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  • 18 Sep 2023 11:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On September 14th, the LebNet Bay Area committee organized a fireside chat featuring Amer Deeba, CEO and Co-Founder of Normalyze. Amer shared his professional journey with a group of 40 attendees.

    During the conversation, Amer discussed his transition from a dedicated developer to a Chief Commercial Officer at Qualys and ultimately a Co-founder and CEO at Normalyze, a cybersecurity startup focused on cloud data security that he started during the pandemic.

    Jibran Jahshan (left) moderating a session with Amer Deeba

    The fireside chat comprehensively covered Amer's career trajectory, offering practical advice and insights. He talked about topics ranging from strategic tips to his concerns, emphasizing the qualities of an effective team and recounting how he met his co-founder. Amer also explored the customer and product journey, stressing the importance of prioritizing customer needs and the product/service in all business decisions for successful company growth. “The product has to be easy to adopt and delight its users,” he said. 

    In terms of maintaining a connected and motivated dispersed team—given that most of Normalyze's 50 employees work remotely—Amer described his practice of crafting a detailed end-of-week communication that he shares with all employees, highlighting their achievements and project progress. He believes this fosters teamwork, transparency, and collaboration while maintaining alignment within the team. He encouraged the audience to monitor employee progress using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and to hire autonomous leaders who align with the company's values, mission, and vision.

    Amer delved into the subjects of funding and recruiting top talent, advising the audience to continually build a network of investors, technologists, and business visionaries who can contribute to the journey. When asked about Lebanon's talent and potential landscape, Amer underscored the country's impressive talent pool and expressed his interest in collaborating with Lebanese professionals on future ventures. He urged the audience to connect with him on LinkedIn to further the conversation.

    We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Amer Deeba for his invaluable insights, and to  Jibran Jahshan, VP of Software Engineering at Nvidia, for skillfully moderating the discussion. A special thanks is also due to Silicon Valley Bank for graciously hosting the event, and to the dedicated LebNet Bay Area committee for their meticulous organization.  Lastly, we appreciate the enthusiastic attendance of the Bay Area community.  Stay tuned for upcoming events! 

  • 12 Sep 2023 10:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On August 31st, LebNet hosted an exclusive roundtable discussion with Habib Haddad, LebNet Chairman & Managing Partner at E14 Fund.

    The closed-door virtual conversation, exclusively available to 10 paying LebNet members, delved into Habib’s journey as a successful entrepreneur and seasoned professional. It transitioned into a Q&A session where attendees had the opportunity to inquire about LebNet’s Chairman investment strategies, networking methods, guidance and other topics of interest.

    Around 20 years ago, Habib moved to the US from Lebanon. He is a seasoned entrepreneur, early-stage investor and community builder. Currently, he is the Managing Partner of E14 Fund, a deep tech venture affiliated with the MIT Media Lab. During his career, he has been instrumental in various startup ventures.  One notable startup was creating linguistic tools for right-to-left languages, called Yamli, which he successfully sold to Yahoo! in 2012. 

    Afterward, he became an active angel investor in the Boston area.  Later, he returned to the Middle East and started Wamda, a media company focused on startups.  He also played a crucial role in launching Wamda Capital, one of the first early-stage venture funds in the MENA region. 

    Habib’s achievements have garnered recognition on multiple fronts. In 2009, the World Economic Forum recognized him as a Young Global Leader.  Additionally, in 2011, he was recognized as a top innovator under 35 (TR35) by the MIT Technology review. His involvement in the global entrepreneurial sphere was further highlighted when he served as the Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum council on entrepreneurship in 2013.  Presently he is a member of the Global Future Council on Systems and Platforms.

    Let’s explore some of the questions he addressed during the roundtable. You can also watch the live roundtable discussion by visiting this link

    Do you hold optimism for Lebanon’s recovery?

