Lebanon Businessnews News

Factory for startups
in electronic hardware
Three floors each

catering to a specific function

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The Innovation Factory Beirut, located in Mkalless, will be fully operational by January, 2017, according to Co-founder, Karim Attoui. Attoui said that the Factory is the first of its kind in the Middle East region.

Investment so far for the renovation of the factory, the equipment, the rent, and the pay roll is $350,000.

“We have signed an agreement to rent the factory for eight years but hope to buy it eventually,” said Attoui.

Investment is expected to increase as Attoui and his partnering Co-founder, Ibrahim Zahreddine, said that they are actively looking for investors in order to raise $600,000.

“We have already secured $150,000 through a local angel investor. We are in the process of signing the contract,” said Attoui.

The Co-founders are also in negotiations with another investor with an entry ticket of $50,000.

The three-story factory, where start-ups and individuals can work, prototype, produce, exhibit, collaborate, innovate and run their business, is already operating a 25 percent occupancy from when its doors first opened back in June, said Attoui.

“There is a gap in the hardware side of startups. The factory intends to build this community, especially related to the Internet of Things,” he said.

Each of the three floors is geared to different functions: The first floor is dedicated to a working environment with a café, co-working spaces that include fixed-desk and hot-desking, and offices. The second floor houses the Fabrication Lab containing a metal shop, a wood shop, industrial spray booth, and digital fabrication machines (CNC milling, laser cutting, 3D printing, 3D scanning) with ample space to host all kinds of workshops. The third floor is dedicated to a Media Lab housing a professional sound recording studio, a photography studio, Virtual and Augmented Reality Room, conference room, print center and a PC Lab.

The services will be available on a 24/7 basis from January and can be subscribed to monthly at a cost ranging from $50 to $400, depending on the request.

“The space is a research and development platform for learning, creating, and exploring within the spheres of design, technology, and fabrication.” he said.

Attoui and Zahreddine are also the Co-founders of design and strategy agency, IZEM, whose aim is to disrupt markets through building brand, product, and service systems around human behavior.

Reported by Derek A. Issacs
Date Posted: Oct 25, 2016
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