On December 8th, 2022, Berytech celebrated its 20th anniversary in an event that gathered the Berytech team and community of entrepreneurs, friends, and partners around a celebratory toast and reflective inspirational talks.
Berytech was launched in 2002 by the University of Saint Joseph to support the creation of startups and jumpstart Lebanon’s knowledge economy. This catapulted Berytech into becoming a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, not only in Lebanon but also in the region.
For the past 20 years, Berytech has provided entrepreneurs with a rich and dynamic environment to grow their startups, allowing innovative youth to create their own opportunities while launching a series of funds to catalyze investments, and stimulating the creation of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem while contributing to job creation and economic opportunities.
Maroun Chammas, CEO, and Chairman of Berytech, welcomed the audience, expressing his pride and gratitude for the role each of the attendees has played in bringing Berytech to where it is today and in paving the way for bigger future successes: “We are fortunate to be able to witness all the great things that our Lebanese entrepreneurs can do. The last couple of years has proven that innovation is more critical than ever. Crisis presents choice and with our lives and businesses upended in every possible way, choosing to innovate creates significant new opportunities. Businesses of all sizes redefined their strategies and revisited their business models, structures, and solutions, adapting quickly to ensure their survival in the face of adversity. Fortunately facing adversity is a strength for entrepreneurs.”
The past few years have been pivotal in Bertyech’s journey where it had to expedite its growth and re-strategize to accommodate new programs, multiply its social, and environmental, and, most importantly, economic impact, to touch as many businesses and entrepreneurs as possible in different sectors and areas in Lebanon. In 2021 alone, Berytech received $5M in funds to develop and implement 13 new projects and programs in addition to ongoing ones, with an increasing focus on supporting SMEs.
To manage this exponential growth, Berytech expanded the team by 132%, adding 57 new members to its different departments.
In his speech Chammas reinforced that: “None of this would have been possible without the trust that we had built with the international community throughout the years. Berytech has been and continues to be successful because of proper governance.”
In addition to Ramy Boujawdeh, COO of Berytech; Nicolas Rouhana, Chairman and CEO of IM Fndng, and Paul Chucrallah, Managing Director of Berytech Fund II who each took the stage to share their personal insights on leading Berytech throughout the years, the event hosted guest speaker Alain Bejjani, CEO of the Majid el Futaim Holding.
From his perspective in the Dubai-based lifestyle conglomerate operating in 17 countries and 13 diverse industries, Bejjani addressed the audience in a talk that reinforced Berytech’s indispensable role in the last two decades: “We come together this evening to not only mark two decades of success but also reflect on Berytech’s role in creating an unshakable foundation for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lebanon to thrive. In doing so, you have discovered the optimal balance to catalyze innovation, support businesses to effectively nurture their sense of entrepreneurship, and drive progressive and positive change. The impact of which reaches far beyond the borders of Lebanon.
The impact of your work becomes even more impressive when considering how we individually and collectively have been challenged over the past few years.
Disruptions, evolution, revolution and change have assailed every aspect of our human experience – demanding we demonstrate grit, resilience, perseverance and fortitude to improvise, adapt and overcome. As I stand here today, I see leaders that consistently and continuously demonstrate a phenomenal capacity to rise to the challenge, tapping into a truly impressive degree of creativity and imagination.”
Berytech continues to drive growth and innovation through a multitude of programs and partnerships as it has in the past 20 years with while supporting more than 5000 entrepreneurs, 700 startups, 1000 SMEs and helped create more than 6200 jobs.