    Responding to this, Habib Stated “Everyone on the ground is fighting creatively to help Lebanon recover and that gives me slivers of optimism despite the challenging macro-level situation in the country”. Personally I am engaged with AUB through an initiative launched by Alan Shihadeh, the Dean of the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, which focuses on providing coding training to the Lebanese army as a means of upskilling. Another source of optimism is Hadi Salman, a top AI scientist who recently completed his PhD in Computer Science at MIT.  Hadi envisions returning to Lebanon after his career in the US to establish an AI research team there.” 

    What’s your guide to building relationships across the globe 

    “In my career, building relationships has been the cornerstone.”  To excel at this, It’s about the lasting impression you leave on people. Leverage your strength to your benefit.  Prioritize creating a meaningful connection, not just a transaction.  People aiming to build lasting business relationships and succeed in their work, be in a startup or a profession, should showcase outstanding personality traits, possess the stamina, and assemble a stellar team around them. 

    How do you prioritize your time on the things that matter?

    I have been changing careers every 7 years and I make it my priority to become obsessed with every new endeavor, absorbing as much knowledge as possible and becoming an evangelist for it.

    What do you look for in a startup that is created based on a student's research?

    It revolves around building relationships with founders.  In founders, we seek a blend of tenacity and flexibility, along with the capacity to be purposeful and goal-oriented while also possessing the agility to anticipate future developments.  While the scientific aspect is important, in the early stages, it’s the unwavering obsession to devise a meaningful business model that takes precedence.  In addition, grit and perseverance are vital in securing that first customer.

    How to build a decentralized support system for Lebanon

    “LebNet is a great example of building a decentralized support system. The connections exist, but what we need to do more of is help institutions like LebNet scale. LebNet’s goal this year is to multiply its efforts, and keep doing impactful programs like Fellowships, Internships and more.” 

    Will AI replace white collar jobs, not just in assistive skills, in your opinion, where does the demand lie for jobs within the next 5-10 years?

    Immediately post GPT, there was a concern about the fate of jobs, and numerous students were depressed about their future.  Contrary to what some believe, the transformation in the job market won’t be as dire. While Gen AI is poised to offer substantial assistance, its integration will lead to the emergence of new roles.  I wouldn’t be an alarmist about job impacts.  AI is evolving into an augmentative tool for enhancements, rather than a complete replacement.

    During the one-hour roundtable, many more topics were discussed, including supporting entrepreneurship in Lebanon, scaling apps without compromising quality, attracting strategic investors to early-stage startups, healthcare technology in the MENA region, investment climate in Lebanon, and more. Watch the full discussion on our YouTube channel by visiting this link

  • 22 Aug 2023 2:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On the 16th of August, the LebNet Toronto community organized an entertaining and networking gathering at Dave & Buster's.

    Attendees, including members and their friends, took part in arcade games while simultaneously delving into lively conversations spanning topics like artificial intelligence, web development, fintech, civil engineering, finance, the challenges of launching a startup in Toronto, and more. These networking sessions not only facilitated fresh connections but also led to promising job leads, career openings, and the chance to reconnect with familiar faces.

    If you're residing in Toronto, make sure you become a part of our LebNet Toronto community by following this link. This way, you'll stay informed about our upcoming events and activities. We eagerly anticipate your presence at our next gathering this fall.

  • 09 Aug 2023 7:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The LebNet Montreal community hosted a Meet and Network event on August 3rd at East Pan Asiatique Cuisine et Bar. 

    LebNet members and friends attended this casual gathering, mingled, caught up with old friends, and met new faces. Despite the thunderstorm warning on that day, the event successfully drew around 30 people. “The energy was amazing. I am very happy to have come across new faces and reconnected with our community. Looking forward to our next one!”said Frederick Wardini, LebNet Montreal Steering Committee Lead. 

    The positive vibes and impressive turnout clearly demonstrated that LebNet Montreal remains a vibrant and engaged community, boasting members from various backgrounds and age groups.  Their shared passion for forging meaningful connections and supporting one another was evident! 

