Meet the Winners of the Jusoor Entrepreneurship Competition

Alexis Baghdadi, Mar 11 2016

Jusoor has successfully completed the second edition of the Jusoor Entrepreneurship Competition, and graduated 18 promising Syrian startups from the Jusoor Bootcamp.

The competition included 2 categories. Entrepreneurs in the Social Track (non-profit sector) were assessed based on their ability to demonstrate a clear sustainable impact for their idea. Participants in the Startup Track were assessed based on potential growth, scalability, and business model.

A panel of leading entrepreneurs, investors, and consultants – including ArabNet’s own CEO, Omar Christidis – had the chance to meet the participants and discover their ideas before selecting 4 winners at the final Gathering and Pitch Day event held in the Beirut Digital District. Online voters also selected 2 additional startups (one from every track), who received the People’s Choice award.

Competition was tight as this year’s competition saw an increase in the talent pool of the participating teams, notably with female candidates making up 24% of total candidates. Furthermore, 58% of startups were focused on education, while 26% proposed a service through an online platform.

Each first placer and second place winner earned $15,000 and $5,000 respectively – with a surprise result in the Startup Track.

Social Track Winners

1st Place: Share

Hailing from Sweida, co-founders Qussai Mukaled, Hussam Nasr, and Bushra Mourawed. Share is an offline time banking platform for youth to exchange skills and services using “hour credits” instead of monetary currency.

2nd Place: Tamkeen

This online platform links educators to students and youth who have no access to academic resources and educational institutions in Syria.

Startup Track Winners

1st Place: Remaz and BitCode

The surprise in this year’s edition came when the judges decided to split the first prize among two teams; Remaz, co-founded by Lean Darwish and Muhammad Sultan, and BitCode, founded by Tarek Sheikh AlShabab. Both are educational platforms that teach programming to Arabic-speaking youth through interactive courses based on gamification. The aim is to allow young Syrians to acquire skills that are in high demand in local and international markets.

2nd Place: i-Can

Co-founded by Yasser Alkhatib and Tarrif Alkhatib, i-Can is a multi-language location-based mobile application that enables displaced Syrian professionals to provide their services through an interactive platform. The app provides a unique messaging feature that is built on automated instant translation to break the language barrier and help these professionals find jobs in host countries.

The People’s Choice

An online voting platform was open to the public who selected their favorite startups.

Sanad Spaces

Co-founded by Yaman Al Sabek and Mouayad Al Hijazi, Sanad Spaces is a multipurpose co-working space in Damascus that welcomes startups and entrepreneurs.

Nobelchemist

Founded by Louay Otba from Aleppo, this startup developed a biodegradable water sanitation tablet to make water safe for everyone.

Jusoor is working with MIT Enterprise Forum and TechWadi to launch a mentorship program to continue supporting the startups it has worked with during the bootcamp. 

Thanks to a partnership with ArabNet, the teams had the chance to visit the conference in Beirut and meet like-minded entrepreneurs from the Middle East while interacting with thought leaders from the world of tech, investment, and innovation.

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