Startup Weekend Beirut - Environment Edition

    Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Beirut - Environment Edition

Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016

Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016
Event starts at 4:30 pm

ESA Campus - École Supérieure des Affaires
289 Clemenceau Street
Beirut, Beirut

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We're Here, and We're Green!

**** Project Funded by the European Union **** 

This year Startup Weekend Beirut is all about Environment.
The ideas & startups that will emerge from this particular event have to solve an environmental problem.  

We have amazing prizes coming from our amazing sponsors and partners.  

** First Prize Winner **

- $3k in cash from the Startup Weekend Beirut Environment Team
- A package worth $5k from Berytech (Details Below)
- Bootcamp phase 1 accelerator program package from AltCity (Details Below) 

** Second Prize Winner **
- $2.5k in cash from ESA Business School
- An incubator package from Smart ESA Incubator
- Bootcamp phase 1 accelerator program package from AltCity (Details Below) 

** Third Prize Winner **
- $2k in cash from the Startup Weekend Beirut Environment Team
- Bootcamp phase 1 accelerator program package from AltCity (Details Below) 

Prize Details:

* Berytech *  

- Incubation for 3 months at Berytech. 
- Access to their co-working space and community 
- Free Access to Berytech programs and trainings
- Coaching sessions and follow up from Berytech team members for project development 
One mentor assigned to follow up with the team 

* Smart ESA * 

You'll be incubated in the coolest college supporting entrepreneurs in Lebanon, one of the only to have an entrepreneurs program run by the faculty itself. You'll get to be mentored and advised by the best in business from Lebanon and Europe to grow and scale your startup.

* AltCity's Bootcamp Package for prize winners *  

Get immediate access to the Bootcamp idea accelerator and transform your idea into a startup. 
The package includes the following:
- 3 months co-working space.
- One on One weekly mentorship sessions.
- Access to GAN perks 
Bootcamp is the top startup program by AltCity, that offers an outstanding opportunity to work with an accomplished network of mentors and investors while being supported by a team of dedicated entrepreneurs and world class experts. 

* Hbr *  
For the best hardware Startup, hbr creative platform will pick a winner who will receive our ‘Designed in Lebanon’ award and trophy,  offering free design mentorship along with a desk for 2 months at our maker and co-working space. 
You can check out their workshops here: And a link for their list of their services and machinery available for your startup 

* Speed@BDD * 

Are offering interview opportunities for Startup Weekend's competition finalists for potential admission in their next acceleration cycle, which will begin in September 2016.  
Startups that join Speed@BDD's acceleration program each receive a $30,000 cash injection, in addition to free hosting, product and business development, accounting and legal services, and mentorship by local and international coaches with various backgrounds and expertise.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday May 13th

4:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Welcome and Speakers
Mr. Elias Ghanem Welcome Speech / Mr. Stephane Atali From Smart ESA / Mr. David Munir Nabti From AltCity / H.E Ambassador Christina Lassen Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon

6:20 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:40 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday May 14th

8:35 am
ISHA Yoga Session
Arrive early and participate in our Yoga Session sponsored by ISHA

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

9:45 am
Inspirational Talks
9:45-9:55 Waste Lebanon 9:55-10:00 MakeSense Business Model Canvas 10:00-10:20 Dario Di Angelis from Docebo

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

1:15 pm
100 Ragl Panel by Womanity
Moderator: Asmaa Guedira Panelists: Nelly Baz Layal Jebran Aistė Lehmann Intervention by: Bilal Ghalib

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday May 15th

8:35 am
Run With Paula
It’s fun, it’s healthy and a great way to start the day. Run with Paula and kickstart your day in a healthy way

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Smart ESA Mentors Talk
Talks By: Sandra Rey Ethienne Durand Christophe Le Blanc

10:20 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

1:00 pm

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Submit Final Files to Facilitator

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:45 pm
Judging & Awards

7:00 pm
Food & Networking
Final meal and networking before closing up the event

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Dario De Angelis
Program Manager Growth Hacking - Foodics

Dario is an Aerospace Engineer, Digital Marketing expert, Growth Hacker, Software as a Service sales master. 

