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  • 27 Jun 2022 9:22 AM | Anonymous member

    On June 26th, 2022, the LebNet Bay Area community hosted a gathering event to meet with the Lebanese community in the tech industry and facilitate making new friendships, share ideas and collect feedback and thoughts for the upcoming year.

    The event, which was the first in-person event in two years, drew around 50 people who gathered to network, get to know each other and brainstorm ideas to collaborate and grow the Bay Area community.

    Images via LebNet. Check out all the event's photos here

    “We had a great time and met fantastic people. I’m certainly energized by the community and look forward to growing it!,” said Moussa Zeid, a LebNet Bay Area steering committee member.

    “It was a great event. We got to meet amazing people in the community. I’m really excited for what’s to come!,” said Jeffrey Akiki, a Bay Area steering committee member.

    “We got a great turnout and many new faces! Everyone was very excited about LebNet and the upcoming events. I heard a lot of requests for more casual happy hours. Some people were looking for connections for a job and funding as well,” added Nathalie Saade, who is also a steering committee member.

    This event is one of many future events to come. If you are living in the Bay Area or in the neighboring areas and interested in attending our future events and joining the community, please visit this page for more information.

  • 30 May 2022 10:00 AM | Anonymous member

    Because we all need a little pause every once in a while, LebNet’s Women in Tech community hosted an online session on May 26th 2022 titled ‘Network and Take a Creative Pause’, to offer a space to reflect on the positive things to hang on to and the negative ones to let go. To do so, the session featured a fun drawing activity where the attendees artistically expressed their best and worst moments from the last two years and discussed them together.  

    The session was moderated by Karine Sarkissian, LebNet WiT Community Co-lead & Networking and Startup Program Lead, and Founding Partner at Tamar Capital. Thanks to the relaxed format, participants enjoyed taking the time to reflect, share their thoughts and live in the moment. 

    “Thank you so much for not rushing us through the activities and for providing a space to share,” said Aya Mouallem, WiT Outreach Program Lead, Electrical Engineering PHD Student at Stanford University, and Co-founder of All Girls Code. 

    This event is a great reminder that everyone needs time to relax, take a deep breath and think despite their hectic work and life schedules. It is one of many events organized by the LebNet Women in Tech community. If you are a Lebanese woman in tech based in the US or Canada and interested in joining this community, make sure you visit this page and stay tuned for more future events. 

  • 18 May 2022 7:37 AM | Anonymous member

    On May 12th, 2022, the LebNet San Diego community hosted an event titled ‘Shine and Dine’, in sponsorship with Joun Technologies

    The event - which was hosted at the University of California San Diego - drew 41 attendees with many newcomers to the tech talent pool in San Diego. You can check out the photos (courtesy of Aziz Gholmieh) by visiting this link

    After a chance to mingle with San Diego residents and enjoy tasty Lebanese food, the evening was kicked off by the community leader Shadi Dayeh and steering committee member Andrew Tebsherani.  

    A presentation followed by LebNet’s Executive Director Jeanine Akiki featuring an update on LebNet’s latest initiatives, dwelling on its mission and vision to enable tech entrepreneurs and professionals of Lebanese descent succeed on a global scale. Layal Rouhana, Women in Tech community lead also presented her community's achievements, initiatives and upcoming events. Below are some of LebNet’s 2021 accomplishments: 

    Akiki also highlighted the recruitment of LebNet steering committee members for the following communities: Women in TechEarly in CareerBiotechBay Area,ArizonaNew YorkPacific Northwest and San Diego

    Lastly, Akiki highlighted the importance of becoming an engaged and subscribed LebNet member to help the organization grow its reach and impact and become financially sustainable. Subscribed members pay a yearly subscription fee, you can find more information on how to subscribe or join LebNet by visiting this page. To conclude the day, the San Diego steering committee members were keen on soliciting feedback from the attendees on LebNet's initiatives and how it can better cater to the San Diego constituents. San Diego’s upcoming event is planned for September and we look forward to more activities to keep the community engaged and energized. 

