The UK Lebanon Tech Hub (UKLTH), a joint initiative by Banque du Liban (Lebanon’s Central Bank) and the UK Government, announced the signing of a partnership agreement with 1776, a Washington, DC-based public benefit corporation and the first international technology incubator to set up a direct presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Leveraging 1776’s newly opened Dubai campus, the partnership is aimed at supporting Lebanon’s fastest-growing tech startups and help them break into new international markets such as the UAE and the neighboring Gulf countries. According to a recent report by UKLTH, Lebanon is looking to create 25,000 new ICT jobs and a US $7 billion boost to its GDP by 2025.

Startup companies will be jointly selected by UKLTH and 1776 for an acceleration program in Dubai based on: a scalable business model; sectorial focus such as EdTech, FinTech, digital health, and smart cities; socio-economic impact; and readiness to enter international markets. They represent the next generation of tech stars with the potential to become world-leading companies.

Colm Reilly, CEO of the UK Lebanon Tech Hub, said: “Startups wanting to scale and expand their business to new MENA markets should be able to understand those markets and be connected to networks that will help them in their continuous growth. For those reasons, we are basing some of our best startups in Dubai for a three months period, working with the 1776 team to help bring those networks and create that growth.”

Commenting on the partnership, Evan Burfield, cofounder and co-CEO of 1776 said: “We are looking to collaborate with incubators and accelerators from across the MENA region and are pleased to have signed the first formal partnership with UKLTH. 1776 Dubai will be a first point of entry into the UAE and GCC markets for its ‘scale-up’ startups, in addition to enabling them to establish connections with targeted customers, investors and regional and international media based in Dubai.”

The partnership provides UKLTH startups with access to 1776’s global digital platform Union, which was launched at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and includes learning resources and a global network of mentors and investors; a branded working space at the 1776 Dubai campus alongside the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) in the prestigious Emirates Towers with access to all campus programming; UKLTH exclusive activities on campus; in addition to active participation during the annual 1776 Challenge Cup global startup competition.

The first batch of UKLHT startups to be based at 1776 Dubai includes Kamkalima, a web-based platform that helps teachers create engaging assignments in Arabic, Riego, a maker of smart, solar-powered irrigation devices, and Artscoops, an exclusive online auction and sale channel for art buyers worldwide.

 Notes to editors:

  1. The UK Lebanon Tech Hub (UKLTH) is a joint initiative by Banque du Liban, Lebanon’s Central Bank, and the UK government through the British Embassy in Beirut. It aims to support the growth of the knowledge economy in Lebanon through the development of tech companies in the country and create opportunities for the brightest Lebanese talent to access international markets. More information can be found at:
  1. 1776 is a public benefit corporation that scouts and funds high-growth startups around the world focused on solving society’s most fundamental challenges in sectors like education, energy, transportation and financial services. Launched by co-CEOs Donna Harris and Evan Burfield and headquartered in Washington, D.C., with additional campuses in Dubai, New York, and San Francisco, 1776 serves hundreds of startups and institutions worldwide through its innovation curriculum, mentorship, investment and programming. It hosts more than 500 international events per year that attract heads of state, Fortune 500 CEOs, influential investors and global press. For more information, please visit 1776.vcand follow @1776Dubai on Twitter and @1776vc on Instagram.
  1. The first three UKLTH companies to be based at the 1776 Dubai campus are:
  • Kamkalima – a web-based platform for schools that helps teachers create engaging writing based assignments in Arabic. The software allows students to collaboratively write and publish material and also serves as an online archive for the school, including all student and teacher work, an invaluable compilation of teaching and learning resources.
  • RIEGO – a solar-powered, agricultural irrigation device that enables optimizing irrigation water consumption through monitoring the weather and soil parameters, tree growth, water and fertilizers concentration. Smart sensors can detect when crops need watering and the collected data can be archived on the cloud, enabling the user to receive customized reports and alarms.
  • Artscoops – an online information and distribution channel featuring artworks from international galleries and artists selected by a team of curators and art experts, that offers buyers the opportunity to handpick contemporary art with insider access to exclusive works and offers.

For further information on 1776, please contact:

Renno Communications Group
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

For further information on UKLTH, please contact:

Lama Zaher – Communications Manager at UK Lebanon Tech Hub


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