July 18, 2023

Meet the winners of the Startup Roadshow in Beirut

Six months since its launch in Jordan and Lebanon, the fourth edition of the Startup Roadshow competition concluded with a remarkable Demo Day in Beirut. Ten promising startups from Syria and Lebanon pitched on stage, impressing the judges. Meet the three startups that received a total of $15,000 in seed funding to ignite their entrepreneurial journey. 

The fourth Startup Roadshow has captivated the Middle East’s entrepreneurial landscape once again. This year, the renowned competition, which is the largest platform for startups and SMEs in the region, showcased the ingenuity and resilience of aspiring entrepreneurs. With a digital twist, the competition saw ten startup finalists vying for seed funding.

This month, SPARK and our partner, Jusoor, welcomed startups, investors, regional business incubators, accelerators, and industry experts from both private and public sectors. The Beirut Demo Day marked the conclusion of Startup Roadshow 4, which has incubated a cohort of 85 early-stage startups over the past six months.The ceremony was opened by Dr. Alexandra Chen, Jusoor’s Trustee, and Interim Executive Director, “I am sincerely grateful to SPARK, Islamic Development Bank and Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Foundation for making this work possible and journeying with us over the years. I am inspired by each and every one of you in this room. The fact that you are here means that you believe in youth and the future of this region.”

During the Demo Day in Beirut on July 6th, 2023, a distinguished panel of judges, including Asmahan Zein, CEO of Ardi Ardak; Fawzi Rahal, Managing Director at Flat6Labs Beirut; and Mohammad Mouawiya from SPARK, attentively listened to the business pitches presented by the top 10 teams. 

After careful evaluation, the judges selected the three most outstanding teams and awarded them seed funding. The first-place team received $7,000, the second-place team received $5,000, and the third-place team was rewarded with $3,000, recognising their exceptional achievements and innovative ideas.

Meet the winners 

First Place Winner – Exotech

Exotech is a cutting-edge medical manufacturing company specialising in electronic splints and advanced exoskeleton technology. They develop innovative solutions that empower patients with mobility limitations. Exotech electronic splints are designed to assist individuals in both standing and sitting, providing them with enhanced mobility and independence. 

Second Place Winner – Liber

Liber is a comprehensive sports platform that revolutionises the way athletes find and access stadiums and gyms. The user-friendly application provides detailed information about various sports venues, empowering athletes to make informed decisions based on their preferences. 

Third Place Winner – Ejet Elkahraba

Ejet Elkahraba is a user-friendly application designed to keep residents in Lebanon informed about electricity availability and outages in their areas. With real-time notifications, users can stay updated on the power status and make informed decisions regarding their electricity consumption. The app goes beyond notifications and incorporates smart sensors to help users optimise their energy usage and reduce wastage. It provides valuable insights and suggestions for efficient electricity consumption. 

At the Demo Day, a panel discussion titled ‘Venture Finance Post Incubation’ captivated the audience. The esteemed panellists included Zakie Karam, an Angel Investor at IM Capital and Co-founder and General Manager at DON Telecom; Rasha Manna, General Manager at Flat6labs Jordan; and Dania Ismail, Jusoor’s Co-Founder. Together, they delved into the crucial topic of how entrepreneurs can effectively prepare themselves for the steps after the incubation phase.

The Startup Roadshow 4 Journey

SPARK and Jusoor’s Startup Roadshow 4, which is part of the Skills Training Education Programme (STEP) financed by the Islamic Development Bank, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, engaged entrepreneurs in a series of hackathons across Jordan and Lebanon, with a focus on the cities of Irbid, Amman, Tripoli, and Beirut. A remarkable total of 263 aspiring entrepreneurs from Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, and Lebanon participated in these hackathons, which provided them with a unique platform to gain valuable insights, foster meaningful connections, and receive expert guidance and mentorship in the process of launching and expanding their own startups.

Following this, entrepreneurs received comprehensive training covering various essential aspects of entrepreneurship, including product and application development, financial modeling and forecasting, sales and digital marketing strategies, legal registration processes, and investor presentation skills. This well-rounded approach ensured that the entrepreneurs had the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the competitive business landscape.

The programme selected the top 85 teams from both Jordan and Lebanon to enter the incubation phase. During this stage, these teams received more specialised training and valuable mentorship, paving the way for their entrepreneurial endeavours. This phase proved to be especially transformative for many young entrepreneurs, particularly those from less fortunate communities, as it marked the beginning of their exciting entrepreneurial journey.

Moreover, the incubation phase offered a platform for participants to interact with potential investors and partners, opening doors to new opportunities for growth and collaboration. Throughout the programme’s duration, the aspiring entrepreneurs benefited from an impressive total of more than 670 hours of comprehensive training sessions, which covered a wide range of topics, including technology tools and mentorship, enriching their skill sets and enhancing their chances of success.

On June 20, 2023, the Amman Demo Day took place to name the first three winners from Jordan. The first-place winner (Watr) received $7,000, the second-place winner (Tadwer) received $5,000 and third place winner (File in Tab) received $3,000.

SPARK is proud of the partnership with Jusoor on the fourth edition of the Startup Roadshow competition, working together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals which can only be achieved with strong global partnerships and cooperation.

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