Four teams were awarded at Jusoor’s fourth annual entrepreneurship competition and bootcamp for Syrian startups in Beirut.
The Demo Day & Entrepreneurship Gathering, an annual event organized by Jusoor, opened this year with over 150 attendees from the Lebanese, Syrian, and International communities.
Judges included Omar Christidis, CEO of ArabNet, Abdulsalam Haykal CEO of Haykal Group, Zaid Midani, vice president of Capital Guidance, and Dania Ismail, director of Jusoor’s Entrepreneurship Program. They reviewed and assessed 15 projects, ranging from technology, water sanitation, creative education, real estate, and shipping businesses. Participants came from different markets, including Hong Kong and Berlin.
Bote, a security hardware device that helps parents track their children through their shoe insoles, won the first prize of $10,000. The startup’s cofounder, Raafat Hantoush, said: “My experience at the Jusoor bootcamp was one of the best experiences I have been through. It gave me hope that young Syrians are ambitious and will make a big difference in the revival of Syrian society.”
Fodo, a web and mobile-based supermarket application in Syria, won the second $7,000 prize. Anas Al Sabe, Cofounder, said that this experience was a turning point in his life. “The past two weeks were a wonderful journey full of experiences with outstanding people,” he said.
The third $5,000 award was given to Syract, a smart crisis reporting platform using crowdsourcing to support post conflict recovery reconstruction projects.
A people’s choice award, based on online voting, awarded Shiffer, a peer-to-peer document shipping app a $1,000 prize, after reaching 1,000 votes.
“Perseverance is key,” Haykal told the teams “and that is evident in the improved quality of projects that we see year on year at the Jusoor competition,” he continued. “What Jusoor has done in bringing these ideas and entrepreneurs together and creating this platform of exchange and growth is remarkable,” he added.
Karim Samakie, Jusoor’s lead trainer, said: “I look forward to my time at the Jusoor bootcamp every year to learn about how these young Syrians are coming up with new ideas and fighting against all odds to see them through.”
Prior to the Demo Day, the teams participated in a 10-day bootcamp at the Beirut Digital District. It had over 20 participating mentors and trainers that helped the 15 participating teams. The bootcamp also included a two-day visit to the ArabNet Conference in Beirut, allowing the teams to meet and interact with the Lebanese tech and startups ecosystem.
This year’s competition and bootcamp took place with the support of Capital Guidance and Spark, and in partnership with Beirut Digital District, ArabNet, Wamda, Techfugees, TechStars, Berytech, Startup Syria, along with media partners Haykal Media and Dubarah Network.
Today, Jusoor has supported more than 82 teams through its entrepreneurship bootcamps across the world and has enabled more than half of these teams to launch their projects and continue on their path towards growth and success.