Author Archives: Matt Nash

Innovation economy needs investment

Innovation economy needs investment

Lebanon being Lebanon, there are no statistics. But by the accounts of stakeholders throughout the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, one big gap is not being filled: strong financial support from the state for research and development (R&D). Many governments make R&D investments, and the Lebanese government does fund the National Center for Scientific Research—which has four

Still starting up

Over the past four or five years, it has been conceived, announced, born, developed, mapped, hyped, challenged, expanded, reassessed, praised, mapped again, hyped to excess, and questioned. But all the talk makes it hard to assess the true state of Lebanon’s tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2017. Finance—in form of the funds mobilized under Circular 331,

Icing on the cake

It came at the last minute. For two years, the Ministry of Finance and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) have been drafting a tax law focused specifically on the oil and gas industry. In late September, Parliament approved it just in time for the law to potentially govern the first oil and gas exploration and

Tick tock

Some view it as a race against Israel Our neighbor—which is definitively not stealing Lebanon’s gas—closes its first offshore licensing round on November 15. Israel had previously awarded exploration licenses directly.Lebanon just postponed the close of its own first round—yet again—from September 15 to October 12. The new deadline, however, actually seems to have been

Inching closer to the edge of our seats

Regardless of what local banks keep proclaiming, Lebanon has no oil or gas. There’s reason to believe it does, but the process of finding out is only just beginning. On September 15, companies will bid for rights to explore for oil and/or gas offshore Lebanon. Executive takes a look at what that means, what to

The anti-establishment

As a nation, Lebanon was doomed from the start. This is the unifying theme of the mainstream anti-establishment message. The country’s sectarian power-sharing arrangement spawned a cancer that prevented the growth of a national identity and crippled state institutions. Today, a “leader” in Lebanon cannot rally the nation. He can rally his community, or a

Outside of the Silicon Valley bubble

In the sweltering July heat, entrepreneurs from around the world were in Beirut pitching to join the Endeavor network. Founded in 1997 as a non-profit support network for entrepreneurs (focused on Argentina and Chile), Endeavor is now assisting founders of young companies in 27 countries around the world (including Lebanon since 2011). In 2012, the

Moving parts

Beirut Mayor Jamal Itani offers two words when asked about his vision for city spending: “investment projects.” During a brief interview in late July, Itani explained a variety of the city council’s plans, from making Beirut more pedestrian-friendly to balancing private and public interests along the city’s contentious coast. E   What is the city’s

The real estate bubble has burst

In the absence of hard data, anecdotes and speculation become the basis of analysis. Take, for example, the question of whether or not there is a real estate bubble in Lebanon. From the results of a Google search for the terms “Lebanon real estate bubble,” the sector seems like it is in real trouble. The

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