Hult Prize chooses the top six Lebanese student startups at Changemaker’s 2019 Beirut Student Startup Forum
Believing that business can and should be used as a force for good, solving critical human challenges, Changemaker gathered more than 1,000 students from 60 university campuses across Lebanon for the Lebanon Student Startup Forum at Beirut Digital District, on February 23, 2019, where Lebanon’s top young entrepreneurs pitched their innovative business ideas before leading judges. Students also attended free workshops delivered by ecosystem leaders like BLOM Bank, Berytech, Speed, UKLTH, Flat6Labs, among others.
Following the daytime activities, six of the top student startups were shortlisted to pitch live at the Hult Prize Lebanon Summit’s evening gala, hosted at Beirut’s iconic landmark building, ‘The Egg’, and invited to an all-expense paid 6 week accelerator to be held in Beirut this summer. The evening gala was inaugurated by HE Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri, who also recognized one of the country’s most promising young student leaders, Jawad Haidar, founder and CEO of Heatechs.
In partnership with Banque du Liban, BLOM Bank, Kobeissi and Frangié, and Beirut Digital District, the forum gave more than 800 students the chance to participate in 15 educational workshops covering ideation, pitching, personal branding, and much more. More than 150 VIP guests including the chairman of BLOM Bank, a number of government advisors, and leaders from the private sector attended the forum that hosted the 2019 Hult Prize Lebanon Semi-Finals, the final stage before the winning teams proceed to the Hult Prize Lebanon Accelerator and later to the Hult Prize Middle East Finals, all brought to Lebanese university students through a multi-year strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Lebanon, and BLOM Bank.
Commenting on the event, Mr. Karim Samra, Chief Operating Officer of the Hult Prize said, “For the first time in Lebanon, with the support of Banque Du Liban and BLOM Bank, we’re empowering thousands of student youth to see themselves as job creators rather than job seekers, by inspiring them to launch startups that generate an economic return while also solving some of their country’s most pressing challenges; the Student Startup Forum served as an optimal and ideal host and backdrop to our Lebanon summit this year, and we hope to continue the partnership”.
Following the semi-finals, The Hult Prize Lebanon Startup Accelerator will start in May, The Lebanon Impact Awards will be hosted at the Grand Serail in June, and the Changemaker Festival will take place this summer and host the Hult Prize Lebanon Finals , where one winning startup will be awarded $250,000 of funding, the largest seed investment in the Middle East.