With an Aerospace Engineer background, Dario is a Digital Marketing expert, a Cloud SaaS master and a curious growth hacker. Thanks to his heterogeneous background, Dario has helped tech companies and startups to quickly validate, launch and scale new projects and ideas both as an employee and a mentor. He is currently the Program Manager for Growth Hacking at Foodics, the number one POS in the Middle East and has a wide variety of interests including music, movies and sports. 

Asmaa Guedira
Connector and Collaborative Economy Strategist

Asmaa is passionate about social innovation, and very interested in the impact of collaboration enabled by digital technology in creative and innovative communities that emerge in society, and their impact on organizations as well as gender structures. She is Moroccan and has been living in Rabat, Paris, New York and Istanbul. She is now a nomad, living and working around the world, with a major focus in MENA countries this year.

Asmaa works as global connector and MENA coordinator for OuiShare, an international community of innovators working together on emerging paradigms such as collaborative economy, open source manufacturing, decentralized organizations and zero waste societies, that she joined after working 4 years as a management consultant at PwC in Paris. She is also the MENA coordinator for the Womanity Foundation, where she uses new media and innovation to support women empowerment in the Arab world. 

Bilal Ghalib

Bilal Ghalib works to spread hope by sharing the inspiring thought that together we have the ability to participate in creating a beautiful future. By facilitating the development of Hackerspaces in the Middle East Bilal connects open source, rapid prototyping technologies and most importantly passionate people who will together make tomorrow better.

Event Judges

Tara Nehme
Founder at Tickle My Brain

Entrepreneur, writer and public speaker driven by love for creating things that matter. Journey into the startup space began with TMB: a platform that matches individuals and businesses with creative consultants to meet writing and editing requests. Affinity for typography and more so, putting words together in the best possible way. Involved in a bunch of startups, dedicated to helping people develop their dream projects and interested in many things (design, minimalism). Prior to TMB, held my one and only job in the corporate kingdom. Investigated business crimes as a forensics consultant following completion of an undergraduate degree in finance. 

Dani Arnaout
CTO @ Saily

A couple of years back, Dani participated in his very first Startup Weekend. Ever since, he got addicted to it, so he started coaching, judging, organizing, and now facilitating Startup Weekends all around the world! After winning three prizes at local & regional entrepreneurship competitions, he finally co-founded Saily, a peer-to-peer marketplace. Dani is a software engineer, specifically in the mobile apps development field. So he will also offer valuable advice & technical help throughout the event by sharing his silicon-valley experience with the attendees.

Ramy Boujawdeh
Deputy GM at Berytech

With more than 17 years of international experience in management in different disciplines, Ramy amassed diversified knowledge in the fields of change and quality management, operations, and entrepreneurship support programs. 
With a strong business mindset and a firm commitment to achieve excellent, Ramy is an Angel Investor and actively advises early-stage startups in Lebanon. Ramy holds a B.S. in Agriculture Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and a M.S. in Business Management and Economics.

Hassane Slaibi
Co-founder & CEO

Hassane Slaibi is the co-founder and CEO of Band Industries, building the ultimate musician's toolkit. With a computer engineering degree from AUB (2009), Hassane worked with NEC in Japan and CSIRO in Australia, before founding Band Industries and successfully launching the acclaimed Roadie automatic guitar tuner into the world.

