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  • 09 Jul 2024 12:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Building on the success of LIFE's Pitch Nights in Dubai, Paris, and most recently, London, LebNet and LIFE are delighted to announce their partnership to launch their first pitch night in New York! This event marks a significant milestone as we give the floor to talented Lebanese entrepreneurs in the United States.

    The event is taking place on Thursday 17 October and aims to offer support and guidance to Lebanese entrepreneurs based in the US or with a US presence, while facilitating networking opportunities and connections with potential investors. We intend to select up to 10 startups to participate in this exciting opportunity.

    If you are a Lebanese entrepreneur or know someone interested in applying, complete this Google Form by Friday 30 August. If you have any inquiries, please contact [email protected].

    Due to the large number of applications we receive, we regret that we are unable to provide individual feedback to those who are not selected.

    Eligibility criteria for start-ups:

    ✅ At least one Lebanese founder

    ✅Startup based in the US or with a US presence

    ✅Tech startup or tech-enabled

    Information to include in the pitch deck:

    1. Executive summary (Elevator pitch)

    2. Presentation of founder(s) profile and key management members

    3. Product overview and value proposition

    4. Timeline and traction to date

    5. Business model: revenue streams, pricing model

    6. Go-to-market strategy, growth strategy and sales/distribution model

    7. Operating model: capabilities, assets, infrastructure (IT/technology)

    8. Market opportunity: market size and historical evolution, growth drivers, and market growth forecast

    9. Competition: an overview of the competitive landscape, your positioning, and key differentiators

    10. Performance and financial KPIs: revenue, gross/net margins, number of users/customers acquired to date

    11. Business plan: Growth plan and expansion strategy, revenue forecast, P&L forecast

    12. Your ‘ask’ for funding: how much are you raising, what form (SAFE/Priced Round), basic use of funds, and any existing investors you want to mention?

  • 02 Jan 2024 9:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join us in welcoming Maria Salame Karam - LebNet’s Communication Director!

    In this key position, Maria will play a pivotal role in shaping and executing LebNet’s communication plans and strategies. 

    Maria brings a wealth of expertise, holding an MBA and degrees in Information Technology, Training and Development, and Talent Coaching. Her diverse career journey, transitioning from a software analyst to a management consultant, reflects her adaptability and proficiency.  

    Specializing in change management, strategy, and corporate training, Maria is deeply committed to ongoing learning and development.  She is actively engaged in mentoring young graduates in Lebanon and supporting new MBA students at The University of Manchester in Dubai.  

    LebNet anticipates achieving new heights under her leadership!

    Welcome to Ghida Tabesh - LebNet's Communication specialist!

    Ghida Tabesh, an Advertising graduate from the Lebanese International University, embodies a curious mind and a creative spirit.  Eager to evolve as an advertiser and marketer, Ghida is poised to contribute invaluable skills to LebNet.  Armed with enthusiasm, and a readiness to immerse herself in the LebNet community, Ghida aims to establish connections with LebNeters and play a pivotal role in elevating the LebNet website and enhancing its social media presence. Her commitment and fresh perspective are set to propel our marketing efforts to new heights.

  • 02 Jan 2024 9:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear LebNet Members and Friends, 

    As we bid farewell to another year, I am filled with gratitude and pride for our community. This year, our organization has truly embodied the spirit of collective power, marking a significant expansion in our reach with new chapters across the United States and Canada. This growth is more than just an increase in numbers; it signifies a crucial inflection point. 

    This inflection point comes at a very critical time, where our community, both here and back home, is being tested yet again. We recognize that with our strength comes an increased responsibility to create a real and lasting impact. 

    In line with this, we've strategically focused on scaling programs we know have made a difference in the past, to catalyze, empower, and inspire. 

    Catalyze: Initiatives like internships and job referrals have been key in catalyzing the start of careers for our members, providing them with practical opportunities to apply their skills and aiding their professional growth and development. 

    Empower: Our Fellowship and mentorship programs have been pivotal in empowering individuals, offering transformative experiences that shape careers and lives, and fostering a new generation of leaders and innovators. 

    Inspire: Through the Bireme Awards, we have set a standard of excellence, inspiring our community by celebrating exceptional achievements and identifying role models who embody the ideals we aspire to. 

