BEIRUT: In a night full of aspiration and inspiration, Casino du Liban hosted Thursday the seventh edition of the Brilliant Lebanese Awards organized by BLC Bank.
The stage was awash Technicolor light, as the dazzling singer Nawal Zoghbi made her appearance. Diners at the Brilliant Lebanese Awards sat rapt attention as Zoghbi impressed everyone with her famous quivering alto.
“The Brilliant Lebanese Awards is an opportunity to highlight the achievements of successful innovators and for them to be role models to others. The success of this annual ceremony is a proof of the Lebanese success of Lebanese talent” said Nadim Kassar, the chairman and general manager of BLC Bank.
After receiving numerous applications, a committee conducted an assessment and selected 12 candidates who made it to the final stage of the competition. The candidates went through several stages, during which they were offered guidance, advice, and training.
The 12 shortlisted candidates waited nervously at their tables, listening to Zoghbi’s performance and trying not to look too obviously concerned about who would win. Awards were announced in groups; with first up “Tech innovation of the Year” category
After the display of short videos presenting the competitors’ businesses, the first prize went to “Roadie Tuner” by Hassane Slaibi and the second prize went to “Synkers” by Audrey Nakad.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be here tonight surrounded by successful innovators. You all know the hardships we face every day and we have all realized that one cannot move on unless he has faith in his idea,” said Slaibi.
Slaibi is the CEO and co-founder of Band Industries, the company behind the Roadie automatic guitar tuners has forged a product that has changed the way people tune their guitars and is endorsed by music legends from bands like Queen, Drowning Pool and Tim McGraw among many others.
Additionally, the two winners for the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year category were Soumaya Merhi for Taqa in second place and Rania Abou Mosleh CEO recycling company AMB receiving first place.
AMB is an expert in solid waste management promoting recycling by recovering and producing secondary raw materials and alternative resources.
For Business of the Year category, Samer Tutunji clinched second place for Eshmoon Holistics and Joseph Akiki snagged first place for Screens International. In addition to that, Shady Saad won the People's Choice Award for his company Blue Sound.
The award winners were granted a cash prize, amounting to $30,000 each for the individual categories: Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year, and Tech Innovation of the year. The winner of the People's Choice Award received a prize of $5,000.
The selection was based on the financial performance of the company (30 percent), the creativity of their business (30 percent), its future sustainability (25 percent) and corporate social responsibility (15 percent).
Selected finalists will also take part in TV interviews, a 90-minute Awards ceremony broadcasted live on LBCI including a full report about each finalist’s business. Finalists will also get more than a full month of social media coverage on all BLC Bank and We Initiative platforms. The winners will receive, in addition to all the above, a wide media exposure following their announcement.
Kassar ended the night with a hopeful statement: “Who said we can't find a solution for our garbage crisis? The innovators today represent Lebanon's potential where people can shine and succeed,” he said.
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