Lebanon Businessnews News

Alice and Bnooki accredited BDL platforms
87 startups
candidates waiting for funds
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In an intermediate circular issued last week, the Central Bank asked banks to choose the platform they will adopt to assist startups. This announcement paved the way to the implementation of circular number 331, which allowed banks to fund startups for up to 80 percent of the shares. After a workshop held on 19 December 2013, Alice and Bnooki were chosen by the BDL to act as a platform for banks and start-ups. Banks should choose between these two, but the door is still open for any other platforms willing to help fund startups.

This step comes in line with the three-initiative national digital strategy, which was announced by the Ministry of Telecommunication in collaboration with the Central Bank.

The first initiative is the creation of a Business Angels’ Network. The second is the kick-off of a ‘national boot camp campaign’ which aim is to support young entrepreneurs. The third is the creation of a ‘startup marketer’. The BDL move planned this third initiative.

Alice, previously known as Seeqnce, is a virtual accelerator, which has offices in Beirut to serve the MENA region, and offices in London to serve Europe.

Bnooki is a local platform, founded by Elie Abou Jaoude in January 2013. It offers a one-stop shop for bank products in the local market.

Samer Karam, Founder of Alice, said that so far they have 87 startups onboard, and the number is constantly increasing. Karam said that they submitted in December three applications that are waiting to get funded now. The platform hosts a large number of investors including BLOM Bank, BLC, Al Mawarid, FFA Private Bank, and Lucid Investment among many others. It also hosts a number of private investors such as Hala Fadel and Elias Ghanem.

Karam said that this initiative helps the local market to be an effective startup economy. “We will help Lebanese startups to get the chance to compete globally” he said.
Startups willing to apply can log into https://www.alice.li
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Mar 20, 2014
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