    I invite you to engage with us if you haven't already. Believing in bottom-up community building, we are fortunate to have many of you support us and take leadership of initiatives. 

    Thank you for your support and commitment.  Wishing you a successful and peaceful 2024!

  • 16 Oct 2023 10:41 AM | Anonymous member

    This letter is written by Aya Mouallem - Electrical Engineering PhD Candidate at Stanford University and Founder and Director of the LebNet Tech Fellows Program - to announce the launch of the fellowship’s second run. It is also a call to action to recruit young Lebanese talent to join the program. For more information about the LebNet Tech Fellows program, offerings, and eligibility, please visit Applications are open until November 17, 2023. For inquiries, please reach out to [email protected].

    The fellowship program this year is led by Hussein Mozannar (MIT), Lama Ahmad (OpenAI), Mariam Dabboussi (Google), Jeanine Akiki (LebNet), and Mouallem. For an overview of the program’s impact on its inaugural cohort, watch this 1-minute inspiring video here

    I am absolutely thrilled to announce that we are currently welcoming applications for our second cohort of LebNet Tech Fellows, a transformative program that I had the privilege of founding and piloting last year. The resounding success of our inaugural run underscored the urgent need to expand our fellowship’s reach to impact more students across Lebanon. This year, we will need your invaluable help and support to ensure that the fellowship offerings live up to the high caliber of standards and goals that define LebNet and our efforts.

    I’m a student, engineer, and researcher by training, and a proud Lebanese citizen by birth. As the only person in my extended family to pursue a degree in technology, I experienced firsthand the dire need for support, mentorship, and guidance regarding critical next steps throughout my undergraduate studies: from choosing the right mix of courses, to approaching professors for research opportunities, to seeking and landing internships. As an engineer, I realized that university curricula in Lebanon, while outstanding at nurturing technical skills, fall short in preparing students for the transition from the academy to becoming engineers in the professional world. The ability to interact effectively with clients and colleagues, craft compelling pitches, and sustainably nurture one’s ambitions remains an elusive skillset, even for the most promising graduates. While education curricula in Lebanon offer solid foundations in diverse technical fields, they often lack connections and access to the most recent developments and most in-demand skills and roles in industry. Finally, as a researcher focusing on scaling technology literacy, I am very well aware of the hidden curriculum in technology majors at universities in Lebanon: a set of resources, experiences, pieces of advice, and opportunities that are only accessible to a small network of students who have the right family and friends’ connections.

    I am one of thousands of LebNet members who have carved their paths into careers in technology worldwide, with an unwavering commitment to serve Lebanese youth who are as interested in such careers, and who are unable to access the resources that we’ve harnessed. We founded the LebNet Tech Fellows program to empower the next generation of Lebanese technologists with the skills needed to successfully explore and transition into career and higher studies in technology, with unwavering willingness to give back to Lebanon throughout their careers. The fellowship will encompass a curated series of workshops, panels with Lebanese technology leaders and luminaries, and a wealth of resources and opportunities, including access to networking and internship pipelines. These offerings ensure that fellows graduate from the program ready to proactively and boldly confront the ever-evolving global technological landscape.

    We are seeking remarkable young Lebanese talent to nurture into future technology leaders in Lebanon, the region, and the world. We hope you will join us in spreading the word about the fellowship, volunteering your time to mentor our fellows and share your invaluable life experiences, and extending internships or networking opportunities to complement our comprehensive fellowship offerings. The incredible generosity of LebNet donors and subscribers had enabled the pilot and launch of the fellowship. With additional contributions, you will enable the program to provide financial support to the fellows as well, offering micro-scholarships, funds for community projects, and access to certificates and learning materials that have become a luxury for students in Lebanon amidst the country’s economic turmoil.

    Last year, 96% of our fellows acquired new skills, significantly enhanced existing ones, and experienced a profound surge in their sense of belonging to technical fields and confidence in pursuing careers in technology. The fellows unanimously strongly endorsed the program to future applicants. We envision tackling even greater heights this year, and we believe that your increased support for the LebNet Tech Fellows program will translate into far-reaching impact, extending our reach to more deserving, incredibly talented students in Lebanon facing unprecedented socioeconomic challenges.

