Spike, a mobile assistant that helps diabetics better manage their diabetes, won the second edition of Speed@BDD’s Seed Boost. The startup took back home $50,000 equity investment (five percent) which will help it further grow and develop its product in the upcoming months prior to securing the next round of investment.
Spike had pitched along with the six other startups that were part of Speed@BDD’s fifth acceleration program.
The pitch took place in front of two angel investors, Elias Houayek and Mouhamad Rabah, and three VC funds representatives (Cedar Mundi, MEVP Impact Fund, and Phoenician Funds) during the Demo Day V, on Monday March 26 2018, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut.
The fifth acceleration phase which began in November 2017 had started with a two-week selection program, after which seven teams were selected. Besides Spike, the other startups were:
Actachef, an meal kit online platform where users can order their favorite healthy meal and get it delivered to their doorsteps in a box. The box includes fresh, washed, and pre-portioned ingredients with a recipe that can be easily followed and prepared in less than 35 minutes.
Cabbis, a cloud-based service offered to traditional taxi companies on a subscription-based model. It allows for a smooth transition from their current model to an Uber-like model, and therefore, for the scaling of their business.
CraveHome, an online platform that allows users to buy fresh and delicious homemade meals prepared by home cooks whose kitchens are certified by the platform’s food safety program.
Drapp, an online platform that facilitates billable medical consultations between doctors and their own patients via chatbot technology. The DrappBOT integrates seamlessly with currently-used messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, to respond to both patients’ and doctors’ needs.
Tapklik, a full-stack, fully-localized, and programmatic Ad exchange that connects advertisers and publishers in the Middle East. Using Big Data and Machine Learning, Tapklik’s scalable and distributed enterprise-grade demand-side platform (DSP) ‘Tapklik OneAd’ allows advertisers and agencies to reach their audiences online through smart targeting, which yields better conversions.
TeensWhoCode, which enables schools in the MENA region to easily teach computer science via an adaptive gamified e-learning platform. It allows its graduates to become employable competent software developers at just 18 years old.
During the cycle, Speed@BDD invested $30,000 in cash in each startup and its equivalent in-kind services covering free hosting, product and business development, financial advisory, legal services, and mentorship from key experts in various industries. The startups gained access to market expertise from the accelerator’s network of 100+ external mentors who dedicated 250+ hours to help the founders grow their businesses. The startups also received a $15,000 equity-free grant through Speed@BDD’s partnership with the iSME Program by Kafalat.
Jag Singh, managing director (MD) of Metro Accelerator – Techstars in Berlin, attended the Demo Day for a fireside chat about the local startup ecosystem and the future of retail technology.
The fireside chat ended with the announcement of Speed@BDD’s new collaboration with Techstars.
“We will be working with multiple Techstars programs, a first of its kind collaboration in Lebanon, to provide Lebanese startups and the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem with new and exciting opportunities. In practical terms, Techstars MDs will share their best practices and open their networks to the Speed@BDD management team through an in-person exchange with their accelerators around the world. We are starting with the retail program in Berlin and we will be looking to send our best startups into the Techstars recruitment pipeline,” said Speed@BDD’s CEO, Sami Abou Saab.
“I evaluate thousands of startups from around the world every year for our programs, and I kept seeing startups coming out of Speed@BDD’s program in the top brackets of our evaluation pipeline”, said Singh. He added: “I would like to find a way to help grow and expand the safe-haven that Speed@BDD provides to young startups. Angel investors and accelerators are a crucial part of the recipe for innovation, and as more startups in Lebanon find exits, we will see them spur more growth in this country. Techstars is about relationships and equipping entrepreneurs, and I look forward to strengthening the relationship with Speed@BDD”.
Spike and TeensWhoCode were the two startups that Speed@BDD fully sponsored to attend the two-week ‘LebNet Ignite powered by Blackbox Connect’ immersion program in Silicon Valley earlier this month.