Cyril Dewaleyne

Cyril Dewaleyne is working since 2012 as Program Manager for Water, Energy and Infrastructure at the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon. He takes part in the policy dialogue with Lebanese Institutions on energy, water and transport as well as on environmental-related matters. He also contributes to EU's response to the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon and other bilateral cooperation actions (through programs' instruction and implementation). He previously spent 5 years at the EU Delegation to Morocco, covering the Energy and Institution Building dossiers. He also took part to Romania's dynamics of Accession to the EU from 2005 to 2007, as Program Manager for Regional Development at the EU Delegation in Bucharest. Before working for the European Institutions, he worked for 6 years as consultant in the private sector in Belgium, and 2 years as teacher at the College Notre-Dame de Jamhour (Lebanon). His educational background is production engineering.

Elias Ghanem
Digital Payments and FINTECH expert

FINTECH and customer journey expert 
Elias Ghanem, is a FINTECH professional. Elias worked for VISA for 12 years in Miami and Singapore followed by 4 years at PAYPAL in Singapore (as GM for South East Asia and India) and then MENA GM. In Nov 2013 he left PayPal to become an entrepreneur (at age 43) and launched TELR, an online payment gateway based in Singapore and Dubai. He ran Telr for all 2014 and became the chairman of Telr in January'15. Since then, he chairs and sits on boards of several FINTECH startups. He has been working and speaking about the disruption of the retail sector, and advocating for a multi-touch customer experience driven by an omnichannel engagement approach. He is currently the Resident Mentor of the UK Lebanon Tech Hub in Beirut, a start-ups accelerator programme set up by Banque du Liban, the Lebanese Central Bank.  

Christophe LeBlanc
smart ESA Mentor, advisory board member of Towerbrook Private Equity

In digital since 2007 ; 3 years as deputy chief of staff for the French Minister for Digital Economy and Prospective, 5 years as EVP Public Sector and Digital Transformation of Solocal digital media group, 1 year as senior advisor for Onepoint, consulting firm focused on Digital transformation, 1 year as Advisory Board Member of Towerbrook Private Equity.

Coaches and Mentors

Abed Halawi
Tech Lead at Vinelab

Leader by nature, a meticulous worker, been a lover of technology for 6 years to become a second nature of mine. Leading the greatest Tech Artisans team at Vinelab.

Jessica Chemali
Program Manager at NAHNOO

A data scientist turned into a social activist: After obtaining a B.E in computer engineering from AUB I worked as a research assistant in a computational neuroscience and anesthesia lab at MIT and then obtained my Msc. in Machine Learning from CMU. Today, I am the Programs manager at NAHNOO, an advocacy NGO that works on empowering youth and promoting public spaces and good governance practices in Lebanon.

Ali Zein
Expert in Business Strategies and Technology

Ali studied Computer Science at American University of Beirut, and holds a Master degree in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University. He started his first Information System and security consultancy company in 2008 targeting the public sector in Beirut and Africa. He co-founded IdeatoLife, a startups that offers CTO as a service for development of startups from concept to product.

Malik El Khoury
General Manager at Le Wagon

Born and raised in Belgium, graduated in Marketing and Graphic Design. Malik is a Lebanese serial entrepreneur who previously managed small business and currently develops Le Wagon Beirut's activities.

Georges Abi Aad
Digital Media Officer @ the UKLTH

After two years of offline storytelling, Georges Abi Aad dove deep into online marketing. He quickly became head of communications in one of the region’s top digital marketing agencies, creating online ad campaigns, website content, blog content, social media strategies, and more. Today, he handles the UK Lebanon Tech Hub's full online presence, digital products development, and provides Digital Media Strategies advice to Lebanon's top startups.

Fares Samra
CTO at Speed@BDD

Fares Samara is currently the CTO of Speed@BDD, Lebanon’s first ecosystem-backed startup accelerator. Part of his role, Fares is responsible for recruiting and evaluating startups, developing the technical program and mentoring startups over their technical strategy and architecture. Fares has over 9 years of experience in the software and technology space. Prior to Speed@BDD, he worked at CME Offshore and KnowledgeView where his roles spanned across most of the core activities of the software development life cycle. At CME, he established and led a team of 20 quality assurance and test automation engineers, contracted for Thomson Reuters. At KnowledgeView, he led and managed the mobile development team, and deployed high availability software solutions to the cloud. Outside Speed@BDD, Fares automates Forex trading by relying on technical analysis to create scripts capable of executing profitable trades with no human intervention. Fares holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from the American University of Beirut and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Lebanese American University.

