Fabric Aid, a startup which enables underprivileged people to get decent clothing at affordable prices, won the first edition of the ‘Get in the Ring Beirut’ startup competition on Saturday April 28, during the last day of the SmartEx exhibition at the Forum de Beyrouth.
Get in the Ring is a global competition for startups. Two startups battle head-to-head in a ring via pitching their businesses. A battle between two teams consists of several rounds about the team, the business model, and its finances. Along the way, the entrepreneurs receive pitch training, advice about their businesses, and the opportunity to meet with investors, business leaders, potential customers, and like-minded entrepreneurs. The competition started with 5,000 contestants from 80 countries with 130 preliminary rounds around the world. The local winning startups will travel to Cascais, Portugal, to finally settle the score and crown the winners.
Moderated by Speed@BDD and sponsored by touch, over 50 Lebanese startups applied to the competition, of which 16 startups were shortlisted to take up the challenge for the title fight.
Following pitch training and mentorship sessions, six finalists participated in the ‘Get in the Ring’ battles and pitched their businesses to an audience comprising 2,000 investors, experts, and media representatives. The winner received $2,500 in cash and a spot in the Global Meetup in Portugal in May to represent Lebanon in the Middleweight class ($600,000-$3 million valuation).
Fabric Aid, Spike, and Sidelick had each won a battle and convinced a distinguished Champion Jury members, who consisted of Nicolas Rouhana, GM of IM Capital, Asmahan Zein, GM and founder of Crypta SAL, Priscilla Elora Sharuk, cofounder of Myki and pitching coach, Fadi Bizri, partner at BY VP, Abdallah Jabbour, managing director at Lebanon for Entrepreneurs (LFE), and Diala Zeinoun, corporate services team leader at touch, that they deserved a place on the podium.
The first runner up, Spike, a Speed@BDD startup who is developing a mobile assistant that helps diabetics better manage their diabetes, won $1,500 while the second runner up, Sidelick, who recently launched an online platform that connects pet owners to pet lovers around them, received $1,000.