Over dinner at Tannourine restaurant in San Mateo California LebNet’s members gathered on December 10 to catch up, be informed about recent activities to help the tech sector in Lebanon and meet the winner of LebNet’s Bireme award for Entrepreneur of the Year 2019.
LebNet Chairman Abdo George Kadifa kicked off the evening by listing key achievements in 2019:
- 403 new members and 21 events in 2019
- 4 new communities (Montreal, Vancouver, Arizona and Toronto)
- Two signed MOU’s with the American University of Beirut and with Endeavor
- 11 original articles on the blog and new content series: “10 Questions With…”
- 4 new Lebanese startups hosted in Silicon Valley as part of LebNet Ignite 7th edition
Call-to-action for Lebanon
LebNet’s CEO George Akiki announced the launch of ‘Outsource Lebanon’, a call-to-action project to help save the tech sector in Lebanon.
“We’re urging our members to consider outsourcing jobs, projects and services to Lebanon. We have vetted a few companies with a proven track record that can provide engineering services competitively and with high quality,” said Akiki during his speech. “But we’re not stopping here. You can also send work over to Lebanon for other services ranging from accounting to market research to branding and lots of graphic design work. We’re accumulating a list of freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Nabbesh on our website and we challenge all of you to take a leap of faith and dispatch a few projects to Lebanon to keep people employed there in these trying times.”
LebNet’s Bireme award for Entrepreneur of the Year 2019
The event awarded Andre Haddad, the CEO of peer-to-peer car sharing company Turo, the LebNet’s Bireme award for Entrepreneur of the Year 2019.
“In 2011, Andre joined Turo which is considered to be the AirBnB of cars. It is the dominant player in its space and is now valued at more than a Billion dollars after raising this last summer $250 million in a series E round, which pushed it into unicorn territory,” said Akiki. “When Andre joined Turo in 2011, Turo was in 2 cities, now they are in 4 countries and over 5,000 cities.”
Read more about Andre Haddad’s early beginning and journey to success in this article.
The award symbolises the bireme, an ancient ship with two decks of oars, designed and used by the Phoenicians.
“We picked this symbol as a representation of our plight as a Diaspora traveling away from our country of origin to faraway lands, succeeding in our fields of expertise and representing the best that our heritage can offer but always looking back and hoping for those ships to return and dock home again,” concluded Akiki.
We added all the event’s photos on LebNet’s Flickr account. Visit this link to check them out.