8 Young Lebanese Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the Rules of the Game

8 Young Lebanese Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the Rules of the Game

Lebanon’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has been in full bloom in recent years, with fresh startups emerging round the clock and numerous entrepreneurs making a name for themselves on a worldwide scale. In this issue, HOME is bringing you a diverse compilation of eight young Lebanese entrepreneurs who are changing the rules of the game across a multitude of fields, from science and technology to fashion and education.

  1. Nicolas El Mir | Podle

The youngest entrepreneur on the list is nothing short of a prodigy. At only 16 years of age, El Mir has taken off to Silicon Valley after being selected to join Draper University’s one-off entrepreneurship program last year and managing to secure the needed funds through crowdfunding. El Mir developed a passion for coding and programming at an early age, and was building Windows and desktop apps by the age of nine, before switching to front-end development for web and mobile later on. He joined Microsoft at just 12 years of age as a Student Partner and has already got two startups under his belt! www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihikqFH6rJM

  1. Ziad Sankari | CardioDiagnostics

After losing his father to a heart attack at the age of 17, Sankari turned this tragedy to a triumph by subsequently developing efficient tools to monitor cardiac signals in a way that would prevent life-threatening heart conditions. Young and driven, he completed his biomedical engineering studies in 2010 and went on to launch CardioDiagnostics, a startup providing wearable hardware and a service package to analyze data received from cardiac devices, in 2012. The company currently offers a complete package of services catering to the needs of its main US target market, where its product, LifeSense, is also manufactured. The product, which puts patients under virtual observation without obstructing their movement, is nothing short of lifesaving in the event of a cardiac emergency, when local medical personnel receive emergency alert notifications. www.cardiodiagnostics.net

       3. Louise Doumet | Lebelik

As featured in a number of international media outlets including the BBC, Lebelik co-founder Louise Doumet continues to showcase the creations of Lebanese designers to the world. The idea behind online shopping platform Lebelik came to her during a trip to New York where she was repeatedly approached by random women asking about her clothes and accessories, which happened to be made by Lebanese designers. That’s when she became aware of the opportunity to export local fashion to foreign countries. And with the website currently delivering local designer items to the US and Russia in addition to the Middle East, there is no doubt that Doumet has succeeded in her mission. www.lebelik.com

  1. Jihad Kawas | Saily

This 20-year-old college dropout is not only the founder and CEO of one of the highest ranking shopping apps on Apple’s US App Store, but he is also a recipient of the prestigious $100k Thiel Fellowship grant (http://thielfellowship. org/). Currently residing in Silicon Valley, Kawas focuses on growing his company, Saily Inc., which boasts over 500,000 members, and he ranks among the most influential young Arabs in the world today. Kawas has kept a keen interest in education reform and has delivered two TED talks (www.youtube. com/watch?v=xXMFpFaL2hM) on the subject. His work has also been recognized by a number of international publications including The Huffington Post, Mashable, Yahoo!, Bloomberg Businessweek and VICE. www.saily.co

  1. Tara Nehme | Ticklemybrain

Young entrepreneur, public speaker and all-round self-starter Tara Nehme is founder of ticklemybrain (TMB), a writing platform that connects individuals and businesses with handpicked writing experts who can help them meet their writing/editing requirements. With over five years’ experience in building and supporting the development of technology startups, Nehme is a partner in several other startups, including Karaz and Presella, and serves as Program Director at Elevate, Lebanon’s first social impact accelerator, Startup Support Lead for the Center of Research & Innovation (CRINN) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and Startup Trainer at Bootcamp, a government funded idea-stage startup training program. www.ticklemybrain.com

  1. Hind Hobeika |Instabeat

Instabeat founder Hind Hobeika first earned recognition for her invention after winning third prize in reality TV competition Stars of Science at only 21 years of age, and she later took first prize in the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Business Plan competition, beating over 4,500 other applicants. Her award-winning startup, Instabeat, developed the first waterproof heads-up display (goggles) for swimmers, which monitors, stores and displays instant heart rate feedback during swimming in order to optimize training and ultimately achieve peak performance. The product ranked first on the Best of Wearable Technology list in 2014 and is currently being further developed by Hobeika in San Francisco. www.instabeat.com

       7. Rana El Chemaitelly | The Little Engineer

AUB engineering alumna Rana El Chemaitelly ranks among Lebanon’s top young female entrepreneurs today. In 2009, she founded her widely successful startup, The Little Engineer, an after-school edutainment center that introduces children and teens to the fascinating worlds of engineering, technology and science through customized courses in robotics, physics, electricity, electronics, and renewable energy, among others. Programs comprise eight sessions on average and end with a competition, thereby allowing children to have fun while learning relevant skills taught by seasoned experts in a convivial atmosphere. www.thelittleengineer.com

  1. Abdallah Absi | Zoomaal

Primarily known as the CEO of leading MENA crowdfunding platform Zoomaal, which has been featured in Forbes and The Wall Street Journal and on CNN, among others, Abdallah Absi is a college dropout and social tech entrepreneur on an ongoing mission to redefine global philanthropy through technology. To further implement his vision, Absi recently cofounded GivingLoop, a sustainable fundraising platform that facilitates fundraising for non-profits so that they can focus less on financials and more on instigating change. He also serves as an Ashoka Fellow and Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum and in the Beirut Hub, in addition to being a Startup Weekend organizer. www.zoomaal.com

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