I've been lucky enought to be part of the first ever Techrunch startup battlefield MENA this Wednsday, October 3, part of Facebook MENA tech week in the beautiful city of Beirut, Lebanon.
This was my first time in Lebanon, even in the whole Middle east. I was honestly surprised by the vibrant tech & startup community here, and amazed by their great hospitality and food.
Facebook Developer Circles MENA leads summit & Facebook MENA tech week
After almost 2 years leading DevC casablanca, I've had the great honor to meet the great other DevC leads from the MENA region. During this full day (September 30) gathering the brightest minds in the region, we shared inspiring stories, common issues & challenges, tips and tricks to improve our communities as well as, obviously, lot of fun. These brilliant community leaders manage over 17,000 developers across the Middle East and North Africa.
Following that, Facebook and DevC beirut hosted Facebook's Tech Week MENA that ran over the course of three days, with many sessions, panels, trainings... and brought together various groups including start-ups, SMBs, women entrepreneurs and DevCs. The final day (Oct 3rd) is set for TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in MENA, the most renowned start up competition in the world brought to the region for the first time. The three day-long events aimed to celebrate and uncover the best innovators, makers and entrepreneurs in region.
Startup battelfield MENA: Innovation, ambition and passion
Startup Battlefield MENA brought the world’s top early stage startups together on one stage to compete for a $25,000 equity-free prize, a trip for 2 to TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019, the coveted title of “Middle East & North Africa’s Favorite Startup” and the attention of media and investors.
The day started with the semi final competition, where 15 brilliant startups from all over the MENA region, splitted into 3 groups of 5, pitched for 6 minutes, with a live demo on stage, followed by 6 minutes of Q&A form judges. From the 15 only 5 finalists are chosen for the finale to deliver the same pitch followed by, this time more intense, Q&A.
From the early morning until well in the evening of pitching great ideas and innovative solutions, the moment came: Buildink, a lebaneese based startup that offers cost-effective solutions to construction firms by creating materials with 3D printers, won the first place followed by synkers a mobile app that connects students with highly qualified peer tutors on-the-spot.
What a week it's been! I'm really impressed how vibrant and active the tech and startup scene in Beirut is. Lebanon is definitely on the right track and will be soon the new silicon valley for MENA.
I'd like also to mention that none of this wouldn't be possible without the outstanding work done by DevC beirut leads and great friends Salah Awad and Sarah Abdalah, true community leaders, with an ultimate goal of moving the tech forward in Lebanon and whole Middle East region. Thank you! Truly ;)
One definite highlight to my trip was bumping into raghib amine, a humble person with great vision :D