Lebanon Businessnews News

New incubator by Solidere
ICT startups to receive logistic, technical support
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‘Cloud 5’, an incubation and acceleration venue for start-up companies and entrepreneurs, will be launched on November 19. The ICT space is developed and operated by Solidere Management Services in collaboration with Wamda, a platform designed to empower entrepreneurs in the MENA region.

Through this project, Solidere aims to boost investments and attract incubation and acceleration companies to locate both start-ups and small- and medium-sized companies in Beirut’s Central District (BCD).

The space is located on the 5th floor of the 1301 Marfaa building, off Riad El Solh Square. It stretches over 500 square meters and could accommodate 20 firms, or 60 work desks.

“Entrepreneurs and start-ups will benefit from the fiber optic broadband services provided by Solidere,” said Richard Azouri, business development Unit head at Solidere. Tenants will pay $300 per work desk per month.

During the following year, Cloud 5 will be adding a 300-sqm auditorium to host technology seminars, and Angel investor meets.

Cloud 5 will attract incubators and accelerators from Lebanon and the Middle East who typically become equity-based investors, buying stakes in start-ups with a good growth potential. According to Azouri, the trend nowadays is towards incubators and accelerators: “Despite the risk it entails, supporting start-ups is turning out to be a profitable investment.”

Azouri said start-ups were a missing component in the BCD technology ecosystem with the BCD already home to more mature technology companies, venture capital firms, financial institutions, and consulting firms, and Cloud 5 is one such initiative to fill this gap.

Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Nov 07, 2012
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