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BaytBaytak: A Better Way to Buy or Rent Apartments in Lebanon

Maybe you just want to rent a place with a friend; or you’re getting married and want to buy a new apartment; or perhaps you want to move out of your parents' house and gain independence.

Regardless, you’re on the search for a place to live. But where do you find that information in Lebanon?

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E-Health Finally Reaches the Middle East

The medical industry in the Middle East is not always easy to navigate for patients.

In the GCC, expats often have difficulty finding doctors they can trust. In the Levant, especially Lebanon, there's a large number of world class medical practitioners, however picking the best one for a specific need can be a challenge; and that's without mentioning how difficult it is to go to a clinic while dealing with busy work schedules and traffic congestion.

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Lebanon: Startup your Engines!

This column is part two of the Seeqnce start of year series on Entrepreneurship in Lebanon. In this column, we look back at some startup stories of 2012.

2012 was a difficult year for Lebanon’s entrepreneurs. On the one hand there was a steady buildup and growth in the sector in the preceding years and the sector seemed poised to leap forward. Yet socio-politically, it was a difficult year. Strikes, demonstrations and road closures were the backdrop to increasing political tensions, and the Syrian crisis weighed heavily on the country.

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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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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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Yadig.com: A Local Review Site for the Middle East

YaDig is the Middle East’s largest local reviewing community, with over 225,000 users per month reading and reviewing local businesses in their city.”, according to Andrew Miller, Marketing Director of YaDig.com.

“People use YaDig every day to find the best places to go to, as well as to ask advice from their local community”, he explained, adding that businesses use YaDig to engage their target demographic, to hear their customers’ voices and to increase brand awareness, footfall and overall revenue.

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