Lebanon Businessnews News

Accelerator to
launch in Sidon
Diaspora to invest $25 million
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The Forge, an accelerator program, will launch in Saida late 2017. The Diaspora living in the Americas will initially invest around $15-$25 million according to Caroline Isaac-Hamdan, CEO of The Forge.

Isaac-Hamdan, who is also a mentor at the UK-Lebanon Tech Hub, said The Forge will serve the under privilege communities of the South and Bekaa regions.

“It will help those who thought they were unable to succeed to get on the first step of the ladder,” she said.

The program aims to support tech-based startups, especially those with an awareness of IBM Watson intelligence driven applications, since there is a lack of competency in these types of software. Other specific tech areas include online merchant selling, big data, e-commerce, and Arabic learning through technology.

Isaac-Hamdan said she is already in talks with seven early-stage startups, as well as three established companies that need cash injections for rapid acceleration.

“Cash investments for the larger established companies will be between $3-$5 million,” she said.

According to Isaac-Hamdan, the accelerator differentiates from others in that there is no dedicated space at The Forge premises in which startups can be based. Instead, they will be located in their own space. Mentorship and business training and support will be provided on an outreach basis. The program will also utilize webinars to train and mentor the startups.
Reported by Derek Issacs
Date Posted: Jun 21, 2017
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