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Syrian NobelChemist Selected as Third Semi-Finalist for MIT Enterprise Region Startup Competition

Syrian NobelChemist has been selected as one of the semi-finalists teams for this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Region Startup Competition for the Ideas Track.

Ever since he was a child Louay AlOtba always hated swimming pools because of the strong smell of chlorine. After graduating from pharmacy school, AlOtba worked in the field of disinfectants where he learned and discovered the dangerous effects of the water disinfectants that are commonly used by people either to treat their drinking water or to treat the water used in swimming pools.

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Darebni TV Selected as Second Semi-Finalist for MIT Enterprise Region Startup Competition

Jordanian Darebni TV has been selected as one of the semi-finalists teams for this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Region Startup Competition for the Start-up Track

Darebni TV is an online training platform that provides vocational and workplace readiness training in the Arabic Language for customers across the Middle East. The company currently offers training's in the fields of software applications and graphic design. Users receive training in the form of online videos and exercises of various levels based on their skills and needs. They can also track their training progress and review any training material provided in the past to ensure that they are receiving a complete training service rather than simply watching a video online or attending a workshop.

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Algerian GuideME Selected as First Semi-Finalist for MIT Enterprise Region Startup Competition

Algerian GuideME has been selected as one of the semi-finalists teams for this year’s MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition for the Ideas Track.

While participating in a local competition in Algeria, two electrical engineers Badreddine Zebbiche and Sidali Rezetane had less than 24 hours to design a solution for the visually impaired, their enthusiasm lead them to creating "Guide ME”, a new idea with huge potential.

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Entrepreneurship in Lebanon: Why 2012 Wasn’t Like... “2012”

At the time of writing, snowflakes are falling outside of Seeqnce's Hamra offices - something that has not happened for a very long time in Beirut. This could be the first of many firsts in the coming year: the 2013 Middle East entrepreneurship calendar is shaping up to be unprecedented in breadth, depth, and success stories.

This is also a good time to look back at the last year in entrepreneurship. Seeqnce's next column will be about the key startup stories of 2012; but first, let us focus on the 2012 highlights of the entrepreneurship support sector in Lebanon.

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Lebanese web startup ikimuk goes live

ikimuk is a Seeqnce Startup that launched to the public on December 10.

Similar to successful US-based Threadless, ikimuk lets users buy t-shirts featuring designs from leading artists.

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The First Social Innovation Camp

The First Social Innovation Camp organized by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab Region brought together entrepreneurs, creative minds, developers, and social innovators to come up with web / tablet - based solutions for social problems in Lebanon and the region- over two and a half days.

The Social Innovation camp which was the final event of The Global Entrepreneurship week in Lebanon started out with 26 ideas. After the ideas were rated a total of 14 teams where formed to start working on developing a prototype of their social idea. Over the past two and a half days the teams worked day and night in order to design their business model, think about their financials, marketing, competition and everything related to their social enterprise. The teams received one-to-one coaching provided by experts in addition to sessions on how social entrepreneurs can make money and how social change by social media is possible.

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Seeqnce to Hold 3rd Annual Global Entrepreneurship Week Closing Event on Saturday

Seeqnce will host on Saturday the third annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) closing event, with over 400 registered attendees.

Investors, industry leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs and students have signed up to attend the closing event, which will take place at 8 p.m.

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Young and Socially Employed - The Next Wave of Recruits

The Dubai School of Government and SAP have released a report on Social Media and Arab Youth which asks the question “Can this huge usage of social media play a powerful role in the economic empowerment of the most active group in society, the Arab youth” finding that in the wake of the Arab Spring, in fact the answer is yes. Youth are using social media increasingly to look for jobs, upskilling and to create SME’s.

On the other hand, an infographic about how Facebook Addiction is affecting our minds makes the striking observation that internet addicts experience a 10 - 20% decrease in speech, memory, motor control, sensory and other information, however people with significantly more Facebook friends tend to have larger orbital prefrontal cortexes, the area responsible for social behaviour and emotion. More Facebook friends means more time spent online, which has potent effects on the secretion of hormones, which accounts for its addictive nature.

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How Advertisers Can Innovate With Smartphones in MENA

Frequently we see few or no mobile campaigns that deliver content or marketing messages using smartphones, even though adoption rates are some of the highest globally. Advertisers may be concerned that lack of familiarity with engaging in branded content will reduce the impact of a campaign - this can be solved by experimenting with retail first, rewarding those who use their smartphone to receive discounts.

Looking at some numbers:

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Madfoo3at.com: An E-Payment Service for Your Bills

Madfoo3atCom provides a centralized electronic bill presentation and payment (EBPP) service. Launched to the Jordanian market as a first step, it connects banks with billers (mobile, electricity and water service providers, among others) to facilitate online real-time secure bill inquiry and payment services through banks’ existing electronic channels.

According to Mr. Nasser Hussein Saleh, CEO of Madfoo3at, the company was established in 2011 with partnership and support from Oasis500, the government-backed Jordanian education and counselor driven seed investment program.

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