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BAU - Debbieh Campus

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!



Nov 16
  • Registration Starts
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Panel Starts
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 17
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 18
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • VIP starts coming
  • Speakers
  • Let's celebrate
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup .... Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

H.E. Nicolas Nahas

Minister of Economy and Trade of Lebanon

Nicolas Nahas is the founder of ‘EDAFI Value Partners”, a business development firm managing private equity investments focusing on several industries such as FMCG, construction material and clean energy in MENA region.
Mr. Nahas was the CEO of ‘Ciment de Sibline’, a prominent Lebanese cement factory and member of ‘Secil’ Portuguese cement group, from 1980 until 2009 to become later a Board Member.
In his first ten years of career, Mr. Nahas joined ‘Amiantit’, member of the Swiss Amiantus Group, as Head of the Construction Department in charge of implementing Asbestos cement plant in many Arab countries. This role subsequently allowed him to become the CEO of Amiantit Jordan, a leading pipe manufacturing plant in Jordan.
Mr. Nahas has also played an active role in the economical public life of Lebanon in his capacity as vice president of the Lebanese Businessmen Association (RDCL) from 1991 to 1995 and also as Member of the Board of the Lebanese Industrialists Association from 1992 to 2002. Starting 2010 he has been elected the vice president of this association.
Mr. Nahas has been appointed as the Chief Economical Counsellor of the Prime Minister of Lebanon Mr. Najib Mikati during his mandate in 2005
Mr. Nahas earned a degree in Civil Engineering from Saint-Joseph University in Lebanon (ESIB) in 1972
He joined the postgraduate ISMP program in Harvard Business School in 1992.

Memberships and Affiliations

Vice president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association
Member, Deans International Council, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago
Chairman of Business Development Company (EDAFI)
Chairman of Levant Beverage and Dairy holding (LBDH) with its affiliate
Chairman of Saboun s.a.l
Member of the Board of Directors of Ciment de Sibline s.a.l
Member of the Board of the Middle East Prospect Forum (MEP)
Member of the Board of the of ‘International Tube & Conduit Company (ITCC ) (Jeddah - Saudi Arabia)

Dr. Bilal S. Hamad

President of the Municipal Council of Beirut

Bilal S. Hamad is Mayor of Beirut since June 2010. He is Professor of Structural Engineering and Concrete Technology in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. His research interests include design and behavior of reinforced concrete structures, bond and development of reinforcement, sustainable, concrete material, and concrete technology. He has more than 70 publications including reports, peer-reviewed journal papers, and peer-reviewed papers in proceedings of international and regional conferences. He received the ACI Structural Research Award in 1995.

Hamad is a member of the Order of Engineers, ACI (American Concrete Institute), ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), IABSE (International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering), and ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute), and the Lebanese Concrete Society. He has been playing a significant role in Lebanon to promote concrete quality and to enforce international standards and specifications and general safety rules in the design and construction of reinforced concrete structures.

Hamad is the owner and general manager of CODE sarl, a consultant and design firm. Over 35 years, Dr. Hamad has acquired wide experience in the fields of design of reinforced concrete and structural steel structures, assessment and strengthening of reinforced concrete structures, and concrete technology. He has designed several commercial, educational, recreational, religious, and residential projects in Lebanon, Jordan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab Gulf states.

He received his BE degree from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 1976 and his MS and PhD degrees from The University of Texas at Austin in 1979 and 1990, respectively. He was elected member of the academy of the distinguished Alumni of the University of Texas at Austin in May 2011.

Dr. Leila Abboud

BAU - Center For Entrepreneurship Director

Professor of Economics with 20+ years of teaching Under and Postgraduate program at various Lebanese universities. At Beirut Arab University, a
Director of Center For Entrepreneur with comprehensive experience leading students and corporations through start-up, change, revitalization,
turnaround, and accelerated growth. Experienced Economic researcher who
can evaluate and analyze the economic issues. Personally credited with
driving significant gains in revenues and bottom-line profits through pricing
tender leadership for her own business.

Mr. Philippe Hajj

Deputy General Manager - FRANSABANK

Mr. Philippe Hajj has over 25 years of experience in the world of banking and finance with leading financial institutions. Today, he occupies the position of DGM and Head of Retail and Branch Network at Fransabank SAL, Lebanon’s fourth largest banking and financial group.
Mr. Hajj joined Fransabank in 2003 after spending over 13 years with the ABN Amro, for its operations in Lebanon.
Before he held positions in Accounting and Financial Control in two multinational institutions.
Mr. Hajj Holds an Executive MBA from LAU in 2009 and a Bachelor of Business Administration from AUB in 1982, and has a wealth of academic background coupled with a rich banking experience, placing him at a position where he impacts the world of retail banking in Lebanon and its constant innovation and profitability.

Gold Sponsors

Mr. Antoine Elie Zarifeh

Head of SME Department - FRANSABANK SAL

Mr Zarifeh holds a bachelor degree in banking and finance.
He has gained on hand experience by working at International companies in the commercial and touristic sectors.
His banking career started around 15 years ago at HSBC. He has operated in different lines within the bank and in multiple well known banks such as Credit Libanais, Gulf Bank in Kuwait and presently at Fransabank.