    Consider supporting this initiative by subscribing or donating to LebNet.

  • 13 Oct 2023 9:06 AM | Anonymous member

    Starting a few years ago as a modest Early in Career (EIC) community for young professionals, the community has rapidly evolved into one of LebNet's most active communities. Presently, it boasts over 150 members and hosts regular webinars and networking events. This article's first segment will spotlight the remarkable women who form the community's steering committee, delving into their journey, ambitions, and plans for LebNet.

    Stephanie Ferzli, EIC Community Lead and Emerging Mobility Planner at HNTB

    Stephanie has a Bachelor in Engineering in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering focused on Transportation and City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. In her current role, she concentrates on emerging mobility and transportation technologies, such as electric, automated, and connected vehicles, alongside other innovative mobility strategies and solutions. The most rewarding aspect of her job is contributing to the transformation of cities and communities toward a more efficient and sustainable future in transportation.

    “LebNet provides a valuable platform for supporting and connecting Lebanese professionals in tech-related industries. I wanted to be a part of this mission and contribute my insights and experiences to guide the organization's efforts,” said Stephanie about the reason she joined the EIC committee. Her future goals involve facilitating networking, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities for young Lebanese tech professionals early in their careers. She expressed excitement about expanding their scholarship program to aid more young Lebanese individuals pursuing graduate studies in tech in North America. Drawing from her own experience, she highlighted the profound impact such initiatives can have on individuals' aspirations and dreams, emphasizing the value of Lebanese supporting fellow Lebanese.

    Stephanie's advice to fellow professionals is to “be bold and don't be afraid to take chances and embark on new opportunities when they come your way. Moving to the United States on my own four years ago was challenging, but I found something really exciting and rewarding in throwing myself into the unknown and having to figure things out on my own in a completely new environment, location, and culture.” 

    Rebecca Adaimi, Machine Learning Data Scientist at OURA

    Rebecca has a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. In her current role as a Machine Learning Data Scientist at OURA, she dives into vast amounts of data, uncovers valuable insights, and builds new algorithms that help people take charge of their health and well-being. “It's incredibly fulfilling to know that the work I do has a real-world application and contributes to individuals improving their quality of life.”

    Rebecca has a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. In her current role as a Machine Learning Data Scientist at OURA, she dives into vast amounts of data, uncovers valuable insights, and builds new algorithms that help people take charge of their health and well-being. “It's incredibly fulfilling to know that the work I do has a real-world application and contributes to individuals improving their quality of life.”

    Rebecca acknowledged that one of the most challenging aspects of her journey, akin to many Lebanese individuals, was leaving her family in Lebanon to move to Austin. The transition posed significant challenges, including homesickness and adapting to a new environment and culture. Nevertheless, these experiences were pivotal in her professional growth, shaping her into a resilient and determined individual. Rebecca aspires to be a leader in machine learning and data science, pioneering research initiatives to leverage emerging AI techniques and shaping the future of health technology. Her motivation to join the EIC committee stems from her desire to provide the support she wished she had during her early years in the U.S.

    Her future plans for the community encompass a focus on mentorship, networking, connectivity, and skill development through workshops. She aims to actively engage with young professionals, offering mentorship and guidance to navigate the challenges encountered at the outset of their careers. Rebecca's advice to young professionals is to remain focused, curious, and hungry for knowledge, seeking projects and roles that align with their passions, embracing failure, and giving back to the community.

    Teresa Bismar, Associate Managing Consultant at MasterCard

    Teresa has a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering from AUB and an MBA from the University of Toronto. ​​In her current capacity as an Associate Managing Consultant at Mastercard, she collaborates with diverse clients across various industries and sectors to help solve their business problems. Teresa's motivation to join the EIC community arises from her desire to support fellow Lebanese individuals in their journeys. She sees LebNet as an ideal platform to aid young adults of Lebanese descent in succeeding both regionally and globally.  

    Teresa's plans for the community involve guiding and supporting young professionals in the tech sector, particularly in Canada where she is based, with a focus on mentoring. She advises individuals, akin to her own journey, to always stay curious, network, and learn from the experiences and career paths of other professionals.

