UK Lebanon Tech Hub
On this “Pi Day” (3.14) I was invited for an orientation visit at the offices of the UK Lebanon Tech Hub. Before I go into the details about what they do I must say the workplace there is awesome. How awesome? well let us see.
They have a freaking fireman’s pole inside the office. I am pretty sure that real fire departments in Lebanon do not have one.
Other than the fireman’s pole, they have a big touch table by the entrance. They used it to show me some information about the company and some photos from previous events. I am not sure if it can run Angry Birds, but I would not be shocked if it did. Other things in the workplace include a cool lunch room and some nice colorful seats with motivational quotes.
Away from the workplace and onto the actual business (Did I mention that they have a fireman’s pole ?!). The UK Lebanon Tech Hub has 3 types of programs that an entrepreneur can benefit from.
Companies can apply to the accelerator program to benefit from intense training modules that will help push their startups further. Last year 140 companies applied for the program and 45 of them were accepted. Phase I was composed of 4 months where companies attended extensive learning classes to develop their businesses. At the end of this Phase the entrepreneurs were given a chance to pitch their ideas to move to Phase II.
15 companies made it to Phase II and were sent to London for 6 months all expenses paid. When we say expenses we mean a place to stay, a desk at the UCL, ALLOWANCE money and training programs. These 15 companies are currently undergoing some business training and they are getting exposed to large networking opportunities which will grant them Global recognition and exposure.
This year’s application window will be open sometime in April. Keep a close eye on their website for more information.
Every two weeks the UK Lebanon Tech Hub hosts a “Tech Talk”. Each “Tech Talk” is hosted by a different business leader and the topics cover a wide range of business aspects. These Talks are open to everyone, it is recommended to reserve beforehand since the awesome colorful seats are limited. After each talk a podcast is uploaded to soundcloud and embedded on the related blog post. One of the previous Talks that grabbed my attention was hosted by INTERPOL’s Lead Cyber Threat Researcher, Christian Karam.
In addition to Tech Talks, every once in a while they host a tech related workshop. You can find more information about their past workshops on this link.
If you are just starting up your awesome new business and need an office space for yourself and a few other employees you can apply to their Office Space program. That sounds familiar as many other companies offer the same. But did I mention that is was completely FREE !! In order to get an office space along with all the infrastructure needed to function, all you need to do is apply your stunning project idea on their website and you might get yourself a FREE 3 months office space. Once the 3 months have passed, the effort you spent on building your business is the only thing that will allow you to renew your contract. It doesn’t get any better than this, work hard on your business growth, meet your preset KPI and get a free office with a fireman’s pole.
In addition to all the above, the UK Lebanon Tech Hub is currently hosting the “StartupCampus” university competition. Various valuable awards awaits winning teams. Other previous competitions were also hosted by the Tech Hub.
In its one year of operation the UK Lebanon Tech Hub has surely accomplished a lot. It is currently funded by Banque Du Liban and the UK Government. We are looking forward to hear more about their work. If you need more information you can pay them a visit at Berytech, Beirut Digital District. They are looking forward to meeting new people.