March 23, 2016

Startup Ecosystem Megaphone, by Samer Karam

Hello and welcome to STEM (STartup Ecosystem Megaphone), a series of short, plain-text weekly updates about the Lebanese startup ecosystem.

In this STEM, I’ll be covering Startups On A Plane’s Dubai & Tehran Trip, Krimston TWO’s Kickstarter Launch, UNICEF & Techfugees’ Youth Innovation Workshop, and Startup Megaphone’s London Entrepreneurs Dinner.

On April 3, Startups On A Plane (SOAP, a Startup Megaphone initiative), is taking a delegation of 25 key Lebanese entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem stakeholders to Dubai and Tehran, to explore the region’s biggest markets.

In Dubai, April 3 – 5, SOAP has partnered with Step Conference – as the Exclusive Yacht Partner – to provide the Lebanese delegation with a high profile networking platform and a series of exclusive activities, ensuring unparalleled exposure and visibility in the sea of 6,000+ attendees. If you’re attending, make sure you drop by the SOAP Yacht that’s docked in the marina.

In Tehran, April 6 – 8, SOAP has partnered with local startups, VCs, accelerators, and support institutions, including SaravaAvatechDigikalaCafe Bazaar, and Hamfekr to provide the Lebanese delegation with a comprehensive view of the Iranian startup ecosystem, and the unprecedented opportunities arising from the lifting of sanctions in 2016.
If you’d like to take part in Startups On A Plane, apply here:
(we’ve got a few seats available for non-Lebanese / Lebanon based individuals)

In other news, Krimston, a Lebanese hardware startup, just launched its first product (Krimston TWO) on Kickstarter. Unlike most Kickstarter campaigns, Krimston has actually finished developing and prototyping the TWO, with the campaign designed to ramp up pre-orders rather than test the market – this drastically lowers the ‘crowdfunding risk’, thus facilitating participation. The TWO is the world’s first smart dual SIM case for the iPhone. Check it out here:

Meanwhile, UNICEF and Techfugees successfully wrapped up their 3-Day Innovation Workshop in Beirut, having brought together local youth organizations, the startup community, and international experts to design a “Youth Innovation Program” to boost the entrepreneurial talent of Syrian, Palestinian and and Lebanese youth living in Lebanon. Mike Butcher, Editor-at-Large of TechCrunch, and a dozen of international experts flew in to lead, facilitate, and participate in the workshop. Some photos from the workshop: Follow:@UNICEFLebanon & @Techfugees

In closing, London’s 1st Lebanese Entrepreneurs Dinner MC’ed by Mike Butcher and hosted by Startup Megaphone, was held on Wednesday March 9 2016 at a Lebanese restaurant in West London. It brought together 24 entrepreneurs, investors, and ecosystem stakeholders with a vested interest in Lebanon’s startup ecosystem. The evening ended with a collective desire to reinforce the Lebanese entrepreneurs in London community with regular dinners, gatherings, and inclusive activities. Photos from the dinner can be found here: