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Meet the Winners of the 4th Jusoor Entrepreneurship Competition
Jusoor wrapped up its fourth annual entrepreneurship competition and bootcamp for Syrian startups in Beirut earlier this week and awarded 4 teams with financial prizes. The teams concluded a 10 day bootcamp that ran at Beirut Digital District and had more than 20 participating mentors and trainers that helped ready the 15 participating teams for the final Demo Day. The bootcamp also included a two day visit to ArabNet Conference in Beirut, an opportunity for the teams to meet and interact with the Lebanese tech and startup ecosystem.
The Demo Day & Entrepreneurship Gathering, an annual event organized by Jusoor, opened this year with more than 150 attendees from the Lebanese, Syrian and International communities. The judges included Omar Christidis, CEO of ArabNet, Abdulsalam Haykal CEO of Haykal Group, Zaid Midani, Vice President of Capital Guidance, and Dania Ismail, Director of Jusoor’s Entrepreneurship Program. They had a tough decision to make choosing from the 15 projects. The startups ranged from technology, water sanitation, creative education, real estate and shipping businesses and had teams participating from as far as Hong Kong and Berlin.
“Perseverance is key” said Abdulsalam Haykal to the teams “and that is evident in the improved quality of projects that we see year on year at the Jusoor competition” he continues, “what Jusoor has done in bringing these ideas and entrepreneurs together and creating this platform of exchange and growth is remarkable”. Karim Samakie, Jusoor’s lead trainer, had more to add about his experience “I look forward to my time at the Jusoor bootcamp every year to learn about how these young Syrians are coming up with new ideas and fighting against all odds to see them through”.
Bote was awarded the first prize of $10,000, a security hardware device that helps parents track their children through their shoe insoles. Co-Founder of Bote, Raafat Hantoush, describes his impressions of the program “My experience at the Jusoor bootcamp was one of the best experiences I have been through, it gave me hope that young Syrians are ambitious and will make a big difference in the revival of Syrian society”.
The second prize of $7,000 was awarded to Fodo, a web and mobile based supermarket application in Syria. Anas Al Sabe, Co-Founder of Fodo, described his experience as a turning point in his life ”The past two weeks were a wonderful journey full of experiences with outstanding people”.
The third award of $5,000 was given to Syract, a smart crisis reporting platform using crowdsourcing to support post conflict recovery reconstruction projects. Finally, a people’s choice award saw online voting reach more than 1,000 votes in favor of the winning team Shiffer, a peer-to-peer document shipping app that received a $1,000 prize.
The competition and bootcamp this year were made possible only with the support of Capital Guidance and Spark, and in partnership with Beirut Digital District, ArabNet, Wamda, Techfugees, TechStars, Berytech, Startup Syria, along with media partners Haykal Media and Dubarah Network.
Today, Jusoor has supported more than 82 teams through its entrepreneurship bootcamps across the world and has enabled more than 50% if these teams to launch their projects and continue on their path towards growth and success.