The Startup Competition ESA-HEC Paris is back for its fourth edition. Organized by Smart ESA incubator and L'Orient-Le Jour, with the support of the French Embassy, HEC Paris incubator, La French Tech Beirut and Air France, this event aims to encourage innovation in Lebanon.
The call for applications is open until May 18 and the dozen selected candidates will have to demonstrate the viability of their project in front of a jury during the final scheduled for June 29. Registration is exclusively online, and applicants can register here.
The competition is open to all Lebanese citizens residing in Lebanon or abroad. 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.
Contenders must demonstrate to the jury that their project addresses a clearly identified problem or need, that it is innovative compared to existing products, that it is viable and potentially profitable in the long term, and that it can capture international markets.
The organizers undertake to respect the confidentiality of the information communicated by candidates and to preserve their intellectual property rights on their respective projects.
More than 80 applications in 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.
Last year, 11 finalists selected from over 80 applications defended their project during the final pitch.
"The uniqueness of the program lies in the fact that its approach is personalized. The training and mentoring the finalists will receive is specifically adapted to their needs, contrary to a traditional generalized approach,” says Selim Yasmine, Director of Smart ESA, the incubator of ESA Business School.
“The goal of this program is to help entrepreneurs accelerate their development, whether locally or internationally, by providing them with the right tools and the right network,” says Yasmine. “The program's networking with international entrepreneurs and mentors is one of its strengths," he concludes.
The first edition of the ESA-HEC prize in 2020 was won by Dim, a real-time construction site monitoring platform. The second edition was won by SynApp Messaging (a communication platform for healthcare professionals) and Podeo (an Arabic podcasting platform), while the third one was won by Neo (a financial services platform combining transfers, foreign exchange and payments) and Reborn Tech (a company recycling textiles and turning them into insulation materials).
The Startup Competition ESA-HEC Paris is back for its fourth edition. Organized by Smart ESA incubator and L'Orient-Le Jour, with the support of the French Embassy, HEC Paris incubator, La French Tech Beirut and Air France, this event aims to encourage innovation in Lebanon.The call for applications is open until May 18 and the dozen selected candidates will have to demonstrate the viability of...