Mrs. Joanne Chehab

Joanne Chehab is General Manager of Ch. Sarraf & Co., one of Lebanon’s most well-regarded consumer goods distribution companies and member of Malia Group. Joanne is also board member of Syrmadi, Malia Group’s consumer goods distribution company covering the Syrian territory. With a portfolio including brands from multinational behemoths such as Procter & Gamble, Shiseido and InterParfums fragrances and cosmetics, Joanne has, since 2006, steered Ch. Sarraf & Co.’s business activities leading to profitable top-and bottom-lines and in the acquisition of new agencies. Malia Group’s own personal care brand – Cosmaline – has seen increase in market share under her supervision. Well positioned to understand the dynamics of a fast-growing family business with regional reach and sector diversity, Joanne has garnered truly global experiences and knowledge. Beginning her career in different job functions at Malia Group such as Product Manager, Procurement Officer and Credit Supervisor, Joanne also held the key position of Human Resources Manager where she established and implemented the department’s procedures and systems related to recruitment capacity building, performance appraisal and career/succession planning for the Group’s talent. She holds a BA in Economics from USJ and an MBA from ESSEC/France.

Mr. Nabil Itani

Chairman-General manager at IDAL

Born in 1953, Mr. Nabil A. Itani is Chairman and General Manager of Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL), Lebanon’s national investment promotion agency. His career spans over three decades of professional achievement, significant contribution to the architectural profession, and diligent service to his native Lebanon. An accomplished architect and architectural consultant, his professional experience is wide-ranging and far-reaching, encompassing design and supervision of landmark projects in Lebanon and the Arab World, as well as prestigious affiliations, academic posts, publications, and conference presentations. His valuable contributions in official committees and in the drafting of major proposals have had positive ramifications on investment, architectural, and administrative practice in Lebanon.


Economist – Consultant

Advisor to the minister of Economy and Trade as. Business Facilitator between the Ministry and private sector associations.
University lecturer at St-Joseph University - Beirut – Lebanon.
Member of the board of the Business and Management Faculty of Beirut Arab University
Board Member of AEP (microcredit NGO)
MBA in Economics Université de Paris I - La Sorbonne - Paris -France

Mr. Karim Kobrosly

VP of Technology at Apliman Tecnologies

Is a key engineer of Apliman products, leading the software development team. Joined Apliman during its start-up in year 2000 and worked on developing its main platform: Apliman Studio, a mobile service delivery platform (SDP) which currently serves more than 150 million mobile subscribers around the globe.
Holds a B.E. degree in Computer and Communications Engineering from AUB and currently an MBA candidate at BAU.


Dr. Leila Abboud

BAU - Center For Entrepreneurship Director

Professor of Economics with 20+ years of teaching Under and Postgraduate
program at various Lebanese universities. At Beirut Arab University, a
Director of Center For Entrepreneur with comprehensive experience leading students and corporations through start-up, change, revitalization,
turnaround, and accelerated growth. Experienced Economic researcher who
can evaluate and analyze the economic issues. Personally credited with
driving significant gains in revenues and bottom-line profits through pricing
tender leadership for her own business.

Prof. Hamed Nassar, PhD

Electrical and Comptuer Engineering Department - Beirut Arab University

Prof. Hamed Nassar obtained his BSc in Electrical Engineering, with the highest grade (Excellent), from Ain Shams University, Egypt, in 1979. He then obtained his MSc in Electrical Engineering and PhD in Computer Engineering, both from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA, in 1985 and 1989, respectively. Prof. Nassar has taught numerous computer science and engineering courses and served as external examiner in universities in Egypt, USA, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and Lebanon. He has published over 30 research papers in international journals and conferences, and over 50 scientific articles in local and international trade magazines. He has supervised over 30 MSc and PhD students, and refereed over 40 MSc and PhD theses. He has participated in the design and implementation of several IT mega projects, and evaluated funded research projects for the Ministry of Scientific Research, Egypt, King Saud University, KSA, and Arab Science Technology Foundation, UAE. Prof. Nassar has some administrative experience, as he served in Egypt as college dean (6 yrs), vice dean (5 yrs), chief information officer (2 yrs), head of monitoring committee of the national center for e-learning (2 yrs), and liaison officer for the international amateur radio union for the Arab region (1 yrs). He has been on dozens of committees of all sorts: scientific, curricular, administrative, recruitment and procurement.

Dr. Nabil Mirza

Assistant Professor

Dr. Nabil Mirza is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at Beirut Arab University. He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Communications and Electronics) degree that he received from the Communication Engineering Department at Beirut Arab University, in 2010. His postgraduate researches were oriented towards cryptography, the core of information and communication security. He has been teaching computer, electronics and communication engineering courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels since 2002. In addition to his teaching and research experience, he has an experience in ICT Business Analysis and Business management. His responsibilities in the business sector were the prime motivation to pursue higher education in information security. His research interests are mainly in secure communication systems and in Natural Language Processing. He is a member of IEEE, ACM, and ACS.

Dr. Rola Kassem

Assistant Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Dr. Mohammad Omar Hammad

Associate Professor - Public Economics (Public Finance) Department

Dr. Abdallah Nassereddine

Assistant Professor - Economics Department

Abdallah is an assistant professor of economics in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration at Beirut Arab University. He holds a PhD in economics that he received from Kent School of Economics in the UK. He has over 7 years of teaching experience at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Before Joining Beirut Arab University, he has worked for several universities in the UK such as Westminster Business School and the University of Greenwich. He is also a fellow at the Centre for the Study of Advanced and Emerging Economies at the University of London. Abdallah has served as a consultant for numerous respected NGOs to undertake economic feasibility studies in Lebanon. He has several publications in international renowned journals in the field of institutional economics. He is also involved in several EU funded projects such as UNAM and ELEMENT.

Dominik Wensauer

Project Lead at Swiss Start-up Monitor

Dominik Wensauer is based in Zurich, Switzerland and is currently leading the Swiss Start-up Monitor ( project. The initiative aims to lower the barriers for knowledge exchange between start-ups and to make 'start-ups' an everyday topic. Besides that Dominik has already co-organized and facilitated several Startupweekend events. He studied in Munich and Shanghai and holds a M.A. degree in politics with chinese and law as minor subjects.

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