Launch of technology start-up accelerator in Lebanon

Venture capital funds Berytech Fund II, Insure & Match Capital and Middle East Venture Partners launched a $5m Beirut-based startup accelerator named Speed@BDD, Byblos Bank ‘Lebanon This Week’ reported.

The accelerator will invest $30,000 in high-potential technology startups at the idea and seed stages, and will provide in-kind services for a three-month period, in return for a 10% equity stake in the firm. The in-kind services consist of a workspace at the Beirut Digital District (BDD), product and business development, accounting and legal services, and mentorship.

Speed@BDD is currently the only Silicon Valley-style startup accelerator program in Lebanon. The accelerator will primarily invest in startups in the software, digital, and Web/mobile industries in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The program has two cycles per year and will select 10 startups in each cycle to move to the BDD and begin the acceleration plan. The first group of startups will begin the program on September 15, 2015. Following the three-month program, the top two companies in each cycle will be eligible to get $20,000 follow-on funding from Speed@BDD for immersion in Silicon Valley.

A foreign startup can be admitted to the accelerator program if it commits to incorporate its firm in Lebanon following the completion of the acceleration period. The Speed@BDD’s founding investors are Middle East Venture Partners, Berytech Fund II and Insure & Match capital.