
    Mentors: Peng Xie and Sundar Kuppuswamy

    In collaboration with LebNet, four teams from Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at AUB worked on course and final year projects with US-based companies Asurion and Fadel.

    The Work:

    The AUB team prepared and curated a data set of tech support sessions from Asurion into a category of replies. They then selected categories of these sets and automated initial replies to them using natural language processing techniques mixed with expert knowledge.

    The Experience:

    “The collaboration went very well. Our goal was to make sure that students worked on a problem that interests them and has a potential value for Asurion and to ensure the team learned from a tech standpoint how to implement new algorithms and solve problems at hand while getting a sense of data in the real world,” said Sundar Kuppuswamy.

    “My experience with the students was good. The students were very curious and motivated, did a great job exploring the original data set, and came up with multiple ideas.

    I would be happy to repeat the exercise next year between AUB and the team at Asurion,” added Peng Xie.

    “The last academic year was definitely not easy.

    Our team had to adapt to many challenges and work hard to be able to deliver what we promised, all while taking care of our well-being and mental health.

    “The last academic year was definitely not easy.

    Our team had to adapt to many challenges and work hard to be able to deliver what we promised, all while taking care of our well-being and mental health.

    If it weren’t for my teammates and the culture we established that is based on openness, optimism, and trust, we would not have been able to submit the requirements, let alone be nominated for the Murex Best Innovative Software Development Award and present our work to Asurion’s Chief Analytics Officer, Faker Zouaoui,” revealed Sara Hammoud.

    Aya Eido, Sara Hammoud, and Dana Daoud

    Emerging Problems (Natural Language Processing NLP Course Project)

     Students: Julia Zini and Issa Issa
    Company: Asurion
    Mentor: Peng Xie and Sundar Kuppuswamy

    The Work:

    The AUB team helped Asurion’s tech support team figure out whether a novel tech problem is emerging on social media (Twitter). And for novel emerging problems, it also helps determine if the problem is related to tech support or generic news events.

    The Experience:

    “Working with industries on a course project gives you a different perspective, because usually most of the university projects are research-oriented and not backed by delivery. It was especially interesting for me and Julia because we had to deliver a well-packaged product and the insights from Asurion and feedback were rewarding,” commented Issa Issa.

    Julia Zini and Issa Issa

    Extracting Insights (NLP course project)

    Students: Mohamad Mansour, Fouad Khnaiser and Bassel Musharrafieh
    Company: Simplr
    Mentor: Harsh Tomar and Sundar Kuppuswamy

    The Work:

    The AUB team focused on extracting phrases of trends from collection of text data (emails) allowing the Customer Experience team to quickly identify and mitigate issues. The project was hosted by a startup incubated by Asurion, which had different IP regulations. This prohibited Asurion from sharing the data as they discovered they required different NDAs. Despite this, the team worked on a methodology to extract information from public data similar to what Asurion might have. The results were impressive enough to be accepted as a possible solution. It was a learning curve for the team because they had to apply NLP techniques to an industry-level problem and deal with real-data. 

    The Experience: 

    “The industry project provided a great opportunity for the students to experiment with real business problems. Where in an academic problem, students try to solve problems to get to the right answer via the right methods, in business problems, there sometimes isn’t a right answer, and oftentimes no “right method”.
    The students broke the problem down into smaller pieces and attacked each piece sequentially with the easiest methods to get the outcomes. At each step, new problems emerged and so did several different ideas to solve them. Key steps from the students’ implementation of phrase extraction ended up being utilized in the working of the ‘Extract Insights’ project of Simplr.” – said Harsh Tomar.

    Image Match (FYP)

    Students: Hadi Ahmad, Hafez Jawhary, and Samir Saidi
    Company: FADEL
    Mentors: Rony Eid and Ziad Bassil

    Image Match (FYP)

    Students: Hadi Ahmad, Hafez Jawhary, and Samir Saidi
    Company: FADEL
    Mentors: Rony Eid and Ziad Bassil

    The Work:

    Specialized in copyright and digital rights management, FADEL’s goal is to ensure that the digital content its clients use does not violate any copyright laws. Hence, the AUB team was tasked with improving matching performance. Walid Daccache, FADEL’s CTO, explained that with the help of FADEL mentors, who met with students on a weekly basis, the team implemented a different algorithm that outperforms FADEL’s algorithm while being compatible with the rest of their system.

    The Experience:

    “My colleagues and I agreed with FADEL to extend this project beyond the course’s frame. The complexity and time requirements of our assignment ensued this mutual understanding over the project’s time management. The new image detection model is substantially accurate for large datasets, while still maintaining adequate performance,” shared Samir Saidi. “We were glad to work with the AUB faculty members and their bright students on finding solutions to challenging problems in image processing. We feel that the collaboration and knowledge exchange between FADEL engineers and the AUB FYP team added value to all parties who participated in the project,” said Daccache.

