5 Startups Advance to The Final Stage of Startup Challenge
After qualifying to take part in the Startup Challenge, the 10 teams attended a week of workshops at Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program to develop further their ideas with the assistance of experts. By the end of the week, the teams had to pitch in front of a panel of judges who chose the 5 most promising startups to move to the next round.
Team: Amer Kawarit, Saeed Eldah, Khaled Bakhit
Cookin tips is an online live social cooking platform made by home-cooks for home-cooks. It is end-user focused rather than cooking recipes focused, as Cookin tips focus on the user’s cooking experience of recipes by introducing the concept of social cooking. Through this platform users are capable of cooking recipes in parallel with others in live sessions while interacting and exchanging tips. Moreover, users can join and watch live cooking lessons presented by chefs and directly interact and ask questions with the chef, thus improving the over-all cooking experience and giving a better learning opportunity.
Amer Kawarit explained to Bader how the workshops at Bader helped his team identify their important features and added values, and how it gave them more confidence to approach investors. According to him, Cookin tips’ main challenge right now is marketing, as the team is still trying to find the optimal way to deliver their ideas to the public, however they are confident that the 10-week mentorship program will help them develop their startup further.
Team: Ali Makhzoum
We are a design lab and workshop dedicated to designing and building automated, climate controlled, vertical hydroponic farms. Coupled with our own 3,000 m² model farm and armed with reliable distribution channels and facilitation partners, our company will custom-design, build and operate farms of all sizes for clients across Lebanon (and later the MENA area) and sell our farm’s produce and theirs through our distribution partners. By empowering our farmers to produce up to 10 times more crops from the same area of land with predictable, higher quality produce to rival imported goods, we can operate as highly profitable business and simultaneously boost export-quality Lebanese food crop production.
Ali explained to us that his startup’s mission is to help people grow their own organic produce at home, at an affordable price. He added that although having a prototype, he is still struggling to secure funding for his startup, which remains his biggest challenge so far. Ali hopes that the expert mentors and the positive pressure of the startup challenge will help him stay focused on his target.
Team: Emile Arayes, Aline Gemayel, Elsy Arayes
Modeoform is a new modular furniture design experience. It’s about creating your own furniture using modular parts: imagine you can build furniture just like playing Lego. The experience starts by designing your own models using our mobile app or download predefined ones, modify them to fit your needs and budget, then order them with a click of a button to get them delivered to your door in lightweight boxes. Finally, you can assemble/disassemble them very easily without complex tools.
In a chat with Bader, Emile Arayes told us that their team does not come from a business background, and that’s why the workshops at Bader were very valuable to Modeoform as they taught the team how to transform their plans to a viable business. He also believes that the startup challenge will help the team overcome many barriers through mentorship, especially that having deadlines and continuous work to present will help them work at a faster pace.
Team: Reine Abbas, Joseph Saade, Ziad Feghali
Spica Twins is a mentored gaming academy with a dynamic curriculum. The project is led by game veterans and educators, Reine Abbas, Joseph Saade and Ziad Feghali with the professional support of Wixel Studios. Spica Twins aims at teaching kids (5+), teenagers and university young adults game development as a way to reshape Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Spica Twins want to create innovators, leaders and self-confident doers starting the age of 5. It will be in their core model to help their students create and publish their apps and games businesses right after they finish two courses.
Ziad Feghali explained to Bader how the gaming industry in Lebanon is 20 years late, and how, if done right, could generate millions of dollars to the country. He said that their team is looking forward to attend the 10-week mentorship program which will help them build an efficient business plan and connect with influential individuals and organizations. As for Spica’s Twins next step, Ziad shared with us that the team is now focusing on signing with schools and universities.
Team: Ramzi Al Jamil, Nour Kanafani, Riad Ali Ahmad
Spoke offers a fast and light voice-communication platform for users to share experiences, text messages and fun spokes that can be creatively populated with intros and endings. This unique shareable experience transforms the way we communicate and share fun moments with friends.
Ramzi Al Jamil told Bader that the team is excited to attend the mentorship sessions to learn more about the dos and don’ts in their field and to meet professionals. He also told us that Spoke is now focusing on expanding their users’ base and on launching the application in May.