Meet the 2nd Batch of Startups Accelerated at Speed@BDD

Alexis Baghdadi, Apr 11 2016

Speed@BDD has announced 7 promising young startups for its second cycle of acceleration. 

Beirut’s accelerator will take the startups under its wings for another 3-month period. Each startup will receive $30,000 in seed funding, as well as access to +50 mentors, providing advice training in higher business skills, as well as support in accessing new markets and potential partners. In return, Speed@BDD will get a 10% equity stake in each startup.

First things first, let’s take a look at the lineup for this cycle:

As its name indicates, Interior Adviser allows users to find and customize professional designs for their spaces at affordable prices. The platform gives users the option to source the design elements themselves from local suppliers, or commission the startup to create it for them.

Founders: Hala Al Kasm and AbdulSalam Shalash                           

Jellyfish is an accounting and budgeting tool that eliminates the need for an accountant, and saves time on financial reporting. Project managers can track expenses in real time and make informed decisions based on the updated financial status of their project. Jellyfish was also among the finalists for the ArabNet Beirut 2016 Startup Demo competition.

Founders: Joey Zeenny and Teddy Zeenny 

  • Monica

The Monica app allows event organizers to make the experience more enjoyable for both visitors and exhibitors by sending updates and notifications on the go. It also automatically suggests personalized schedules to attendees, based on their individual goals. By driving the right attendees to their booth, it helps exhibitors generate more leads. Monica was also among the finalists at the ArabNet Beirut 2016 Ideathon competition (entered as Crowdee).

Founders: Richard Abi Chahla and Bashir Omari

Using the SQWIRL platform, individuals and companies can request package pick-ups and deliveries from their choice of carrier (bike, car, van) and track their package in real time until drop off.

Founders: Karl Abouzeid, Ziad Jureidini, and Maroun Abou Harb

  • Synkers

Synkers allows high school and university students to find private tutors among their peers, then schedule private lessons at convenient times and at affordable prices.

Founders: Audrey Nakad, Sybille Nakad, and Zeina Sultani

The TopShou app is a community-driven platform where users can seek advice from their peers on what to wear or buy to complement their style or look. They also have the opportunity to inspire others (or seek inspiration themselves). TopShou had won 3rd place at the ArabNet Beirut 2015 Ideathon competition.

Founders: Loubna Ibrahim and Ali Zein

Read our coverage of TopShou’s launch in August 2015 TopShou: Your Virtual Closet, One Tap at a Time

  • Vision in Motion

Vision in Motion has developed a proprietary software that combines image processing and computer vision technology with existing surveillance camera feeds in retail outlets, restaurants, malls, or venues. This solution tracks customers’ behavioral patterns and analyzes them, giving business owners the possibility to serve them more efficiently and target them with advertising.

Founders: Samy El Khoury and Amer Mouawad

The Accelerator Culture Is Here - Finally

It is encouraging to see the culture of startup accelerators finally gaining and maintaining momentum in the Lebanese entrepreneurial ecosystem. In January this year, Speed@BDD successfully concluded its first cycle of acceleration in January 2016, and enrolled 2 of its graduates in an advanced 2-week acceleration program in Silicon Valley, powered by Blackbox Connect.

Like any successful initiative, Speed@BDD is evolving with the ecosystem. The first cycle helped set the tone for this and future cycles. It is interesting to note that 3 of the 7 startups in this cycle are co-founded by women entrepreneurs, which says something about the entrepreneurship culture in the country.

UK Lebanon Tech Hub also concluded its first accelerator program in October 2015, flying 15 startups to London for a 6-month acceleration program, and will also announce its second round soon. Later this year, Lebanon will welcome a new addition to its entrepreneurial ecosystem: Flat6Labs Beirut, in partnership with ArabNet.

Stay tuned to get updates on this acceleration cycle at Speed@BDD and news from other accelerators.

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