    In the second part of this series, we will delve into the backgrounds and aspirations of the other EIC steering committee members. If you are a young professional with five years or less of work experience in the tech field, of Lebanese descent, and residing in North America, we encourage you to join our community so we can offer you assistance and support in your career.

  • 13 Apr 2023 10:19 AM | Anonymous member

    On April 6th, 2023, Fadel Partners Inc, the New York-based developer of media rights and royalty management software, started trading on the AIM market in London and it raised about GBP8.0 million, 6.7% higher than GBP7.5 million it had expected, according to Morning Star

    After the initial public offering on April 6th, the company’s share rose from 144 pence to 147 pence and the market capitalization after the IPO was 2.1% higher (GBP29.4 million) than what the company anticipated (around GBP28.8 million), according to the same source. Fadel Partners will be using the raised funds to invest in marketing, and research & development to innovate and develop its products.

    (Image via Fadel Partners Inc.)

    “We’re excited to have reached another significant milestone at FADEL,” said founder and CEO Tarek Fadel in a statement to LebNet. “Listing the company on the London Stock Exchange will allow us to continue to globally support our blue-chip customer base, further invest in product innovations and help accelerate our go to market plans, both in the US and Europe.”

    Fadel Partners Inc. employs around 100 people in Lebanon in its R&D and Services divisions and is led by Tarek Fadel, a longtime LebNet member and supporter. LebNet congratulates Tarek Fadel and Fadel Partners Inc and is proud of their accomplishments! 

  • 31 Aug 2022 10:00 AM | Anonymous member

    LebNet signed a memorandum of understanding with Outerpond, an online business opportunity ecosystem, to enable cross-border business opportunities between service providers in Lebanon and service seekers in North America. 

    “LebNet is excited about this partnership with Outerpond and looking forward to creating more opportunities for North America and Lebanon,” said Jeanine Akiki, LebNet’s Executive Director.   

    Together, Outerpond and LebNet will promote cross-border business opportunities, enable interconnections between providers in Lebanon through Outerpond and seekers through the LebNet network, which might lead to strategic partnerships, and organize joint online events to promote Lebanon as an outsourcing hub.

    “We are thrilled by the partnership with LebNet which will create numerous collaboration opportunities between Lebanon based SMEs and North American tech companies.” 

    Outerpond recently received support from USAID’s Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) project to help the development of their platform and help increase the exports of Lebanese goods and services.

  • 10 Aug 2022 10:00 AM | Anonymous member

    LebNet's 2022 Summer Internship Program featured over 15 internship opportunities, open for Lebanese students based in the US, Canada and Lebanon. Most of the featured internships have been closed or filled and you can find more information about the companies and how to reach out to us for future internships by visiting this page

    Cynthia Obeid and Sary Yehia were part of our program. This is what they had to say about their experience with LebNet. 

  • 10 May 2021 6:42 AM | Anonymous member

    Lebanon has proved over the years to be a great test bed for scalable tech startups, given its small market size and large pool of talent. 

    Such is true for Ostaz, a private tutoring matching platform that started in Lebanon in 2016 with plans to scale globally after its recent acquisition by Inspired Education Group, a global group of premium schools. 

    Founded by three inspiring women, Audrey Nakad, Zeina Sultani Nakad and Sibylle Nakad, Ostaz - previously known as Synkers - built a name for itself by solving the problem of finding qualified private tutors and supporting students throughout their academic journey, starting from school to official exams and college admission. Today, the platform features over 1,000 qualified tutors and has completed over 90,000 tutoring sessions by working with around 50 schools and universities. 

    Ostaz cofounders Zeina Sultani Nakad, Audrey Nakad and Sibylle Nakad 

    The startup’s original name Synkers was changed to Ostaz, which means ‘teacher’ in Arabic, because it resonates well internationally and it is easy to remember, as explained by co-founder and CEO Audrey. 

    To validate their idea early on, the team joined Speed accelerator to receive an initial funding and build a viable product to showcase traction. During its acceleration period, Audrey flew to California to participate in the third edition of LebNet Ignite, a residential program launched by LebNet and designed to immerse Lebanese startup founders in the Silicon Valley culture. The program’s edition was done in partnership with Speed and BlackBox Connect. 

