The Beirut network of the global Startup Weekend community held Startup Weekend Beirut, with an environmental theme, from May 13-15, 2016. The nonstop 54-hour “marathon” event aimed to bring together the region’s innovators to work on developing ideas that could solve Lebanon’s environmental issues.
The community event that believes in “turning ideas into action” saw 50 participants organized in seven teams work on viable solutions for the country’s environmental challenges. The teams were able to learn from 30 local and international mentors present at the gathering, which hosted over 300 guests including entrepreneurs and students. Three ideas with “the right customer validation and proper technical and design execution” were rewarded with cash and in kind (incubation), as well as access to AltCity’s Startup Bootcamp. Limm app (pick up in Arabic) bagged the first place for its solution promoting sorting of recyclable waste, winning US$3,000 and three-month incubation at Berytech. CoBite, an app facilitating donation or sale of excess food came second, winning $2,500 and an incubator package from Smart ESA Incubator. The third winning team was Strash, developing a concept of a glass bottle crusher for pubs as a method of recycling, with an award of $1,000.
Entrepreneurs Elias Ghanem, Layal Jebran and Tala Azzam led the organizing team for the volunteer-driven event. The European Union, École Supérieure des Affaires (ESA Campus), Berytech incubator, AltCity, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Speed@BDD accelerator, and other entities supported the 2016 edition.