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Entrepreneur hub to launch early next year
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Antwork, a hub for the independent workforce that provides space for a network of entrepreneurs through agile and fixed workspaces, aims to link the local startup ecosystem with ecosystems abroad.

Funds of $1 million have been invested by ‘Angels’. The company is now calling for ‘Series A’ funding round, according to Zina Dajani, Founding Partner. This type of funding follows on from seed funding and acts as stepping stones for the purpose of raising capital, and how that capital is allocated.

The campus-like setting of Antwork is located in the Spears and Kantari districts. It has a built-up area of 4,500 square meters (m2), including two refurbished buildings and a large outdoor space. It comprises 2,000 m2 of office space, 800 m2 co-working space, 250 m2 lab space, and 1,000 m2 of shared services. The space also includes private rented offices (one of which is already the location of startup boot camp AltCity), two maker and culinary labs, two fitness studios, a 40-seat dining area and a rooftop space, 13 meeting rooms and four event spaces, and 80 co-working desks.

According to Rania Malas, in charge of partnerships and programs, leasing rates start at $250 per month for hot desking, and $350 per month for a dedicated desk, and ‘price on demand’ for private spaces.

Antwork aims to connect local entrepreneurs to international markets and to create exchange programs. Dajani said: “We are already in talks with an institution in Europe and Africa. We are putting people together wherever they are in the world. We are filling a gap that exists locally.”

An app has been developed that allows small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to display their services once they have subscribed to become account holders.

“Most of the services on offer can be accessed online and people do not have to come to the hub. This makes it ideal for entrepreneurs working in remote regions beyond the capital,” said Malas.

The Beirut campus will be the flagship hub. “We are aiming to have two more locations abroad by 2020,” said Dajani.

A soft launch took place in early November and phase 1 is already 70 percent occupied.

Reported by Derek A. Issacs
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Date Posted: Nov 28, 2016