Lebanon Businessnews News

Support for South startups
SouthBIC boosts innovation, creates employment
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The South Business Innovation Center (SouthBIC) hosted the first Startup Weekend in South Lebanon last week. A competition was held for eight teams of young people from different fields presenting innovative projects and concepts.

The first prize of $3,000 went to the developers of the ‘My Garage’ app for buying and selling used items. In second place, the ‘Manshoor’ team won $2,000 for their concept of a catalog and flyer viewer program. Developers of ‘The Handwriter’ website won the third prize of $1,000. The site allows users to create fonts and create signatures using their own handwriting in Arabic.

The competition was funded by the Bader program and Al Baraka Bank, along with different participants from the private sector.

Andraos Bacha, Director General of SouthBIC, said that such initiatives offer incentives and business drivers to young entrepreneurs in innovative fields. “We are bringing this opportunity to the youth of the South, instead of forcing them to relocate to Beirut to benefit from the infrastructure service.” He said their efforts would prevent further immigration of a skilled workforce.

“We will be requesting funds from the European Union for developing a special business center to create employment opportunities and help locals cope with competition from the growing Syrian workforce.”

SouthBIC is currently targeting innovative startups. The accelerator has been very active in this field. On August 25, SouthBIC held a training session for 24 applicants from the South, Beirut, and Rachaya, to assist them in elaborating their business growth plans.

SouthBIC and Berytech will soon announce a joint venture to improve startups related to innovative fields in the South, as well as in industry and agriculture. SouthBIC will be hosting the postponed AgroInvest exhibition, on September 18-21, to support innovation in agro-food industries.
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Sep 02, 2013