Mohamad Sabouneh
Expert in Digital Startups, validation, fundraising

Mohamad has 4 years of experience in Venture Capital investments and advises several digital startups in the region. Mohamad additionally has 3 years of experience in project and construction management in the GCC and North Africa. Mohamad holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the Lebanese University, and an MBA from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Najwa Sahmarani
Founder at Alkindy

A  Social Entrepreneur and Business Developer. Najwa is the co-founder and Vice President of Tripoli Entrepreneurs Club where she designs and manages Programs aimed at enabling youth to start their own entrepreneurial journey. Najwa is also the Founder of Alkindy, a Collaborative Space, Learning Hub and Social Incubator for Tripolitan youth - launched following a successful crowd funding campaign on Zoomaal. Earlier in her career, she was part of the founding team of CardioDiagnostics, a high-tech biomedical venture based in Lebanon specialized in the design of innovative heart monitoring solutions targeting mainly the US market. Najwa pursued a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering at the Lebanese American University.
Najwa is actively working on community projects especially in the areas of entrepreneurship, education delivery to underprivileged areas as well as building capacity and leadership among youth. She is a Global Shaper at TripoliLB Hub – an initiative by the World Economic Forum. 

Dina Alwani
Co-foudner at Pixel for Thought

Dina is Co-Founder and Creative Director of Pixel For Thought. She majored in Graphic Design and has worked with many high-end clients in Lebanon, Geneva, Jordan and the UAE. She mainly works with NGOs such as ILO and UNRWA. She also works alongside her partners at Pixel For Thought on 2D animation and video infographic projects for startups and businesses. During Beirut Design Week 2015, they created the Ensa Project, a classic 2d animated web series set in a Lebanese neighborhood that was launched as part of Design!/Disrupt!/ workshop, and which received great feedback from judges and audience during the event. Dina can help with all things visual, from branding to animation.

Roy Naufal
CTO/Managing Partner at Grind Design & Development, Owner at Kode.Today, CTO at LiveLoveBeirut, CTO at Feer McQueen, Head of IT at CNDL

Roy started development at the age of 11 before turning it into business at age 13. He currently runs his own company & is partner/owner in few other projects. He has won many startup weekends & development competitions including winning title of Top Developer in Lebanon several times  as well as Top Coder in Arab Countries. He's also an avid musician, sound engineer, and events organizer.

Reine Abbas
Co-Founder/Partner/Coo at Wixel Studios

With more than twelve years in the Gaming and Tech industry and eleven years in high education she started this awesome journey  in 2003 by founding the art department at Digipen-Lebanon. She co founded Wixel Studios in 2008. It was the first Indie gaming company in Lebanon and one of the first in theMiddleEast. She is the COO,  lead artist and game designer of all the games produced under Wixel Studios.  She co founded Spica Twins in 2014, a tech academy,aims at teaching kids (5+) and teenagers game development. Alongside her Wixel role, she is a tutor and advisor for some of the most talented  students in two major private universities. 
She was selected one of  The top 20 Lebanese entrepreneurs by executive magazine. Winner of the WOW award for artistic expressions 2013 (6th New Arab Woman Forum)
She was Selected one of the most 5 powerful women in gaming by, Selected one of Top 10 High Profile Women in Video Games, Selected one of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women in 2014 and 2015.

