On October 2, LebNet Toronto will be hosting a happy hour session with Beirut-based accelerator SPEED, where CEO Sami Abou Saab will present an outline of the Lebanese startup ecosystem, the Central Bank initiative (Banque Du Liban), the current players in the market and how is SPEED playing a role in supporting the startups in Lebanon. The event, in addition to shedding light on SPEED’s early track record, will promote the following objectives:
Encourage mentors and industry experts to be involved and help them give back
Showcase other ways investors can be involved
Highlight the opportunity for entrepreneurs to come back to Lebanon and take part of the local ecosystem and Speed. Through partnerships with LebNet and Techstars, these entrepreneurs can leverage this opportunity and the connections it offers back to the US and other places around the world.
Techstars' program manager, Tariq Haddadin, will also give a small talk highlighting the below:
How important it is for the community to be engaged back with their home country and give back as well
Provide more flavor on the Techstars Affiliate Program and how the Speed program in collaboration with Techstars fills the full value chain
- 5:30-6:30pm: Registration and networking
- 6:30-7:30pm: Talks by Sami Abou Saab and Tariq Haddadin
- 7:30-8pm: Networking
Beverages and light snacks will be served.
The event is free of charge, but registration is required.
Sami Abou Saab
Sami Abou Saab is currently the CEO of Speed, Lebanon’s first ecosystem-backed startup accelerator. He has been occupying this role since July 2015 and during his tenure, he officially launched Speed and recruited six batches with a total of 42 startups to accelerate. Part of his role, he has been mentoring startups in Lebanon and the MENA region and helped them grow in their early stages. Sami has more than 14 years of experience in technology, both in startups and big tech firms. Prior to Speed, he worked at Skype and Microsoft Corporation in the US, covering strategy, marketing, and channel modelling. In Silicon Valley, Sami started his own company, MobiLock, which was voted as the best startup in the Berkeley MBA program entrepreneurship class. Sami holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the American University of Beirut and an MBA from Berkeley-Haas and London Business School.
Tariq is the Program Manager for Techstars Toronto. Techstars Toronto is a city program and Techstars' first accelerator in Canada.
Prior to joining Techstars, Tariq was a Senior Associate with the Business Acceleration Program (BAP) at MaRS Discovery District, the world's largest urban innovation hub. In his role, Tariq worked with a network of 17 Regional Innovation Centres committed to supporting technology entrepreneurs through advisory services, educational programming and access to capital. Additionally, Tariq managed grant funding programs focused on accelerating ventures by engaging key business talent that will help them reach their next growth milestones. Tariq also lead the program's impact measurement and reporting as it relates to the support provided to 4,700 ventures in the Province of Ontario.
Tariq holds a B.Comm in Finance and Economics from Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto and a professional certificate in Project Management from Georgetown University. Tariq is a recipient of the International Global Citizen's Award.