Each year, Executive highlights 20 of the hottest entrepreneurial enterprises in Lebanon. In the past, this list has included rising stars such as Anghami, Diwanee and Instabeat. Due to a burgeoning ecosystem, this year we focused solely on companies that push the frontiers of science and technology, according to a revised methodology.
Listed in alphabetical order, the following businesses are what our team has chosen as the smartest, most promising enterprises in the sector. We’ll be publishing full profiles of each over the coming weeks, so check back here as the links go live. And see how these companies fit into the larger ecosystem in the rest of our special report on entrepreneurship in Lebanon.
If you thought of Dekwaneh as just another industrious suburb of the Lebanese entrepreneurship capital, Beirut, think again. It is here where Executive’s third annual entrepreneurship Top 20 uncovers 3D TEK, a company dabbling in the field of 3D printing which promises to become a new paradigm of human creationism. At 3D TEK, they are building models for many domains — from architecture and engineering to product design. Besides pioneering the use of this advanced technology in Lebanon, these entrepreneurs have some modeling software innovations up their sleeve that could improve the 3D printing process. (Read more)
Mixing their passion for music with their respective mechanical and software engineering backgrounds, the two engineers behind Band Industries created Roadie Tuner, a device that automatically tunes guitars and other similarly-shaped stringed instruments. After having labored to develop various iterations and perfect the product, it is now on the market to serve both amateurs and professional musicians. (Read more)
Created by DropC, Hipernation is the operator of an online platform and producer of a hardware device. Their software and hardware work in tandem to facilitate streaming of content over the internet under conditions that are familiar to the Lebanese: low and unreliable transmission speeds. The larger vision behind Hipernation’s corporate offering of streaming boxes and services is to provide a tool for free speech allowing people to convey their messages in live settings, with full video and audio. (Read more)
Who says academics can’t escape from the ivory tower and implement practical stuff that helps Middle Eastern industries? E2 is a partnership of three academics at the American University of Beirut that started to delve into bidding for engineering projects in early 2014. First projects included a robotic device required by a professor in Saudi Arabia for use in research and an industrial grader for sorting cucumbers, the high tech way. The latter engineering venture is an example of how E2 sees potential for both good business and positive economic impact by applying their expertise in robotics and systems integration to real life problems such as a Lebanese agro-industry company’s need. (Read more)
With vegetables in Lebanon known to be grown in suspect conditions, the average vegetable buyer can only guess what toxins the gleaming cucumber or tomato on the store shelf may have been exposed to — from the use of dirty water for irrigation to growing in polluted lands. To solve the problem of polluted veggies, Eco Industries is deploying new technologies such as hydroponics, vertical farming and environmental control. (Read more)
Have you ever been at a loss of hard data for comprehension of Lebanese economics? That makes you share an experience with just about every government minister who ever worked for the betterment of our national economy. The Middle East is not known for its availability of information, a huge setback for anyone needing data, from investors to policy makers. The value proposition behind Economena Analytics is to create a professional platform that provides economic data to economists, researchers, consultants, investment managers, media outlets and policy makers. (Read more)
They got it: a standard app-development-as-a-service shop that dabbles with state-of-the-art mobile technologies such as those involved in building leap motion and Oculus Rift games. Eurisko Mobility established itself as a Lebanese enterprise in the mobile applications market before it was fashionable to talk about nothing but apps, and this foresight generated some major payoffs for these entrepreneurs. But perhaps even more exciting than their solid business model is the patented technology they are using to build their own line of products in-house. (Read more)
In programming, ‘foo’ is often used in examples as a variable that takes the value you assign to it. Foo can be anything, like the ‘x’ in algebra. Similar to its namesake, FOO has throughout its lifespan pivoted from one concept to another, taking on different business roles in the mobile sphere. With offerings in a plethora of mobile services under their belt, they have branched into developing products, an ambition that had been there from the start. (Read more)
Central bank buildings, shopping centers and residential towers in the Middle East can now be green, truly and literally green. To help cure the drab of dusty and polluted urban Middle Eastern settings, Green Studios uses both sides of the brain. At once a tech and design company, they design green roofs and walls based on a patented technology they have developed employing hydroponics which enables plants to grow in the harshest of desert climates. (Read more)
