Lebanese venture capital fund Berytech has signed a pact with local NGO Michel Issa Foundation for Local Development (MIF) to launch a business and innovation center in Amchit.
The innovation center aims to enhance local development through building capabilities within the community for self-employment, as well as at fostering entrepreneurship among the Lebanese youth, by planning to help fresh graduates secure jobs.
It also aims at contributing to the economic development of Kesserwan, Jbeil and Northern Kazas.
The center, which will open in fall 2018, will have an area of 4,000 square meter and will be located on Amchit highway.
“The project will attract the best talents, university students, entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs to the area thus reducing migration of young professionals to Beirut, enhancing innovation and contributing to local development,” said Toni Issa, president of MIF.
“The center will help create a community while constantly organizing networking events, meet-ups and conferences to promote entrepreneurship and job creation,” said Maroun Chammas, chairman and CEO of Berytech.
“It will focus on the ICT, smart agri-food, renewable energy, ecotourism and social entrepreneurship,” Chammas said.
MIF is a Lebanese NGO founded in 2012 in Amchit bearing the name of the founder and chairman of the petroleum company IPT.
In January, Berytech , along with Embassy of the Netherlands, launched Agrytech, a smart agri-food tech hub.
The program aims to target agro-engineering, agricultural, and ICT university graduates who wish to come up with tech innovations that challenge food security and water shortages in the agriculture sector.
It is also looking for those trying to help evolve practices across the agricultural value chain.
In October 2016, Berytech exited fintech firm PayPlug, radio-frequency identification (RFID) company Active Identity and online food recipe firm Cook & Eat Lebanese.
An initiative of the University of Saint Joseph, Berytech Foundation is a local incubator, accelerator, and business development center.
Founded in 2008, Berytech has so far invested in 15 Lebanese ventures focusing on technology.
Investment tickets ranged from $100,000 to $1,200,000.
In July 2016, Berytech’s venture arm, Insure and Match Capital (IM Capital), launched a Seeders Masterclass for Business Angels.
The $300,000 program will have 25 different angel investors participate with $15,000 each during the first year. The program will run in collaboration with Switzerland’s early-stage investing platform Go Beyond.