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“Bridge To Innovation” Launched in Beirut

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B2i Bridge to Innovation launched its activities in Beirut, following a successful 3 days event in Montreal, Canada in March 2016, with immediate concrete results.

The 2 days event in Beirut included a series of workshops on the 3rd of May at Berytech’s business innovation center, and a networking dinner on the 4th of May at the Beirut Symposium Lounge, gathering 120 strategic partners and stakeholders. IDAL, this event strategic partner, played a key role in its success.

B2i is a program, initiated by Fadi Ziadeh, General Consul of Lebanon in Montreal and the Lebanese Canadian IT Association (ATILC) in Montreal, and aiming at encouraging strategic partnerships, in the Digital Innovation world, between Montreal and North America from one side and Beirut and the MENA region from the other side.

The B2i program builds on the big success of ATILC, with a great proven record, since 2008, of helping Lebanese IT professionals integrate into the Canadian information and communications technology (ICT) market, whereby many have managed to reach C­level positions in large corporations or became successful entrepreneurs themselves. As a strategic partner, Berytech brings to the initiative 15­year expertise in supporting and growing innovative entrepreneurs.

Mr. Maroun Chammas - Mr. Nabil Itani

The B2i 2016 activities took place in collaboration with Montreal the Smart City, between March 9 and 11, bringing together more than 600 attendees, including a large number of C­level Lebanese Canadian executives from leading ICT companies, and received a lot of media attention in both Canada and Lebanon, including Lebanese prime time TV show, Kalam El Nass. The series of networking events and activities featured a delegation of 11 Lebanese entrepreneurs, headed by Berytech and ATILC representatives. The delegation members lead successful startups and SMEs in the fields of technology, Medical, communication, app development, and media. Entrepreneurs and SMEs also had the chance to present themselves and their startups at the CEIM, a renowned incubator and accelerator in Montreal.

Mr. Fadi Joseph, B2i President, highlighted the importance of B2i and the role it will play, saying: “We were highly impressed by the Lebanese talents and innovations. Through the B2i program, we are encouraging strategic partnerships between Canadian and Lebanese businesses through the exchange of knowledge and technology, in the aim of providing these Lebanese talents with the right platform to promote their services in Canada”.

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In Lebanon, the launch included information sessions about the offerings of the B2i program and how the latter can enable Lebanese companies to penetrate the Canadian market. Also on the agenda were B2B meetings and networking sessions during which Lebanese entrepreneurs had the chance to meet and connect with influential figures from the Lebanese diaspora and were acquainted with the results of the White Paper, developed during the Montreal event. Lebanese Canadian high­level executives, governmental figures, key SMEs, and members of the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem were in attendance. Fifteen Lebanese SMEs have been identified to take part of the program.

Mr. Maroun N. Chammas, Chairman and CEO of Berytech, commented: “The B2i program is structured with clear milestones and KPIs, set to ensure effective impact on the Lebanese economy and create a fruitful exchange between Canadian and Lebanese startups in order to generate opportunities and address challenges related to the needs of both the Lebanese and Canadian markets”.

The B2i program is establishing the corner stone of the “Lebanese­Canadian tech hub” and is part of a long, strategic journey aimed at exporting technological innovation to North America and importing North American expertise and know­ how to Lebanon and from there to the MENA region, thus putting Lebanon on the world tech map.

Watch a video of the event here.