    Images via Aziz Gholmieh

  • 21 Mar 2022 4:40 PM | Anonymous member

    On March 3rd, 2022, the LebNet New York community hosted its second networking event targeting Lebanese tech enthusiasts and leaders. 

    The event drew a diverse group of over 50 participants in a fun and casual setup, encouraging the community members to get acquainted and be engaged. This is the second of many community huddles the LebNet New York community is planning on hosting in 2022. 

    If you are a Lebanese tech professional or leaders living in New York or in neighboring areas and you are interested in receiving the latest community events and updates, join their LebNet/ New York LinkedIn group on LinkedIn and LebNet’s LinkedIn group

  • 18 Dec 2021 10:00 AM | Anonymous member

    In these difficult times, this year’s honorees inspire us with their accomplishments and remind us of the great potential of the Lebanese people.

    To honor some of these successes and recap the year 2021, LebNet virtually hosted its annual holiday on December 15th where it announced the winners of LebNet’s third Bireme award for the following categories: Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Technologist of the Year and Philanthropists of the Year. 

    The event also featured the amazing story of Naji and Jill Boutros, the owners of Chateau Belle-Vue winery in Bhamdoun, Lebanon. Being the proud Lebanese that he is, Naji Boutros came back to his beloved home country and hometown with his wife Jill to achieve his dream of buying back Bhamdoun’s lands and restoring the wine-making heritage of the region. Through this effort, the couple has also endeavored to preserve Bhamdoun’s pristine nature. Watch them in the video below tell their inspiring story, from how they met to leaving a job in Europe and moving to Lebanon to start over. Naji and Jill have built one of the most successful, internationally renowned wineries in Lebanon.

    The second part of the event was dedicated to the Bireme award ceremony. Below are the winners from each category and some inspiring parts from their speech. You can listen to their entire acceptance speech in the video below. 

     Executive of the Year: Rola Dagher, Global Channel Chief at Dell Technologies

    This award recognizes a Tech executive with leadership skills in mid to large size companies who delivered benefits to shareholders and had a positive impact on company culture.  This year’s winner, Rola Dagher, exemplifies these characteristics and went on to give a powerful acceptance speech. The following is an excerpt from her remarks:  “ No one achieves success and greatness on their own. I am as good as my family, my community and my team. No matter how big your title is or what you chase in life, what I’ve learned in the last 14 months of my illness (dealing with long COVID) is that no one will remember you by your car, house, or bank account, but everyone will remember you by your kindness and how you make them feel or inspire them.”

    Technologist of the Year: Shadi Dayeh,  Professor at University of California San Diego PI of the Integrated Electronics and Biointerfaces Lab

    This award recognizes exceptional technical accomplishments with tangible impact on the advancement of technology/science. Professor Dayeh is well deserving of this honor with his work on improving epilepsy treatment. Professor Dayeh graced us with a touching poem that he had written before leaving Lebanon to go to the United States to pursue his masters and PhD. He also added, “We [the Lebanese diaspora] are a community that is defined by grit, our accomplishments are not shaped by our circumstances and we push ourselves beyond the limitations of our fear or ability in order to deliver.” 

    Entrepreneur of the Year: Karim Atiyeh, Co-Founder, CTO at Ramp

    This award recognizes an entrepreneur who is a part of the leadership team of a startup, reaching a major milestone (post series A) that puts the company on the radar screen of the US investor community.  Karim Atiyeh as the co-founder of one of New York City’s fastest growing startups, valued at $ 3.9B was most deserving of this award. Karim remarked on the power of the diaspora in the US in his acceptance speech, “It’s very nice to know that almost wherever you are in the US, there’s always a successful Lebanese person who left Lebanon when they were younger and shaped the terrain to help all of us succeed and I hope I'd be able to do the same thing for the next generation.”

