Highlights from the Ecosystem

An initiative by The Talal and Madiha Zein AUB-Innovation Park, the AUB President’s Innovation Challenge was held on October 28, where the most innovative startups in Lebanon were on center stage. The pitching and awards ceremony took place at BDD, with a lineup of judges and 13 finalists coming together, to select and announce the winners. In total, 4 winning startups were chosen, receiving grants and support to expand their ventures.

As Lebanon’s entrepreneurial scene transforms due to the micro and macroeconomic climate, the importance of the Innovation Challenge is paramount in such times. The purpose of the challenge is to encourage innovation in Lebanon, despite the prevailing circumstances. In addition, by supporting aspiring startups, more jobs can be created, and Lebanese talent will be supported in their home country, as a means to reverse brain drain.

In total, 132 startups pitched to be part of the Innovation Challenge and only 13 finalists made the cut, and 4 winners were announced, based on strict criteria which includes:

  • Value Proposition & Impact Potential: Is the solution answering a real need for well-defined customer segments? Can it have a considerable impact on people’s lives?
  • Innovation: Is the product or service innovative from a technical, business, or process standpoint?
  • Business Model: Is the revenue model convincing? Is it scalable and financially sustainable?
  • Traction: Has the team validated the product market fit? Have they demonstrated progress in implementing their idea?

The startup winners of the Innovation Challenge include:

  • First place: Acoustosens, a new low-cost and prompt COVID-19 home-monitoring and testing system (receiving a USD 30,000 prize)
  • Second place: Petcrete, working to transform used plastic bottles to fibers, which are utilized to reinforce concrete and replace steel reinforcement  (receiving a USD 15,000 prize)
  • Tied in third place: RAM Polymer, the creators behind a composite surgical mesh, used to repair hernias, and Synkers, an online learning platform that personalizes the learning experience for students by linking them to specialized tutors (receiving USD 5,000 prizes each)

President of AUB, Dr. Fadlo Khuri, addressed the attendees and guests, sharing the plans of AUB to advance in such challenging times and support the youth. “In a fast growing technology and job market, this innovative initiative places even more emphasis on interdisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship. I am also genuinely encouraged to see gifted minds come up with creative solutions for a better and more resilient today and tomorrow,” shared Dr. Khuri.

The finalists that were selected to be part of the President’s Innovation Challenge were:

Education and Skills

  • Synkers
  • WonderEd
  • Future of Food
  • Akle
  • Raw Bites – Protein
  • Puffs

Future of Health

  • Acoustosens
  • Cardio Solutions
  • CTCArray
  • Find a Nurse
  • RAM Polymer
  • SkanMD

Waste Management

  • GreenStone

For more information and to watch the live stream of the event and the pitches, visit:

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