touch and MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab collaborate on the ‘Lebanon to Silicon Valley’ Program
Beirut - September 24, 2018: touch, the leading mobile telecommunications and data operator in Lebanon, managed by Zain Group, has partnered with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab for its fourth edition of the Arab World Meets Silicon Valley Program entitled “Lebanon to Silicon Valley”, designed to expose Arab entrepreneurs to trainings, mentoring and the latest technologies.
The latest edition of the program took place in San Francisco during September, with five teams of entrepreneurs from Lebanon that were selected to participate in trainings, and to receive expert advice, meet investors and showcase their startups during the week-long event. The five teams also participated in TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, the world’s largest technology and startup event.
The five Lebanese teams, Brate, Seez App, Smarke, MakerBrane and Ecomz, were chosen based on a set of criteria, which included innovation, global presence and reach, revenues generated, seed investment raised and years of operation.
The attending teams participated in an interactive session with 500 startups that was held in collaboration with TechWadi and LebNet. The group also participated in an ‘Investors and Mentors’ day where they received one-on-one sessions and coaching.
Emre Gurkan, Chief Executive Officer of touch said, “Partnering with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Association is well aligned with our strategy to support the youth and the startup ecosystem in the country as part of our Corporate Sustainability program, “Positive touch” and specifically in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9 which promotes fostering innovation. We believe that Lebanon’s entrepreneurial and innovation landscape has the potential and capacity to thrive and we hope the five teams from Lebanon truly benefited from the opportunity to travel to San Francisco, acquiring knowledge and skills from this valuable program.”
Commenting on the program, Hala Fadel, Chair of the board of MITEF Pan Arab said: "We are very proud of the collaboration with touch, which made the Arab World Meets Silicon Valley program a success; such a partnership is elemental to the growth of the ecosystem and entrepreneurs. Our program offered unprecedented value to Lebanese entrepreneurs, be it in learning, networking, or growing."
The Lebanon to Silicon Valley program facilitates startups from Lebanon to be exposed to the international innovation ecosystem, offering the startups global exposure and opportunities, while also introducing the individual entrepreneurs to experienced Silicon Valley personalities. Participants visited tech giants including Google, 500 Startups, Salesforce, and Uber.
touch partnered with MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Association to support entrepreneurs and startups in Lebanon and across the Arab world, and to contribute to building a culture of innovation. touch and MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Association continue to assist entrepreneurs and startups from Lebanon to gain international exposure and support of their business ideas.