    Philanthropists of the Year: Yalda Aoukar, Roy Baladi, and Neal ElJor Taouk, Co-Founders Jobs for Lebanon

    This award recognizes individuals who are active in service to Lebanon either through their efforts or donations. This year, we are excited to award this honor to three co-founders of Jobs for Lebanon who have built an amazing job platform to connect those in Lebanon with opportunities across the world. Roy credited this award to the entire team, “We have 40 volunteers. They stuck around for a year and a half to create jobs for Lebanese, it’s heartwarming. This award is for them. Today, we have 60,000 expats from 188 countries from New Zealand to Canada who have logged on to the site and created 3500 jobs in all industries. We have 100,000 Lebanese who logged on to the site, 15,000 who applied and 350 have landed jobs. Right now, one person a day on average is landing a job.”

    In her remarks, Neal reminded us of the power of collective effort. “When entire communities come together to bring a sustainable solution to what seems to be an impossible problem, that’s considered a movement. We all love our country and very deep down we do believe there’s something we can do to change the course of its destiny. This victory won’t be led by a single individual, there won’t be one single hero.”

    It was truly an honor to count all of these amazing individuals as members of the Lebanese diaspora. You give us great hope that with you as her children, Lebanon’s light will soon shine bright again.  

  • 01 Nov 2021 7:56 AM | Anonymous member

    Thursday October 21st marked the official launch of the Women in Tech (WIT) LebNet Community. WiT steering committee members, Layal Rouhana, Hala Jalwan, Aya Mouallem, and Karine Sarkissian planned an hour-long networking session focused around “What it Means to be a Great Leader.”

    Ten eager attendees logged in for an intimate virtual exchange. Upon collectively watching a short Ted Talk on the subject by Roselinde Torres, the group was divided into breakout rooms. The conversation was animated and exciting; each member shared their own views on elements that make a great leader. The outcomes that came through were truly motivating and inspiring. One of the teams focused the conversation on the importance of resilience and openness to change, while another discussed the effects of innovation. One of the teams even created a short presentation during their breakout room session featuring historical characters like Abraham Lincoln! However, there was one common link as all three teams seemed to agree on the main elements of preparedness and collaboration.

    While the premise of the event was focused around the subject of great leaders, the conversation remained fun and candid. The mix of attendees varied in age, experience level, and technology sectors. A truly memorable opportunity for the community to learn from one another and gain insights from fellow new friends and colleagues.

    What about you? What do you think makes a great leader?

  • 27 Oct 2021 8:15 AM | Anonymous member

    The LebNet New York community organized its first event on October 21st, 2021, drawing over 50 attendees at Vig Bar on the lower east side. 

    The evening was a success and followed a casual networking format. It was a great opportunity to gather Lebanese tech professionals in New York and share with them the community’s upcoming plans and activities. Many registrants were eager to learn more about LebNet and its plans for the upcoming year, especially the New York community, and the event was a great platform for that. 

    The post-pandemic event raised awareness to LebNet’s mission of enabling Tech Entrepreneurs and Professionals of Lebanese descent to come together and succeed on a global stage. The need for connection was palpable and the event did just that; fostering conversations around ideas and nurturing social impact initiatives for Lebanon. 

    Thursday night was not just about connecting people but rather connecting their ideas, challenges and opportunities. Looking forward to the next event because everything you want is truly a relationship away.” - Micaella, one of the attendees.  

    Another attendee echoed the need for strengthening the community through social impact across borders but specifically within Lebanon through access to tech webinars and specific programs.

    The LebNet New York steering committee.

    Some of the upcoming initiatives include a roundtable on November 2nd,2021 at the Lebanese American University (LAU) NY Campus to discuss partnerships between US tech companies and local Lebanese talent. Let’s keep this thing going!

    If you are a tech professional of Lebanese descent based in New York and interested in joining the community, send us an email at [email protected]  

  • 29 Sep 2021 4:08 PM | Anonymous member

    On September 23rd, LebNet hosted a webinar titled 'Surviving & Thriving Lebanese Companies' to shed light on the inspiring stories of three Lebanese founders that have, despite the tough business conditions in the country, managed to build an international name for their companies. 

