BEIRUT: Start-up accelerator Speed@BDD's launched its fourth acceleration program Tuesday at the Junkyard venue where nine enterprises where introduced that ran the gamut from digital shopping, AI financial assistance, music, and children's books, to gaming and educational applications.
"Speed@BDD has paved the way over the last 1.5 years and over three acceleration cycles. 18 startups have graduated from our program with a total investment of 540,000 USD in cash and the equivalent in in-kind services. We have seen the evolution of the startup ecosystem and Lebanon's brand is becoming prominent worldwide," Sami Abou Saab, Speed CEO, told Annahar.
"We are able to attract more and more international attention and a proof of that are the startups joining Cycle IV. We have a startup coming from Cyprus, we have two teams with founders coming back to join Speed@BDD's acceleration and start their company from Beirut, and we have two startups with PhDs on board," Abou Saab said, adding, "Speed has also started a new vertical track, gaming. We have partnered with Arab Arcade and we are piloting the acceleration of two gaming startups, combining Speed@BDD business and technology coaching with Arab Arcade's additional workshops that are specific and tailored to gaming, to serve the needs of the gaming studios. With nine wonderful startups on board, we are very excited about Cycle IV and the way forward."
The group of innovative start-up apps and tech business that will participate in Speed's latest training program includes:
Bidappeal is a new auction platform that will change how people experience buying the latest fashion and high-tech products online. Each auction starts at a specific time and only lasts 15 minutes. Users simply buy a ticket to join the auction, reserve a seat, and place their bids.
Fig is a mobile and web platform designed for the digital shoppers to enhance their physical shopping experience. With Fig shoppers browse inventory of physical shops online, search products, and create wish-lists.The platform also helps retailers become better at brick and mortar by providing them with currently inaccessible user data.
Groovy Antoid is a game development studio dedicated to creating fun games with simple mechanics and quirky likable characters, each with their own unique stories, rich worlds, and strong IP potential.
Harold is a digital broadcasting solution that allows users to publish their personal life announcements and classified ads on multiple channels (digital or printed press; ad space; blogs; websites and social networks). Harold optimizes content delivery to reach maximum visibility with desired audiences.
Neotic is an artificial intelligence platform that offers crowd-sourcing analysis of the stock markets. It allows stock traders with no programming skills to leverage the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The platform generates live-tested investment portfolios that are valuable for financial institutions, stock traders, and students of finance.
Rave is the world's first online Electronic Dance Music (EDM) community. It lets users instantly rate, rank, and share anything EDM and empowers them to instantly, and effectively, discover the latest trends in the EDM world; from legendary producers all the way through to the hottest new DJs, Clubs.
Smart Interactive Breadboard is a hardware and software solution that manages and organizes how robotics and electronics classes are taught in universities and schools. With SIB, students will have a smart board that helps them connect electronic components together.
The Living Book is a cloud production environment and a multi-store publishing platform that enables users with ideas to create, publish, and sell personalized printed and digital interactive books for children.
Van Ahmar is a game development studio founded by fanatic gamers. The studio creates mobile casual games with an innovative visual style, creative game mechanics, and a lot of hidden in-game features with one universal condition: every game is designed to push its players to experience at least one extreme aspect of the emotional human construct.
These enterprises will graduate from Speed's comprehensive accelerator course in several months, which includes mentorship, training, basic business lessons and ongoing inspiration for each enterprise to follow their dream in the quickly growing local start-up ecosystem.
Speed and other similar accelerator programs have resulted in a markedly growing ICT sector for Lebanon, helping to redefine the economy toward a skill set that is marketable into the larger MENA and global economy where some apps find themselves on a rapid track of growth if they receive a popular reception.
For all these local start ups the aim is to shot for the stars.
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