Smart ESA: A partnership of France and Lebanon

Smart ESA, which would be held on ESA’s campus in Clemenceau, offers four personalized support programs crafted to the different stages of a startup, from business modeling to internationalization.

3 August 2017 | 14:04

Source: Annahar

  • By Yehia El Amine
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 3 August 2017 | 14:04

ESA startup founders exchange views with Valerie Pecresse (Middle Left) President of the Ile de France Region and Stephan Attali (Centre Left) managing director of ESA

BEIRUT: Ecole Superieure Des Affairs (ESA) recently launched a new accelerator/incubator program called Smart ESA, with the support of the French Embassy and Banque Du Liban in hopes of building on French digital expertise coupled with the Lebanese entrepreneurial spirit.

Smart ESA, which would be held on ESA’s campus in Clemenceau, offers four personalized support programs crafted to the different stages of a startup, from business modeling to internationalization.

The first program, called “Discover” addresses the less experienced who desire to examine their business concept and learn more about how startups work. “Create” will teach young entrepreneurs how to create a business model to grow their idea.

The third track, labeled “Incubate,” is an incubation period where startup founders work on the strategy and development of their business. The final program is tailored for mature startups that are looking toward expanding to regional and international markets.

“After a rigorous selection of 300 applications, 19 startups have been distinguished by their innovative character and will currently benefit from these programs at Smart ESA,” The school said in a statement, adding that the selected entrepreneurs will receive theoretical courses and benefit from individualized coaching sessions by entrepreneurship professionals. 

The statement also added that Smart ESA is aimed at promoting job and company creation in Lebanon as well as opening a link between the country and FrenchTech, a hub for French entrepreneurs and digital innovators.

ESA, which is managed by France’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has access to the incubators of the of the Chamber network such as ESSEC, ESCP and HEC Business Schools.

Valerie Pecresse, President of the Ile de France Region visited Smart ESA on the school’s grounds, where she exchanged views with a number of the startups chosen to undergo the programs.

“This project is in line with the international cooperation strategy of the Region Ile de France which aims to reinforce the French speaking community, add a sparkle to French enterprises and digital expertise in Lebanon and promote the Ile de France as a fertile economic field,” she said.

This partnership between the Ile de France Region and ESA will contribute to the purchase of technical equipment for the incubator/accelerator. 

“ESA is a privileged platform for the development of French leadership in Lebanon and the region. This partnership will allow us in the framework of our mission to develop three new expertise centers where students will be offered the opportunity to gather around French excellence,” Stephan Attali, managing director of ESA said.


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