American University of Beirut

A stage for aspiring entrepreneurs at MSFEA

​​​​The Entrepreneurship​​ Initiative (EI) at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) has celebrated its up-and-coming entrepreneurs at the "Fall Pitching Ceremony" on November 17. The event was organized by EI in collaboration with Pipeline Initiative and IEEE Women in Engineering. During this event, six Lebanese startups pitched their ideas to a panel of renowned jury members in the entrepreneurship field.

This unique event provided a stage for aspiring entrepreneurs and students to learn more about the competing startup ideas, entrepreneurship competitions, the pitching experience, and networking with active members in the entrepreneurial ecosystem so that they could get more actively involved in the very much needed innovation and entrepreneurship movement in Lebanon.

"During the Fall Pitching Ceremony," commented Mohamad Fanous, FYP Accelerator instructor at MSFEA, “students got expert feedback on their ideas that will help them define the scope of their product development work as they progress to the acceleration phase in the spring semester."

The event featured a double pitching showcase that took attendees on the entire startup journey from ideation to completion:​

FYP Accelerator Fall Startup Showcase

MSFEA's EI FYP Accelerator Program showcased three startup teams as they complete phase one of the program, the ideation phase, and prepare to tackle phase two of the program, the acceleration phase. 

  • MobiBlitz: an app that helps small and medium businesses digitize and automate their customer facing services; 
  • Medicalife: an app to tackle medicine shortages in Lebanon by connecting patients, doctors and pharmacies into a system to maintain transparency; 
  • Shaghle AI: utilizing Arabic NLP technology to help low skilled labor find jobs using WhatsApp voice notes. 

Amazon industry program award ceremony

Three additional teams participated in the event after attending the Amazon Industry Bootcamp at AUB and participating in the Summer Mentorship with Amazon mentors which was organized by WIE and the Pipeline and Mentorship Initiative. They won a monetary prize and the opportunity to receive mentorship from the EI to develop their ideas. 

  • Park now: an app that provides users with available parking spots on a map depending on their location; 
  • Goal Tracker: an app that helps procrastinators create goals, organize and schedule tasks, and track their progress; 
  • Sous-chef: an app that provides the user with recipes based on the ingredients they have available in their kitchen. 

“The Fall Pitching Ceremony and the Amazon Bootcamp Pitching Ceremony that took place in September were great opportunities for students to share their creative ideas and showcase their excellent work." Said Dr. Elsa Maalouf. 

For each pitching round, the jury members gave the startups valuable feedback and insight that would prove beneficial during the next stage of developing their ideas. 

One of the participating students, Layan Barhoumi, spoke of her experience, "the Industry Program gave students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience under the mentorship of Amazon experts. Participants were exposed to the full design and development process and applied their skills to create impactful solutions." 

With this event, MSFEA hopes to strengthen EI's standing as the faculty's catalyst for entrepreneurial activity and launching pad for its students' and faculty's unique startup concepts. Keep an eye out for the next pitching event – You might find yourself on that stage!

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