Ayssar Arida
Co-Founder/CEO of urbacraft

Ayssar Arida (@ayssar) is an urbatect, writer, educator, and the co-founder of Urbacraft. He launched multiple online and off-line ventures while living and working between London, Paris, and Beirut.  His work covers architecture, urban design, web and game development, toy design, and project consulting. Ayssar holds an MA in Urban Design with Distinction from Oxford Brookes, and a BA in Architecture from AUB. Urbacraft (@urbacraft) is an on-demand toy platform. It combines the physicality of LEGO and the hackability of Minecraft, and allows anyone to imagine, make, and sell their own designs. Urbacraft has recently graduated from the UK Lebanon Tech Hub and the New York based XRC Labs accelerators. Selected as Executive Top 20 Lebanese Entrepreneurs and AlleyWatch 8 Hottest Consumer Startups in NYC.

Fouad Fattal
CEO at Krimston

With a Computer and communication engineering degree, Fouad started his career by acting as the project manager of a workflow solution dedicated to advertising agencies. His strategic role in the business development sector of the company led to the establishment of a solid distribution network across the Middle East, leading to strong relationships in the region that then catered to marketing multiple products held by the company. Fouad then decided to move to the entrepreneurship world and founded his first firm, Distimania SARL in 2009, which specializes in the distribution of innovative high end IT accessories in Lebanon and across the Mena region. Ambitious by nature, Fouad is currently the founder and CEO of Krimston SAL, leading the project to the success it deserves.

Mahmoud Zalt

An expert Web Developer. Specializes in developing modern Web Applications and API’s.

Proficient with Back-End and Front-End technologies. Very passionate about software architecture and design patterns. And a big believer in automated testing.

He is an active creator and contributor to open source projects. Founder and CTO at His popular projects are LaraDockHello APILaravel CDN, NextPackAPI ManagerURL Shortener.

He loves writing blog posts, recording screencasts tutorials and answering questions on tech Q&A platforms.

For him, coding is not a job it is an enjoyable lifestyle. And he enjoys helping and teaching people as much as he enjoys coding.

Ziad Abi Chaker
CEO Cedar Environmental - Lebanon: Environmental Engineer – Industrial Engineer – Master Garbage Man

Ziad is a multi-disciplinary engineer who specializes in building Municipal Recycling Facilities on the communal level going against the trend of a central Mega recycling Plant.  While doing research at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA his team developed a technology to accelerate the composting cycle of organic waste in an odorless manner to produce high grade fertilizer.  After returning to Lebanon in 1996, Ziad started Cedar Environmental, an environmental & industrial engineering organization that aims to build recycling plants to produce organically certified fertilizers and leave no waste material to be disposed of, but instead recycled into a new form of product to be used again and again. Most municipalities in Lebanon and the middle east cannot afford to buy recycling plants, so Ziad worked out a three way contract where local banks give his company soft loans to build the recycling facilities and municipalities pay only for the service of recycling/composting in comfortable monthly installments not exceeding 5 US Dollars per household per month. Recently, Ziad and his engineering team, after four years of research, developed a new technology which transforms plastic bags into solid plastic panels, dubbed ECO-BOARD, used in the outdoors to replace wooden and steel panels.  They have won the 2013 International Energy Globe Award for this revolutionary process. Currently, they are transforming that technology from using fossil fuels to generate the required energy to biomass a renewable energy source. He is the recipient of an American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) design award in 1993 for his design linking municipal waste management to agriculture. In 2001, he received the Ford Motor Company Environmental & Conservation award for the Middle East. In 2011, he was named Arab World Social Innovator by Synergos institute in New York City, USA.  In February 2014, he was awarded by the World CSR Congress the Green Future Leadership Award. In April 2014, he was named to the fourth annual GOOD 100 list of global citizens and creative changemakers by GOOD Magazine, a US based publication. In June 2003, he was awarded the certificate of appreciation and recognition by the Syrian Government for his overall plan to make Syrian Food industries compliant with Clean Production Protocols. He expanded his study to be implemented all over the Middle-East and North Africa region and received the certificate of recognition of the Arab League in April 2006. His work in the advancement of the Zero Waste Societies earned him a speaking slot at the TEDxBeirut conference in September 2011. He has made numerous TV appearances for his innovative social work promoting environmental protection and green jobs creation. He holds a patent in a technology to compost organic materials dynamically with no pollution and has written extensively on environmental policies, issues and future trends. Ziad lives & works in Beirut – Lebanon.