    The webinar was a panel featuring Fadi Daou, CEO of Multilane, a high speed test and measurement (T&M) company based in Lebanon; Nisrine El Turky, Founder and CEO of Internet of Trees (IOTree), a tool that monitors and allows fruits to survive; and Charbel Rizk, Founder, CEO and CTO of Oculi, a deep-tech, fabless semiconductor company that produces architecture and product for AI and real-time video processing.

    The panel in the webinar was moderated by Fram Akiki, President at Joun Technologies. Watch the short video recap or the full webinar below. 

    Video recap:

    Full webinar:

  • 26 Aug 2021 12:48 AM | Anonymous member

    On August 13, 14, and 15, 2021, the All Girls Code team ran a summer program called Techsplore, to train and introduce young girls to the applications of coding and programming. All Girls Code is an award-winning, student-led initiative, based at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at AUB, that has welcomed more than 600 young girls from different regions in Lebanon to its free-of-charge STEM programs since its inception in 2017.

    During the program, LebNet’s Women in Tech (WiT) and Early in Career (EIC) communities gave two virtual workshops covering CV writing and landing internships in the tech field for young girls in Beirut. The sessions were led by Aya Mouallem, WiT Outreach Program Lead, Electrical Engineering PhD Student at Stanford University, and co-founder of All Girls Code, and by Yara Akiki, EIC Community Outreach Program Lead and Software Engineer at Robinhood. The workshops covered the top programming skills sought after today and the common mistakes of CV writing. 

    Despite the power outage crisis in Lebanon, 106 girls attended the workshops proving yet again their extreme focus on education and a better future.  

    “When I signed up for AGC, I didn’t know that you could learn so much in three days. We were introduced to many successful women from the MENA who are paving the way for other women in STEM. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to talk to co-founder and Stanford scholar Aya Mouallem as well as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, Yara Akiki,” said Halla Daas, one of the participants in the program. “They guided us through CV writing, landing internships, and working or doing research during undergrad. The session was beneficial like no other. I would definitely come back next year to meet other driven like-minded girls. Thank you AGC!”

    LebNet strongly believes in the importance of supporting the Lebanese youth back home and especially these high school girls who demonstrated great technical knowledge and a lot of ambition for building sustainable futures in tech. We look forward to continued partnerships and collaborations on programs that empower and benefit our Lebanese youth.

    “This is my first year volunteering with All Girls Code from abroad. As an AUB student, I was fortunate enough to co-found and lead this initiative for 4 years with a bunch of AUB students, and it means the world to me to see AGC continue to flourish and empower more girls with different socio-economic backgrounds, especially through a collaboration with LebNet,” said Mouallem. “I was very impressed with the calibre of questions I received during the workshops, and I’m truly hoping that these young girls maintain their strong drive to persist through the current hardships in Lebanon, and that they get a fair chance to follow their ambitions in tech back home.”

  • 15 Apr 2021 3:19 AM | Anonymous member

    It has been over two decades since the last Arab company traded on the NASDAQ.

    Anghami made history on March 3, 2021 by announcing a merger with NASDAQ-listed SPAC Vistas Media Acquisition Company (VMAC*). The landmark merger partnership with VMAC will position Anghami as the first Lebanese and Arab tech company to list on NASDAQ through a SPAC. The Anghami IPO is expected to close in mid-June and Anghami will trade on NASDAQ under the ticker ANGH.

    *Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. (NASDAQ: VMAC,, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company.

    Since its inception in 2012, this music live streaming platform has harnessed  over 50 million active users and has 1 billion streams a month. Anghami started with a meeting in a coffee shop in Lebanon between longtime business partners Elie Habib and Eddy Maroun. 

    “We’ve been partners for 21 years and we wanted to try something new. There was no iTunes in the region until 2015, so for many people in the Middle East we came first, which is a very good place to be,” said co-founder and CTO Elie during a panel discussion hosted by LebNet on April 10, 2021. 

    “We’re friends and we complement each other with our backgrounds, experience and character. It’s very good to have two founders,” added co-founder and CEO Eddy. 