    “Though the final solution required some refinement in terms of accuracy and performance but still Samir Saidi, one member of the team, continued to work on it within his internship with the company and that added additional plus points to the solution towards its feasibility to be integrated within our product. Eventually the collaboration yielded good results on which we can build further to reach more successes,” said Rony

    For the Future

    Lebanon is suffering from many crises and significant challenges are facing the education sector and students. But such collaborations bring hope for a better generation and future. 

    Featured Image via Pexels 

    Hadi Ahmad, Hafez Jawhary, and Samir Saidi

  • 20 Sep 2019 3:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LebNet’s flagship program Ignite will kick off officially on Oct 14, 2019 and welcomes four new Lebanese startups from Lebanon’s startup accelerator Speed, to be part of its seventh cohort. 

    This session will be a 5-week Silicon Valley bootcamp  powered by Draper University in San Mateo, California. These five weeks in the Bay Area will cover a wide range of topics: building a company, Go-To-Market, selling,  learning to decipher term sheets, leveraging mentors and advisors, pitching and much more.

    “Although some of the areas covered in this program are familiar topics available in many programs around the world, there is no substitute to being directly exposed to the Silicon Valley ecosystem of trainers, mentors, and investors,” said George Akiki, LebNet CEO. “LebNet is building on learnings accumulated during our previous 6 cohorts and are proud to bring this new and improved version to light in partnership with Speed & Draper University.”

    The Draper portion of the Ignite program is as follows:

    • Week 1: How to build a 10-year company
    • Week 2: Marketing, Sales and GTM (Go-To-Market) strategy
    • Week 3: Survival week with Tim Draper. Survival training out in nature accompanied by navy seals. Team building activities and access to Tim.
    • Week 4: Legal, term sheets, immigration help, etc.
    • Week 5: Demo day and preparation

    In addition, LebNet will offers a stack of services consisting of the following layers:

    Getting-to-know-you Breakfast:
    A power session held with a LebNet member to discuss the startup’s future plans and an introduction to the region. 

    Walk with a Coach:
    A long walk along one of California’s scenic trails with an executive level member to provide coaching and guidance. 

    Brainstorming Dinner:
    Startups will be matched over a dinner table with 4-5 LebNet members who will tackle and debate with them Value Propositions, Go-To-Market Strategies,  and provide collective and individual feedback.

    Ad-hoc meetings:
    These ad-hoc meetings with potential LebNet members will be designed to address a specific need of a startup that some members might be able to help with. 

    Additional Company Visits:

    When appropriate, startups will visit LebNet members’ company offices. 

    “LebNet Ignite has been instrumental in helping our startups see the bigger picture and think global. The program fast-tracked the entrepreneurs into their next major milestone, whether it was a pivot, a fundraising event, or even a complete shutdown. The Silicon Valley experience is unique and LebNet’s mentors and their dedication made it extremely valuable,” said Sami Abou Saab, CEO of Speed. “We have seen in many cases the relationships that were built during the immersion program evolve and keep going over the years, accompanying the startups in their journey. This is the first time we  exceptionally send 4 founders and 4 startups and it is only a clear sign of how Speed evolved part of this experience to deliver best in class startups and how LebNet Ignite influenced that evolution.”

    Announcing the 4 shortlisted startups

    Four startups from Speed’s 6th batch will fly to California to benefit from the 5-week program.   

    Lemonade Fashion: A platform that allows fashion forward individuals to shop a wide variety of premium designer collections under one platform, customize them and have them made-to-measure to fit them perfectly, all from the comfort of their homes and at very attractive pricing.

    Oreyeon: A startup building solutions for the aviation industry, enabling operations and safety optimization.

    Scriptofilm: An interactive platform that links scriptwriters and filmmakers to investors, producers and distributors.

    Xilia: A platform connecting creative and digital agencies and freelancers to their clients in order to facilitate communication, accelerate the working process, and provide the management with advanced business intelligence tools.

    About Draper University 

    Draper University is the leading program in Silicon Valley for building founders. Their innovative, immersive Residential Programs in Entrepreneurship offer: essential startup skills, exposure to industry experts, a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, & mentorship from experienced venture capitalists (VCs).

    Over 300 companies have graduated from Draper University and have raised more than $250 million. Draper University has also started their own fund where they put in 50 to 100K tickets that they invest in startups that go through their program.

    About Speed

    Speed is a tech accelerator based out of the Beirut Digital District that empowers software startups to succeed and scale globally through a 3-month mentorship-driven program, $30,000 in funding, and a lifelong network of mentors and partners.

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LebNet, a non-profit organization, serves as a multi-faceted platform for Lebanese professionals residing in the US and Canada, entrepreneurs, investors, business partners in a broad technology eco-system, and acts as a bridge to their counterparts in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East


205 De Anza Blvd., #315, San Mateo, CA 94402, USA. +1.650.539.3536

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