    Big thanks to steering committee member Rania Afiouni Monla who made this event possible. If you are interested in organizing the next LebNet Montreal event, please email us at [email protected] 

    Click here to view all the event’s photos. 

  • 05 Jul 2023 4:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    San Diego Trivia Night on June 28th

    The LebNet San Diego community hosted an enjoyable trivia night on June 28th at Duck Foot Brewing Company. 

    Attendees, both familiar and new, gathered together to share drinks, laughter, and engage in friendly competition through entertaining trivia questions.  The events provided an excellent opportunity for networking, with individuals expressing enthusiasm about the community and upcoming initiatives and events!

    Stay tuned for more gatherings and events from LebNet San Diego!

    LebNet Bay Area San Mateo Happy Hour on June 29th

    The LebNet Bay Area community hosted on June 29th another one of its happy hour events on the Peninsula. The format was pretty relaxed allowing participants to share drinks and discuss their careers and goals and meet other fellow Lebanese in tech.  Looking forward to seeing our Bay Area members at our future events throughout the year!

    MIT Lebanese Club Networking Event on June 29th 

    The Lebanese Club at MIT wrapped up the year with an exciting networking event, with participation from the LebNet Boston community.  Approximately 20 individuals attended the event, creating a vibrant atmosphere. 

    During the gathering, fruitful discussions took place, focusing on strategies to foster stronger collaborations and further empower and uplift the community of Lebanese in Tech in Boston, with emphasis on students from MIT, Harvard, and other nearby universities.  Thank you MIT for this event and we look forward to more collaborations with you!

    Summer is here and LebNet has plenty of events planned for the months ahead, so whether you’re in the Bay Area, Boston, San Diego, or other cities in the US or Canada, make sure you subscribe to receive our events calendar and news. 

  • 23 Jun 2023 11:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On June 21st, the LebNet Pacific Northwest committee hosted a picnic gathering at Juanita Beach Park. Community members and friends gathered outdoors, got to know each other and enjoyed interesting conversations about the community’s future plans and activities, such as monthly social hour, an upcoming mentorship program and impactful community service activities.

    Beyond the enjoyment of snacks and the beautiful outdoors, the gathering left participants with much more than a fun outing. The connections forged and the enthusiastic support offered to the steering committee undeniably demonstrated the Pacific Northwest community’s bright prospects and promising beginnings. 

    More events will follow! If you are a Lebanese tech individual residing in the Pacific Northwest region, you are invited to join our community by visiting this link.  

  • 22 Jun 2023 9:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On June 8th, LebNet Bay Area hosted its first event on the East Bay at Prizefighter Bar. The event’s relaxed format gave participants the chance to network, get to know each other and enjoy the company! 

    Around 10 people gathered at the venue, and thanks to the group’s chemistry, many of them stayed late and started discussing tentative dates and potential locations for future meetups. Stay tuned as this is the first out of many more events to come on the East Bay. Future activities might include outdoor walks and coffee breaks. 

    Special thanks to Sarah Naameh, LebNet Bay Area’s newest steering committee member, who organized the event. Check out all the members of the Bay Area steering committee by visiting this page

    “The first event went very well! Everyone from new graduates to experts in their fields came out and had a good time. We were able to connect on many different levels: shared interest in technology and its future applications, shared concerns about Lebanon, similarities in upbringing and values, and the little things like a shared love of gardening and nature,” said Naameh. “The happy hour really proved that there is a real desire for a LebNet community in the East Bay. There is a strong foundation to grow from and we hope to build on that energy with more frequent events and possibly a group chat.”

