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CHAMPION OF THE DAY
Targets young CEOs from traditional sectors
The Angels Lebanon initiative has been launched by Nicolas Sehnaoui, Chairman of the UK Lebanon Teck Hub (UKLTH), with support from Marwan Kheireddine, Chairman of Al Mawarid Bank. The initiative aims to target young CEOs from traditional sectors like the auto sector, manufacturers, industrialists to invest in the tech sector, especially startups, according to Sehnaoui.
“We could make the CEOs aware of what is happening in the tech sector, raise their appetite in investing in it, and recruit them to become angels,” he said.
He said if they have an excess of funds or investment capabilities, they ordinarily use the money to go and purchase lands, T-bills, or put it into banks.
“We are trying to divert a little bit of this money toward the tech industry or in the startup ecosystem. Amounts of $20,000 to $50,000 is not large to them,” he said.
The initiative works on two tiers. The first one is free and includes the creation of signing up for a newsletter and having access to information about startups and the ecosystem.
The second tier includes an annual subscription which will cost around $1,000 per year and give the right to investors to have first access to any investment opportunities.
The initiative will create awareness through a series of events at which the potential angels can meet financially successful startups and those still at the early stage of the ecosystem.
At the first event, which was held at Junkyard in Mar Mikhael, two successful startups behind the products Roadie (a guitar gadget) and Sensio Air will talk about their business and answer questions.
The event will include five promising startups who will present their business to the potential investors.
According to Sehnaoui, White Lab, the startup behind air allergen and particle tracker Sensio Air, raised $3 million out of an evaluation of $15 million last year and are now signing lots of contracts.
“The idea is to show the angels to be that had they put money in Sensio Air or Roadie two years ago, they would have multiplied their investments,” he said.
Sehnaoui believes that there is a need in the ecosystem for more angel investing opportunities.
“There is a gap. Angel money going in and out of it will help it a lot,” he said.
The angels will invest directly in the startups. Angels Lebanon will not act as an intermediary.
Reported by Derek Issacs
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Jun 12, 2017
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