Lara El Khoury
Business Development Manager at MeGreen

Lara hold an MBA from Vlerick Business School, Belgium, in addition to a Master in Computer and Communication Engineering from Lebanese University.Lara gained deep experience in IT sector while working in big IT corporates such as Microsoft and Cisco, as well as IT startup companies. After 7 years of living abroad between USA, Belgium and United Arab Emirates, Lara is back in Lebanon to help in developing and growing ME Greenthat she co-founded in 2010. ME Green offers turnkey renewable energy solutions.In 2013, Lara also co-founded Twelve, a startup in sport fashion. Twelve was founded with the objective of building a casual lifestyle brand for free-minded, young-spirited football fans looking for trendy designs at affordable prices.

Nelly Baz
Co-Founder and Director, hbr creative platform - OuiShare Lebanon Connector

With a background in market advertising and graphic design, nelly baz shifted from designing commercially-oriented projects to tackling social challenges and problem-solving after acquiring her Masters in Strategic Design from Politecnico Di Milano, Italy. While living in Milan, she consulted alongside Make a Cube finding sustainable solutions for social innovation start-ups. Being a passionate design researcher in open governments, the Sharing Economy, collaborative “prosumption”, nelly became an active member of OuiShare, the global community of the sharing economy. nelly relocated to Beirut and became country connector for OuiShare accepting the challenge to build Beirut’s collaborative community, and simultaneously co-founded hbr creative platform where she currently manages the design hub. 

Simon Tadros

Nodejs jedi, javascript and developing IOT as a hobby. Consults the Lebanese Army for social media and organised Startup Weekend Byblos, jsconf Beirut, also a technical consultant for startups and SME's.

Ahmad Sufian Bayram
Techstars MEA Regional Manager

Ahmad Sufian Bayram is a Syrian social entrepreneurship. He works as the Middle East and Africa regional manager at Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed with a portfolio of over 1,100 companies and operation in 150 countries with a variety of programs including Startup Weekend and Startup Week. Ahmad has played an essential role in supporting Syrian in gaining access to entrepreneurship and building a supportive ecosystem as Jusoor Managing Directo. He's Techfugees board of adviser, and Entrepreneur in Residence at Aliqtisadi. Ahmad co-chairs many programmes with the aim of empowering Syrian entrepreneurs and advising several startups and non-profit organizations.

Etienne Durand
Creative technologist – Hopscotch Agency

After ten years spent working for CRM companies, where he worked on behalf of Orange, it’s at Marcel, a Publicis Group agency, Etienne Durand has built his expertise and marketing culture.Firstly in charge of leading the development team of the agency, he finally developed the activity corresponding to his credo : "make innovation a source of inspiration"Last year, he joined the Hopscotch Agency as Creative technologist and works with all the teams in the fueling technology innovations he discovers conducting his technology watch.It is in this role, and thanks to its excellent knowledge of the ecosystem of startups, he has been working on the organization of the event Solutions COP21 that took place on December in ParisHe is also a founding member of the Creative Tech Tank, french think tank dedicated to promoting creative technology to schools, companies and institutions.

Sandra Rey
Founder & CEO @ Glowee

What if we would no longer need electricity to produce light?Glowee is the light from the sea! A living lighting energy, needing no electricity, emitting very few CO2 and light pollution. A light coming directly from nature, at the crossroads of biomimicry and synthetic biology, ready to revolutionize our way to produce, consume and light up! Bio: Sandra has a master’s degree from the French design school Strate  and took social entrepreneurship courses at the business school ESCP Europe. During her designed studies, she has imagined an alternative to traditional lighting that doesn’t require electricity. As the founder and CEO of Glowee, a Paris-based startup, she’s betting on a future powered by bioluminescence.She has just been recognised as an Innovator under 25 but the great MIT technology Review. 