  • 12 Jun 2023 10:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On June 8th, a vibrant gathering took place on the scenic rooftop of the Google building in Reston. Over 45 individuals participated in a firechat session centered around artificial intelligence (AI). Guiding the discussion was Wissam Yafi, an esteemed member of the LebNet Mid-Atlantic leadership team and the founder of TIDWIT. Yafi skillfully moderated the conversation with Bassel Haidar, the AI and ML Practice Lead at Guidehouse, leading to an insightful exchange of ideas. Attendees were not only treated to engaging conversations and delicious food but also had the opportunity to connect with a diverse group of individuals spanning various age groups and professional backgrounds. 

    Bassel delivered thought-provoking insights shedding light on the evolution of AI that has brought us to the present age of advanced technology and the expected explosion of AI. He emphasized the collaborative nature of human-machine interaction and how it contributes to the continuous improvements of AI. Attendees had the opportunity to explore how AI has the capacity to revolutionize various industries and enhance human capabilities. The conversation highlighted the transformative impact of AI in areas such as healthcare, finance, transportation and beyond. As the evening progressed and the sun set, participants engaged in networking  activities while enjoying the scenic rooftop views and friendly conversations. You can watch the whole event here.

    The event further featured a special book signing by Wissam Yafi, who showcased his latest science-fiction novel titled Fina 20X3, the sole AI book set in a futuristic Lebanon. 

    With its second event, the LebNet Mid-Atlantic community showcased its remarkable potential for enthusiastic engagement and participation. The lively atmosphere and the impressive turnout is indicative of the community's growing momentum and the promising success that lies ahead. If you reside in any of the surrounding states (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland,  Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia), we invite you to join us so that you won't miss out on any future events. To learn more and subscribe, please visit this page

    Scroll down to check out the event’s photos.

  • 06 Jun 2023 6:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On June 3rd, the new LebNet LA/OC leadership team successfully organized their first networking event.

    Held at a restaurant in Long Beach, the event saw an impressive turnout of about 40 individuals with nearly half of them being students and early in career professionals. This remarkable response and the event's overall success marks a great relaunch of this community!

    According to Samer Hijazi, LA/OC community leader, the event was highly successful and the feedback received from the attendees has been nothing short of positive.

    This is the first out of many events the community is planning to organize so make sure you join it to stay updated. 

  • 01 Jun 2023 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LebNet marked a momentous occasion on Friday May 26th, as we celebrated the successful completion of the inaugural LebNet fellowship program at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at AUB.  The ceremony for the presentation of certificates brought together a gathering of 31 individuals, which included 25 fellows hailing from various universities - 7 from the American University of Beirut (AUB), 7 from the Lebanese University, and 11 from the Lebanese American University (LAU). We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Nadine Nakad from AUB and Nicole Bou Farhat from LAU for their invaluable assistance in organizing and hosting the event.

    The inaugural LebNet fellowship program, initiated by the Women in Tech community and led by Aya Mouallem, a Stanford University Electrical Engineering PhD student and co-founder of All Girls Code, has achieved a flawless completion rate in its first year.  Despite the multitude of obstacles faced in Lebanon, the dedicated women fellows persevered to successfully complete the program.  An impressive majority of over 90% of these remarkable women have shared their increased confidence in pursuing careers in the tech industry, while also refining their existing skills and gaining new ones. 

    “It has been an absolute pleasure hosting and getting to know each and every one of you. I sincerely wish you all a wonderful future ahead. Remember that LebNet and I, personally, are here to support you with any mentoring or coaching needs you may have in the future. You give me great hope for the future of women in technology and for the future of Lebanon!,” said Jeanine Akiki, LebNet Executive Director during her thank you speech. 

    Aya concluded by saying, “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the fellows for fostering a supportive and empowering environment, creating a remarkable culture that will continue to flourish in this newfound community for the long haul.  We kindly request that you continue sharing knowledge and ensure that you give back to your communities, sustaining a ripple effect of positive change.  We eagerly await your future endeavors and want you to know that we are always here to support you!” 

    Keep an eye out for LebNet’s forthcoming plans to expand and extend the reach of this program, bringing its benefits to an even larger number of deserving fellows!

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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


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