FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 12/09/2019
The competition for Syrian-led startups in has just started at Beirut Digital District, kicking off a 5-day bootcamp where the two top startups in the country will reach the semi-finals. The roadshow will then continue on to Amman, Erbil, Istanbul and Gaziantep, to conclude in Amsterdam, where the three regional winners will pitch during the SPARK Ignite conference.
Beirut, September 12th. The world’s first competition for Syrian entrepreneurs in the Middle East, the Startup Roadshow, has just taken off at the heart of Beirut’s innovative space, the Beirut Digital District.
Twenty selected startups led by Syrian entrepreneurs are battling it out for the semi-finals of this competition, which will see 5 different bootcamps and pitching events in Amman, Erbil, Istanbul and Gaziantep, concluding in Amsterdam, where the 3 regional winners will pitch at a global event: the SPARK Ignite conference.
The competition, organized by Jusoor and SPARK in partnership with Startups Without Borders, is running its second edition, and is also incorporating 5 Startup Weekend competitions running in parallel, where entrepreneurs can gather teams and gear up to compete.
Short-listed startups in Beirut include Click Shipping, an online platform to automate retail operations; Smart Budget, a program that uses artificial intelligence to adjust budgets for projects; and Bazgas, a company that produces biogas units to sell to cattle farms.
Other short-listed startups include:
- Markaz Maharat Al Edara,
- Himmet Shabab
- Smart Kids
- Baby’s caring.com
- Smart Balancer
- Major Academy
At the end of the roadshow, two winners will move on to the regional finals, where the top 2 startups in every location will battle it out at the final Demo Day in Amman, for cash prizes of up to $15.000, while the second and third place winners will receive 10.000 and 7.000 respectively.
The winners will also get the chance to showcase their businesses on the global stage in Amsterdam, during the SPARK Ignite annual conference.
“We have been overwhelmed by the number of very interesting applications we have received and it has been an incredibly difficult process narrowing them down to select teams to participate in the Roadshow. We are excited to kick off the program in Beirut this week and have very high expectations of the innovative ideas coming from the teams,” says Grace Atkinson, Jusoor’s Executive Director.
“This year was exceptional with the outreach campaign; we’ve reached so many partners and communities, and exceeded the expectations for participants, which means there is a high demand for these kind of programs. As we head to the finals, we are very excited to see the 3 winners. We will witness the birth of a new group of Syrian entrepreneurs and startups, which will have a huge impact in the region,” says Mohammad Skaik, SPARK’s Regional Business Development Manager for the MENA region.
The Startup Roadshow semi-finals in Beirut will be streamed live on September 12th at 2PM (GMT+3) here: https://www.facebook.com/events/440208026583650/
Jusoor is an NGO of Syrian expatriates helping Syrian youth realize their potential through programs in the fields of education, entrepreneurship, and global community engagement.
Since its launch in 2011, Jusoor has enabled over 600 university students to complete their degrees around the world. We have enrolled over 7,000 children in our primary schools, giving them the gift of a basic education. We have employed 75 refugees in our schools in Lebanon, safeguarding a key part of the Syrian labor force and investing in refugee communities. And our entrepreneurship program has trained and inspired over 500 young entrepreneurs. By investing in these children and youth, Jusoor is preparing a generation of change agents to be able to return to Syria and play a role in rebuilding every sector of society, from healthcare to education to business to governmental institutions.
Jusoor’s work has been recognized by global institutions and has been honored with the Academic Freedom Award from the Middle East Studies Association of North America in 2015 and the Takreem Humanitarian and Civic Services Award in 2017.
SPARK provides access to higher education and supports entrepreneurship development in fragile states so that young, ambitious people can lead their societies into stability and prosperity. SPARK provides a variety of full-service business and entrepreneurship programmes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We believe that sustainable, economic growth is essential for the alleviation of poverty. By offering private-sector development services to young people in conflict-affected regions, we believe that the potential for further conflict is significantly reduced.
ABOUT STARTUPS WITHOUT BORDERS
Startups Without Borders is a global platform connecting migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to opportunities and resources to build their businesses, wherever they are. Launched in 2018 in Cairo, with hubs across European and Middle Eastern countries, the platform aims to build the startup ecosystem for entrepreneurs on the move, not only changing perceptions on refugees and migrants, but also crystallising a growing entrepreneurial trend amongst refugees and migrants.
Valentina Primo | Startups Without Borders
Mobile: +39 3898564310