Posted on November 17, 2017
“In today’s difficult times, one thing is sure; there is no lack of great, dynamic and ambitious young men and women in Lebanon. We have witnessed over the past few years a whole new generation of entrepreneurs and SMEs growing up in the country“, commented Ambassador Christina Lassen – Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon.
“However, to make the success of these SMEs sustainable, a whole culture of entrepreneurship has to be grown and nurtured, which is exactly the objective of The Next Society project. The aim is to translate ideas into products and services that generate growth, create jobs and make our countries a better place to live in. We have joined Berytech in their mission, and put all our efforts together to pour all the energy, creativity and talent to see Lebanon benefit from its amazing potential for the sake of its entrepreneurship system.”
Under the theme, A Shared Ambition for the Mediterranean, the launch event was part of the activities of Berytech – THE NEXT SOCIETY exclusive partner in Lebanon, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, in collaboration with Beirut Digital District (BDD). “We are very proud to be the exclusive partners of THE NEXT SOCIETY in Lebanon, as we share the same mission, shaping the future of the region… shaping the future of the Mediterranean,” commented Maroun N. Chammas – Chairman and CEO of Berytech during his welcome speech.
Over a hundred professionals and experts – representatives of public institutions, entrepreneurs, investors and innovation support networks from Lebanon, the region and Europe, gathered to exchange views on the activities implemented by the initiative, which aim to accompany change in the region by placing the private sector at the core of the dialogue as well as innovation and competitiveness measures. This event was organised in partnership with ANIMA Investment Network, Mowgli Mentoring and France Clusters.
“THE NEXT SOCIETY echoes an inclusive philosophy based on corporate social responsibility and supports the emergence of talents and new leaders by targeting start-ups, clusters and technology transfer offices,” explained Emmanuel Noutary – General Delegate from ANIMA Investment Network. Noutary also took the opportunity to unveil THE NEXT SOCIETY’s action plan implemented over 4 years, with the support of the European Union, through improving policy frameworks, fostering start-up success, promoting and internationalising clusters, and supporting technology transfer offices.
Activities during the launch included the announcement of the three Lebanese entrepreneurs winners of the Start-up Booster Track Competition, a flexible support programme for entrepreneurs in the MENA region, which aims to support the bridge with key markets in Europe, Africa, the Gulf, and USA.
Hassane Slaibi – Co-Founder of Band Industries, developers of Roadie Tuner, an automatic handheld tuner for guitars and stringed musical instruments, was invited to share his experience as a Lebanese entrepreneur who has scaled his start-up internationally. He shared, “we faced many challenges during our ambitious journey to go international with our technology. My advice to all Lebanese entrepreneurs today is to take advantage of movements like THE NEXT SOCIETY, whose objectives are to remove the barriers and open opportunities for international exposure. Our life would have been a lot easier had this platform been available to us at the time.” Slaibi took the opportunity to thank Berytech for investing in his start-up and believing in his technology.
A panel discussion titled The Next Innovators, Shaping the Future in the Mediterranean covered the status, challenges and growth opportunities for the Lebanese innovation ecosystem focusing on 3 building blocks: start-ups, clustering and technology transfer and the support offered by THE NEXT SOCIETY.
The event ended with three concurrent thematic workshops taking place, including The Clusters Booster Track workshop, during which different cluster management issues and experiences were shared; the TTO Booster Track workshop, which explored the TTO status and challenges in Lebanon and solutions and recommendations for the support of these structures; and finally the Mentoring Awareness session, a key component of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) accredited Mowgli Mentoring syllabus, which raised awareness about mentoring, its meaning as well as its importance and value in driving economic development and social change.
With its partnership with THE NEXT SOCIETY, and thanks to the funding of the European Union, Berytech aims to further open regional and international networks for its Lebanese ecosystem and start-ups, with actionable objectives. “Together with THE NEXT SOCIETY, we will be boosting and promoting, locally and internationally, young innovative entrepreneurs, clusters and technology transfer offices from Lebanon,” concluded M. Chammas – Chairman and CEO of Berytech.