2014-11-22

BDL Accelerate 2014 Day Two


After a successful first day, BDL accelerate unraveled yesterday it's second line up of speakers, with a fiery morning where two panels Lebanon’s Ecosystem and Lebanon’s Investors stole the show. An all star line up was composed of names such as previous ministers Nicolas Sehanoui (telecom) and Marwan Kheireddine (state), who both happen to be successful businessmen not unlike co-panelist Maroun Chammas a serial entrepreneur with activities ranging from Oil and gas to telecom and or tech-activist Hala Fadel who started and chairs the MIT Enterprise Forum of the pan-Arab region along side other names.



Mike Butcher made sure that the usual Lebanese diplomacy in public speaking did not have its way as he hammered the panelists with direct questions, all the way to ousting the name of the person who most were hinting at when discussing hurdles that prevent Lebanon from having decent internet access. For obvious reasons I shall refrain from naming anyone as well, and play along the Harry Potter theme of "the one that shall not be named".

Other panels and speakers of the day provided interesting glimpses and insights into their respective experiences such as being an expat entrepreneur or their assessment of the benefits of being an entrepreneur in the USA.

The event culminated in the announcement of the winner of the Start-up Competition out of the eight finalists chosen on day one.

With So7ati and Presella walking away as runners up, the winner after 15 minutes of jury deliberations was Ki an interactive password manager with proximity features.

One cannot but applaud the huge effort that has gone into organizing this event which, I must remind everyone, offered free access to the large numbers of participants that were eager to learn more about the BDL initiative and looked to learn from the experiences of participating speakers.