Lack of reliable energy supply paired with the cost and environmentally hazardous generators, to say nothing of their impact on public health, is among the bigger problems faced by the country. Green Tech’s business model mitigates this through their solar water heaters offerings. With components imported from abroad and assembled in Lebanon, the company keeps a watchful eye on developments in solar energy, to continuously update the system so that it maximizes efficiency. (Read more)
The propensity to forget meaningless strings of letters and ciphers — a.k.a. modern complex and arbitrary passwords — is only too human. The entrepreneurial duo behind Ki cooked up a concept of a hardware encrypted access device that safely stores (and also generates) passwords and unlocks computers etcetera when the Ki token is authenticated via a fingerprint swipe in the vicinity of a registered computer. The company, which had to shift to a software-first version of its product, appears determined to shortly penetrate a lucrative target market of executives in information technology and security companies, and then move to broader pastures. (Read more)
Transporting the family farm into a new galaxy of computerized efficiency while keeping their business feet firmly embedded in the soil of the Lebanese village is the aspiration that lets LifeLab sparkle as an entrepreneurial undertaking in the ranks of new agricultural approaches. Hydroponics is one part of the mix, programmable logic controllers and remote management capabilities are other highlights of the system that the company-to-be has been investing sweat, brains, and cash into and which it has every intention to roll out across Lebanon under a business model that combines sales of custom-made systems with managing entire produce chains from hydroponic operations. (Read more)
Today, data is everywhere, and in copious amounts. But without proper tools decisionmakers can get lost quickly. Rooted in a strong belief that big data and data analytics are the future, the Roxana team has come out with Implify, a product that helps decisionmakers by transforming today’s billions of bytes of data available into useable information through data visualization, virtualization and behavior. (Read more)
One does not have to be an outright genius to be annoyed by the vagaries in Lebanon’s electricity supply. Sharp Minds, a firm initially conceived as an energy consultancy, took the pain and turned into an entrepreneurial venture of developing, manufacturing, and operating energy storage systems that are tailored to the needs of the Lebanese electricity consumer. Marketing their offerings under the name Energy24, the company is focused on executing a detailed and systematic business plan whose pilot phase from January 2013 until the end of 2014 saw revenues explode 1,500 percent in the second year. The plan foresees ramping up deliveries of their ESS from the start of 2015 and grow at projected double-digit rates for five to ten years. (Read More)
The loss of time our great Lebanese minds are prone to as we idle in traffic is at best an annoyance, and at worst a detriment to national productivity. Tari’ak provides real-time traffic updates for each street in Beirut. Based on a technology that detects when the user is driving, the app measures acceleration, rotation rate, and Euler angles, which are used in flight dynamics, to assess the speed of the traffic on any given street. It may not solve all our traffic issues but at least will allow you to avoid having to use the same old excuse every time when your government keynote speaker is late for the event that you organized.
Via Mobile wants to transform the mobile phone into a one-stop interface for the Lebanese user’s every bill payment and recurrent payment. Under a business model that entails both fee options and revenue sharing formulas with participating banks, the company wants to interact with banking and telecommunications giants but allthewhile preserve its independence and focus on empowering customers. Via Mobile’s core competencies are in building services and a network, which it has done from Beirut, relying on Lebanon as its model market and platform of hope for expansion into foreign markets.
Water System HHO
As long as the country depends on generators and doesn’t tap into its own hydrocarbon reservoirs (so perhaps for the next two generations), high fuel costs will remain a drag on both businesses and households in Lebanon. Hailing from North Lebanon, Water System HHO was created out of a garage in Tripoli to address the issue of generator efficiency, by developing a system to economize the wasted fuel in generators that normally escapes through the exhaust.
White Mountain Technologies
As per the thinking that drives White Mountain Technologies, a happy teacher makes a better education environment. The company’s approach to make lives easier for teachers and school administrators but also parents and students is in a school management software that WMT developed entirely in Lebanon. The product aims at solving performance problems of education providers by enabling school administrators to gain a clearer view of every aspect of their organizations and make intelligent decisions.
With energy a major issue in countries that experience frequent power cuts, energy sustainability affects the whole world. In this spirit, Yelloblue was launched to address the demand between energy demands and available energy resources through solar photovoltaic and thermal systems.
Yellow Distributed Technologies
Bitcoin falls into the ranks of one of these new and emerging technologies that even those who have heard of it don’t know very much about, and only a niche clan of followers actually know how to use it. Whether it will become the future of the financial industry or will remain a niche market, Yellow Distributed Technologies has placed its bets on a future with Bitcoin.