As dozens of students gathered for the Reboot Beirut hackathon at Lebanon’s American University of Beirut last month, many were already ahead of the game with startups of their own. Both Ghassan Oueidat, a mechanical engineering student, and Hadi Ayash, a computer and communications engineering student have developed products of their own. Oueidat is part of a team of engineers building a robot to climb facades and clean windows on high rise buildings. Their robot began as a course project and turned into a startup, titled Gravity. The second iteration of their robot is now being developed by the team and incubated at AUB’s Center for Research and Innovation.
Ayash started programming when he was 12 and one of his greatest achievements has been developing a game to educate children on mines. The game was adopted by the Lebanese Army and now used in several schools across southern Lebanon.
But being a student entrepreneur comes at a cost to these students. Watch to hear Ayash and Oueidat discuss the challenges of balancing their businesses with their coursework.