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Economy - Startup Competition

Registration for the third edition of the Startup Competition ESA-HEC Paris open until May 31

Registration for the third edition of the Startup Competition ESA-HEC Paris open until May 31

The winner of the Startup Competition ESA-HEC Paris will benefit from a six-month incubation program, all expenses included, at Incubateur HEC Paris at Station F.

Launched in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Startup Competition ESA-HEC Paris is now in its third consecutive edition, offering a new window of opportunity to young Lebanese wishing to develop their business projects to reach their full potential.

The competition is organized by L'Orient-Le Jour, ESA Business School, Smart-ESA and the HEC Alumni Chapter Lebanon with the support of the French Embassy in Beirut, La French Tech Beirut, Air France and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIAB). It has been open since the beginning of May to Lebanese entrepreneurs residing in Lebanon or abroad, who have until May 31 to submit applications presenting their companies and their products under development. Registration is exclusively online at the following address: https://info.esa.edu.lb/prix-entrepreneur-esa-hec-paris-2022

The winner will benefit from a six-month incubation period, all expenses included, at the HEC incubator of Station F in Paris, the largest start-up campus in the world, in addition to media visibility via L'Orient-Le Jour. The finalists will all benefit from the coaching program provided by the Smart-ESA incubator in Beirut, scholarships for the Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MENT) at ESA Business School (set up in partnership with Smart ESA and HEC Paris) as well as prizes offered by Air France. The 2021 edition, in which 113 candidates participated, was won by the start-up SynApp Messaging and Podeo, led by Imad Bousaïd, Habib Habchi and Georges Bousaïd, while an additional prize was awarded to Podeo, founded by Stefano Fallaha. The first start-up had developed a communication and collaboration tool between health professionals and hospitals, while the second had set up a platform of Arabic podcasts.

Need for a new business model

For Maxence Duault, managing director of ESA Business School, "the award is fully in line with ESA's mission to train tomorrow's leaders in unique partnerships and by carrying the values of innovation and responsibility that are those of the school."

He added, "It is also a competition that echoes MENT, a program that we are proud of and that offers a real immersion in the entrepreneurial world. It is a unique program in Lebanon, capped off by a double degree with HEC Paris, a real passport to the international scene and which opens the doors to a large and quality network.”

"I have no doubt that this third edition will be a great success. The mobilization of the many high-quality partners confirms the interest in this competition. I encourage all young entrepreneurs who dare to look to the future to apply. We will be by their side," concluded the director general of the ESA Business School.

"Lebanon needs, more than ever, a new economic model, combining a low energy and environmental footprint with the generation of high added value, necessarily linked to innovation, while ensuring the needed jobs for its talented youth. And this requires a proactive strategy supporting the emergence of start-ups, which we wish, as a media [organization], to fully associate ourselves with," explained Fouad Khoury Helou, executive director of L'Orient-Le Jour. "We need to keep the Lebanese in the country, especially the youth, and to do so, offer them real opportunities.

He added, “The Startup Competition ESA-HEC Paris contributes to this in two ways: first by giving the winner a unique opportunity to realize his [or her] project and to meet potential partners and investors of international rank, while benefiting from significant media coverage. And, above all, by motivating a large number of other entrepreneurs to fully embark on the realization of their projects. Emulation through performance remains the best recipe for success, both at the individual and national levels.”

To be eligible, applicants must have been in business for at least two years, have a product in development and have annual sales of less than $500,000. They must demonstrate to the jury that their project addresses a clearly identified problem or need, that it is innovative compared to existing products or processes, that it is viable and potentially profitable in the long term, and that it can capture international markets. Finally, the organizers undertake to respect the confidentiality of the information communicated by the candidates and to respect their intellectual property rights on their respective projects.

 Visit www.smart-esa.com to apply.


Launched in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Startup Competition ESA-HEC Paris is now in its third consecutive edition, offering a new window of opportunity to young Lebanese wishing to develop their business projects to reach their full potential.The competition is organized by L'Orient-Le Jour, ESA Business School, Smart-ESA and the HEC Alumni Chapter Lebanon with the support of the...