After three weeks of intensive training and innovative sessions with inspiring Syrian startups, Jusoor celebrates the completion of its first Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Beirut Lebanon.
The Jusoor Entrepreneurship Bootcamp started during the second week of May following the Jusoor Entrepreneurship Competition, which selected top ten teams of aspiring Syrian entrepreneurs to further develop their ideas and startup experiences.
Dania Ismail, Jusoor Board Member and Entrepreneurship Program Director shares the outcome of the three weeks stating “We’re very happy to see the massive improvements in the teams presentations and pitches, the Jusoor Bootcamp truly helped these startups learn and gain exposure. Ultimately, the Entrepreneurship Program was able to recharge Syrian youth with hope and open new prospects to them.”
Sponsored by Asfari Foundation, the bootcamp compromised a three week program hosted by Oasis500 trainers covering topics including ‘How to Start Your Own Business, Building A Business Model, Financial Study, Business Valuation, and the Art of Pitching’.
The teams arrived in Lebanon, eager excited to learn and gain information on how to develop their businesses. Ideas ranged from innovative education platforms, transportation solutions, recycling building material to healthcare mobile applications and upcycled glassware interior products.
The sessions took place in Beirut Digital District, an all-inclusive community that is the center for incubator and accelerator parks designed to host innovative startups and medium and large enterprises in Lebanon. Beirut Digital District offered the Jusoor Entrepreneurship bootcamp a fully facilitated venue with state-of-the-art infrastructure with value added services – the ideal environment that will fuel the growth of startups.
Faisal Al Bitar, Investment Analyst with Oasis 500 concluded the workshop with advice and mentorship on pitching techniques, expressing his experience, Faisal shares, “I was amazed of the work and progress that they made coming from the situation they are facing; regardless, they were able to gather information and data where it does not exist and were able to come up with innovative solutions that are customized to fit their communities.”
Ahmad Sufian Bayram, MENA Regional Manager with UP Global, joined the Jusoor Entrepreneurship Program as an ambassador, was responsible for coordinating the bootcamp in Beirut, Ahmad shares his thoughts, “We are trying to engage startup communities by exposing the teams to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Beirut and showing them what the city has to offer.”
Tarek Sheikh AlShabab, founder of Bitcode and one of the participating teams, shares his experience, “It was great to meet other startups in Lebanon and see how other entrepreneurs have faced difficulties and overcame them. The bootcamp changed out entirely ideology, our vision was very limited and our target market was small. Jusoor showed us that we should think big. I felt as a completely different person walking out after the third week.”
Guests speakers at the bootcamp included Adnan Tarabishy, the CEO of Professional Development Institute and co-founder of Second Step. Throughout the bootcamp, the teams also visited the offices of Zoomal, a crowdfunding platform out of the region, Swell marketing Solutions, a Syrian startup focused on Marketing Solutions, and AltCity, a co-working space and accelerator in the heart of Beirut. Lastly the Jusoor leadership team shared their own insights. Rania Succar, Co-Founder and Board Member sparked hope and inspiration within the teams, sharing her experience with successful Syrians and providing the entrepreneurs an array of resources.
On the last day, the bootcamp hosted successful Syrian entrepreneurs to share their stories and advice with the teams, Majid Lababidi Co-Founder and Managing Director at Fi Technologies spoke of resilience in the face of hardships, and Lojain Jibawi, Founder of Votek Arabic speech recognition engine shared his experience taking a tech startup from Syria to the Gulf and growing internationally.
The teams participating in the 1st Jusoor Entrepreneurship Bootcamp are:
AdZone – Anmar Darwish
Aprecademy – Mohammad Hussein Murtada
ArtAfif – Wessam Muases and Ramia Suleiman
BitCode – Tarek Sheikh Al Shabab
Darati – Sana Hawasly and May Massijeh
Khedny M3ak – Samer Al Shatta and Mohlam Mahmoud
Phoenix Logistics – Hakim Al Sharif
Resource Investment Operation – Tarek Sakkal and Khaled Akkad
Sahtak – Khadoun Al Hindi and Ahmad Al Hindi
Sfkat – Yaman Al Tareh and Mohammed Al Juboori
Oasis500 is a leading early stage and seed investment company, the first of its kind in Jordan and the MENA region. Programs at Oasis500 includes entrepreneurship training, mentorship guidance, business incubation and additional follow-up investment and funding if required, turning new business ideas into startups and helping existing entrepreneurs grow their companies with our angel investor and mentor networks. Oasis500 nurtures creative ideas in Information Technology (IT), Mobile and Digital Media, transforming them into startup companies.
About The Asfari Foundation
The Asfari Foundation aims to help young people make a valuable contribution to society by empowering them through education, research and the power of free thinking. The Foundation support programmes that encourage the development of civil society, as well as providing humanitarian relief in emergencies. The Foundation choose partners carefully to ensure they can deliver to those most in need. We work with partners who work with all beneficiaries in need without bias based on gender, religion, politics, and ethnicity, age or (dis)ability. The Foundation works in the UK and the Arab world, particularly in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.
The Foundation was established in 2006 by Sawsan and Ayman Asfari and is based in London. It is funded by the Asfari family and has five Trustees.