American University of Beirut

Calling all innovators: AUB students, faculty, and staff are eligible to apply for this year’s entrepreneurship awards

​​​​The Entrepreneurship Initiative at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) is pleased to announce the launch of two new entrepreneurship awards in collaboration with Resource Group: the Resource Group Entrepreneurship Award and the Hisham Itani Digital Transformation Award

For the first time this year, these awards are open to all students, faculty, and staff who have innovative ideas that solve current pressing problems using technology or present an innovative and compelling application of digital transformation in any field. 

Resource Group Entrepreneurship Award aims to support innovative ideas that utilize technology to solve pressing issues. We are looking for visionary people who can create an impact on society through their novel ideas. If you have a business concept that leverages technology to solve a pressing problem, then this award is for you!

The Hisham Itani Digital Transformation Award aims to recognize and support startups that present innovative and compelling applications of digital transformation across various fields. This award is also open to all students, faculty, and staff who have a startup that has a vision to revolutionize an industry through digital innovation.​

"To us, it is important to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. We believe that these awards will provide participants with the resources and support they need to turn their ideas into successful businesses that can make a real impact on society," Commented Dr. Mohamad Fanous, an entrepreneur in residence at the Talal and Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park (Zein AUB iPark) and a part-time instructor at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA), where he teaches the Final Year Project (FYP) Accelerator course.​​

“I am delighted to partner with MSFEA and launch this new award that puts our creative minds at the forefront of the digital transformation in the region", said Hisham Itani, CEO of Resource Group and an AUB alumni. “I am looking forward to seeing the future founders getting on this journey that will be insightful and innovative for the participants. I am hoping this award brings hope to a generation baffled by the most difficult national crisis the country has ever seen." 

The MSFEA Entrepreneurship Initiative will provide shortlisted startup teams with coaching, mentorship, and support ahead of a Pitching Award Ceremony in May 2023. The support program includes one-on-one business mentorship in idea validation, business models, startup pitching, and access to MSFEA's faculty members and graduate and/or undergraduate students to extend technical support when needed. 

Previous winners of the Resource Group Entrepreneurship Awards demonstrate the diversity and creativity of the AUB community and their ability to create businesses that address pressing issues and transform industries. In 2021​, two Resource Group Entrepreneurship Award were won by the RFSafe team for its project to strengthen the security of the EMV protocol, which is the standard currently used for smart-card payment transactions, and the BlackPen team, ​for its project to develop a platform that could be used to automatically perform penetration testing on cloud applications. 

In 2022​, the two Resource Group Entrepreneurship Awards were won by t​he Ta3bir team​, for building an artificial intelligence chatbot that provides mental health support to Arabic speaking users, addressing an especially urgent and neglected need in Lebanon and the region, and the PPMX team, for developing a drone that targets, delivers (pneumatically), and kills pine processionary moth nests that are doing terrible damage to local pine trees!​

We believe that these awards can be a transformative experience for the winning teams, providing them with the support they need to bring their ideas to life and make a real difference in the world. In addition to the cash prizes, winners will also receive mentorship and support from The Resource Group and the Entrepreneurship Initiative at MSFEA. 

Applications are now open. All you need to do is fill out this form​! Interested candidates must outline their idea, its potential impact, and their plans for developing and scaling the venture in their applications. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2023. The chosen finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in April, and the winners will be announced shortly after. 

If you have an innovative idea that you believe can make a difference, we encourage you to apply for the Resource Group Entrepreneurship Award or the Hisham Itani Digital Transformation Award today and take the first step towards realizing your entrepreneurial dreams. 

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