Beirut, January 12, 2015: More than $150 million are now available for investment in fast-growing Lebanese startups in the creative and digital sectors. Driven by Banque Du Liban (BDL) Circular 331, announced just one year ago, Lebanon is witnessing the establisment of half a dozen new institutions that support and fund entrepreneurs, including venture capital funds, seed funds, accelerators, and bootcamps. Decision-makers from these new institutions will join top regional investors, executives and promising startups at the 6th edition of ArabNet Beirut – the largest gathering for the digital creative sectors.
ArabNet Beirut 2015 will bring together more than 700 attendees and 80 high-profile regional and international speakers to share their perspectives and insights on digital business. Innovators, entrepreneurs and marketeers will also have the unique opportunity to get exposure through ArabNet’s annual competitions: the Ideathon, for new business concepts; the Startup Demo, for fast-growing young startups; and the Creative Combat, for promising talents in emarketing. The winners will take home $10,000 of cash prizes and a fully-paid 3-month startup program in Silicon Valley. Applications for the competitions are open until February 12th on www.arabnet.me.
Beyond the cash prizes, the ArabNet competitions open up tremendous opportunities for entrepreneurs. Based on surveys of previous competitors, 38% of Startup Demo finalists met investors; 69% met new clients, and 83% received media exposure through the event. These companies have created more than 250 jobs across the region and collectively raised more than $7 million in funding.
In addition to the competitions, ArabNet Beirut 2015 will include the Design+Code Day (March 17), a day of preconference workshops to help designers and developers build better web and mobile apps; in addition to the two days of the Forum (March 18-19), which will cover the latest trends in ebusiness, digital media & advertising, technology and mobility, and entrepreneurship. The conference will also feature an accompanying exhibition, the Tech Fair, which will include more than 40 leading companies and startups from around the MENA region.
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