    “LebNet Ignite was the best experience ever. We had access to people we can never have access to in Lebanon. The Lebanese market is in need of more role models and success stories they can look up to and seek advice from,” said Audrey in a previous statement given to LebNet. 

    Small Middle Eastern Startup Going Global 

    Shortly after joining Speed, the startup gained traction in universities via word of mouth and soon after became known in several top Lebanese universities. Following its graduation from Speed In 2017, it closed its first seed funding with Phoenician Funds. By September 2020, it raised a $1.8M Pre-Series A funding round, led by Dr. Lama and Dalia Al Sulaiman, 500 Startups, Phoenician Funds, iSME Kafalat, Mulcan International, Seeders, CE-Ventures, and Dubai Angel Investors. 

    Aside from Lebanon, the platform currently operates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).  

    In April 2021, the founders announced the acquisition of Ostaz by Inspired Education Group for an undisclosed amount. “They [Inspired Education Group] recently launched their online school and focus on premium education and we were really honored when they approached us to work with us and then acquire us,” said co-founder and CMO Zeina during an interview with Ostaz. 

    The recent acquisition will allow the Lebanese startup to expand its operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and elsewhere. “We will still focus on MENA, mainly GCC and Egypt. We will start our global expansion in Europe this upcoming academic year. Our target markets are the UK, Spain, and Italy,” said Audrey. 

    Such great news coming out of a small country riddled with conflict and crises is truly a breath of fresh air and encouraging for many struggling Lebanese entrepreneurs. It is also  proof that hard working Lebanese will always shine everywhere. 

  • 23 Mar 2021 3:28 AM | Anonymous member

    In October 2019, Lemonade Fashion was one of the four startups that flew from Lebanon to San Francisco to attend a 5-week bootcamp powered by Draper University, as part of LebNet’s Ignite program.

    In January 2021, online designer marketplace with made-to-measure technology, Lemonade Fashion received financing of $300,000 from a syndication by seven LebNet members, with plans to raise additional funds to complete the seed round from VCs in the US and GCC to further expand its presence in Dubai and scale to San Francisco in the next six months, where the startup is incorporated.

    “We had a really good relationship with LebNet. We were in San Francisco, met with LebNet members there and stayed in touch. [...] LebNet decided they wanted to help us grow,” said Arthur Bizdikian, co-founder and CEO at Lemonade Fashion. With the raised amount, the team will use the money to expand to new markets, develop a mobile application, uplift the quality of designs, focus on marketing and partnerships and put together an ambassador program.

    Since its graduation from LebNet Ignite and after receiving funding from Draper University Ventures right afterwards, Lemonade Fashion grew from 5 to 18 employees, enlisted over 150 designers on the platform and featured over 3,500 items. The Lebanese startup was initially discovered, funded and supported by tech accelerator Speed, which  sponsored Lemonade Fashion's participation in LebNet Ignite in San Francisco. 

    "Lemonade Fashion made quite an impression on our LebNet mentors when in November 2019 Arthur attended the Ignite bootcamp in Silicon Valley. We felt compelled to help in the fundraising for such a promising Lebanese startup. We are very grateful to our members who took part of the syndication and we're assuming our board seat representation resolutely and with the utmost dedication,” said George Akiki, CEO and co-founder of LebNet.

    In 2020, the marketplace - which connects emerging designers all over the world to clients looking for bespoke fashion clothing to fit them from the comfort of their home - saw a 2000% growth over the year, with a 400% growth in the last quarter only, according to Bizdikian. “We’ve been able to manage and maintain that momentum in Q1, 2021. We know much better what we do today. We handpick the designers, the photoshoot and content creation and this builds trust with our clients.”

    Lemonade Fashion keeps adding new collections and helps more local and international designers sell their designs globally. Its current run rate is $500,000 per year and the co-founder hopes to grow the number by five to six times by the end of the year.

    “We’re very happy with our growth and the partnerships we were able to build with LebNet. We’re excited about 2021. This is a very important year for us and we are glad we have the right people to back us up,” he concluded. 

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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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