    The panel hosted by LebNet and moderated by Hala Jalwan, manager at Google, covered Anghami’s successful journey from inception to IPO, going over the technology and future plans. In addition to the Anghami founders, the panel was joined by Rabih Khoury - Managing Partner and Chief Exit Officer at MEVP, a MENA-focused VC firm and Anghami’s earliest investor - and Abdo George Kadifa, Managing Director at Sumeru Equity Partners and LebNet’s Chairman. Kadifa gave an overview on SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies), which is the vehicle by which Anghami is going public. 

    Below are the main highlights from the events and you can always watch the livestream on our YouTube channel here

    Hala: When Anghami pitched to MEVP, what was the impression and why did you decide to invest?  

    Rabih: We are privileged to have partnered with Anghami on their Seed, Series A and B rounds. One key highlight I remember from our meeting is that they are complementary: two co-founders, the introvert and extrovert, the media and tech guy. They had taken a loan on their residences to get the first streaming license from Rotana, which takes a lot of guts and trust in their ability. It’s one of MEVP's top companies. 

    Hala: What are your future plans for the MENA region and the diaspora?  

    Eddy: There’s a lot to be done in the Middle East because it’s still a big and under-penetrated market. We also have plans to target the diaspora. This is a market of 100 million people that would be interested to have content that brings them back to their home. The plan is to go to emerging markets in South Asia and Africa. We also want to produce content due to the lack of Arabic content and the high demand for it.

    We’re also going into new verticals:

    • Re-inventing the radio: any artist can be a radio host and interact with their own fan base. 
    • Virtual concerts: create a platform for artists to host concerts and monetize 
    • Investing in MENA’s youth: 50% of the audience in the MENA are youth and have a huge consumption for media and entertainment 
    Elie: We created payment logistics across the Middle East. We invested to create a network of 36 telcos and plugged them directly into our platform as a way to solve the issue of multiple credit card types. We also allowed artists to self-produce. We did not invest much in marketing. Since inception, we only raised 26 million Dollars. What we’re now raising in the IPO is roughly 4 times as much to spend first on marketing, then on content and R&D. 

    Hala: What are SPACs?
    Abdo George: Public markets have seen in the past some fundamentals that have created the SPAC movement. The first fundamental is that a lot of public companies are going private through private equity firms (a third of publicly listed tech companies have gone from public to private). Second there’s a price valuation difference between the public and the private markets: you can be valued much higher on the public markets. 

    Third is with the way interest rates are: there’s a significant appetite for investors to invest in equities vs in fixed income instruments. 

    You put the three together you get how the SPAC movement is created. It’s trying to enable public investors to have access to good companies and get returns. In the first quarter of this year, the SPAC movement saw a massive influx of investment. This is good for a company like Anghami.

    Rabih: Anghami should have gone public on the local market but the Middle East is not one country. Digital is on the rise but our local public markets don’t really reflect the real economy. The SPAC was the optimal solution for Anghami considering the region. Going public through a SPAC is not easy. Our partner VMAC is a 100 million Dollar SPAC focused on investing in streaming companies in Emerging Markets so we’re a bit away from the high volatility of the US SPAC space.

    Hala: Why an IPO not a VC round? 

    Elie: By doing an IPO, we’re allowing the VCs to exit and profit and it gives us the independence to keep growing the company while remaining at the helm. We still want to build more and have Anghami become a multi-billion Dollar company.

    Eddy: We have a vision to become a media platform that can go global but we want to maintain the footprint of an Arabic company going global. 

    Hala: What is the technology behind Anghami?

    Elie: Anghami is a streaming, payment and artist platform. Everything was built in-house by 70 engineers, but back then we built everything with a team of under 50 engineers. All of that was built in Beirut and 90% of the people were junior. We recruited people and taught them and we had our own academy. We have so much talent in Lebanon if we know how to work with it. It’s great raw talent. Our company will always grow its office in Lebanon but we had to move our HQ to Abu Dhabi in the UAE to benefit from the diversity. 

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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