Rita Kerbaj
Deputy Director of Startup Programs

Passionate about startups, social impact, and developing markets, Rita has recently joined AltCity's team, co-leading the Bootcamp program which turns ideas into investment-ready startups. Prior to returning to Beirut, Rita worked in Business Development for the Rocket Internet venture, Kaymu, in Lagos Nigeria where she focused on operations, customer service, and communications. Rita holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College. She is excited to offer mentorship on lean methodology, pitching, communications, and more.

Elie BouJaoude
Investment Manager | Entrepreneur

Elie Boujaoude is one of the few who were involved in the entrepreneurship and start-ups ecosystem in Lebanon at the very start since 2004. He headed the first ever financial instrument dedicated to financing tech start-ups in Lebanon at Kafalat SAL. During his time there, he played a key role in completing financing transactions exceeding $130 million across different industries. He was then the Investment Manager of Berytech Fund I, one of the first tech VCs regionally and has made investments in 15 companies. He is one of the very few who has extensive knowledge of the financing and investing landscape in Lebanon and the region as he covered the different aspects of the industry from lender, to investor and entrepreneur. Most recently, Elie established his own start up and can relate to any entrepreneur in the region. 

Youssef Jalloul
General Manager @ - Managing Partner @ - C0-Founder

Passionate for novelty, Mr. Jalloul applied his entrepreneurship skills early on while completing his Bachelors of Business at AUB, where he established his first company a Hydroponics Farm. Upon graduating Mr. Jalloul excelled his talents in several industries as a business analyst and later Managing Partner at *.Technology s.a.r.l, an IT Development company. The regional expertise he gained through implementing and leading several IT projects allowed him to play a role in the Lebanese IT ecosystem as the General Manager of Torch s.a.l. a youth and startup enabler.
An entrepreneur at heart, Mr. Jalloul is currently involved in several start-ups and has founded several companies. His passion for novelty drives him to continuously seek new challenges and ventures where he can apply his experience to their success.

Tony Abdel Malak
Co-founder & COO at Merry Berries - Technology and Innovation Entrepreneur

Serial Tech Entrepreneur and Mentor with strong background in Digital and Engineering. Founded and sold 2 companies providing intuitive user centered design solutions.
I'm currently Founder & CEO of thedigitalcompany, a software solution start-up focusing on innovative and intuitive user centered design solutions for end consumers cross spectrum. Currently mentoring 3 startups and founder of 3 startups.
Expert in the Digital - Mobile - Social ventures. with emphasis on Customer centricity, Gamification and Loyalty

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Beirut - Environment Edition team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Signature Sponsors




Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Beirut is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Layal


Dani Arnaout
CTO @ Saily

A couple of years back, Dani participated in his very first Startup Weekend. Ever since, he got addicted to it, so he started coaching, judging, organizing, and now facilitating Startup Weekends all around the world! After winning three prizes at local & regional entrepreneurship competitions, he finally co-founded Saily, a peer-to-peer marketplace. Dani is a software engineer, specifically in the mobile apps development field. So he will also offer valuable advice & technical help throughout the event by sharing his silicon-valley experience with the attendees.

Event Staff

Yehia Haikal

Rayane Tayara

Nouraldine Fakhoury

Ali Al Abed

Zahi Hilal
Program officer

Passionate about fostering entrepreneurship as a mean to develop societies and national knowledge economies. Zahi is invested in programs supporting startups. 
With research in entrepreneurship pedagogy, health tech entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurs’ social networks, he is always exploring new ways to produce startups out of entrepreneurial ecosystems. 

Nourhan Mokahal

Gael Abi Akel

Maya Akra
Social Media Management

Theo Ghanem

Event Blog

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