Wednesday September 30th, 2015 (Beirut, Lebanon) – Speed@BDD announced, in an event held on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 at GardenState, the start of its first acceleration cycle with seven startups on board. The launch event was attended by entrepreneurs, investors, bank directors, private sector and NGO representatives, incubator managers, and entrepreneurship ecosystem stakeholders.
Speed@BDD is the first ecosystem-backed tech startup accelerator in Lebanon and is the country’s only Y Combinator-style accelerator. Speed@BDD is a collaborative effort between Lebanon’s leading investment funds and entrepreneurship support organizations to build an elite community for top-notch startups. These investments funds include Berytech Fund II, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Insure and Match Capital (IM Capital), a fund created under USAID’s MENA Investment Initiative program, Lebanon for Entrepreneurs (LFE), and Bader.
“We wanted to admit only outstanding entrepreneurs into our intense program, and after a thorough selection process focused on quality rather than quantity, here we are launching our first acceleration cycle with seven startups,” said Mr. Sami Abou Saab, CEO of Speed@BDD. “We look forward to getting the best out of each team and to sharing with you positive news at the conclusion of our acceleration cycle in three months,” he added.
The acceleration program, which started on the 22nd of September, offers $30,000 cash injection, in addition to free hosting, product development, business development, accounting services, legal services, and mentorship. Workshops are delivered by local and international mentors with various backgrounds and expertise.
“We are coaching each startup on its business and technology needs to deliver the most value within the 3-month acceleration,” added Abou Saab. The acceleration cycle concludes with the Demo Day, an event during which the startups pitch their products to a carefully selected, invite-only audience of potential investors. The top 2 startups of the batch will be sent to Silicon Valley for a follow-on immersion.
Hosted in the Berytech Digital Park (BDD1294), Speed@BDD will admit two batches per year. The program is open to any startup team at the idea or Minimum Viable Product stage that can move to Lebanon for the acceleration.