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|Founded||Beirut, Lebanon (2010)|
Seeqnce is a startup accelerator based in Beirut, Lebanon. It was founded in 2010 by Samer Karam, who remains its Chairman and General Manager, transforming it over the years into a key pillar in Lebanon's startup ecosystem. In July 2011, Seeqnce launched its state-of-the-art space in the heart of Beirut (Hamra). In 2012, it successfully launched Lebanon's 1st startup accelerator program, with 436 entrepreneurs from 30 countries. On August 24, 2012, Seeqnce announced its investment in 8 startups.
Startup accelerators design programs through which entrepreneurs can apply with or without an idea; go through a selection process and eventually the best ones are accelerated for a defined period of time. The accelerated startups are provided with cash investments, in return for equity, along with unique services such as mentoring, access to facilities as well as exposure to investors for their startup upon completing the program. All these high added value services increase the valuation of the startup rapidly.
Seeqnce borrows from best practices pioneered by accelerators such as Y Combinator and Techstars. However, due to the differences between the MENA region and the US, it developed culturally adapted methodology.
The lack of expertise, the lack of knowledge on startup accelerators as well as the risk-averse culture are among the factors which call for a need for modifications when applying western methods in the region.
One of the adjustments Seeqnce made to meet region’s needs is the duration of the program which is 6 months. This is twice the duration of Y Combinator’s program. Moreover, Seeqnce is funding startups once a year while Y Combinator is funding 2 batches of startups a year.
The profile of applicants is another differentiator of the program. Seeqnce requires from the individuals who will go successfully through the selection process to form teams based on members’ expertise. Each team is composed of a business person, a developer, and a designer. This is not the case with Y Combinator where no limitations are put in this particular context.
300 entrepreneurs have the chance to apply and go through a series of challenges. The best eight Arab world’s web and mobile startups join the second phase of the program, which lasts for six months at Seeqnce’s offices.
Seeqnce Accelerator Program 2012
Seeqnce selected the following eight startups to enter into the Acceleration phase: eTobb, Kactus, Rikbit, Presella, Ikimuk, Yoofers, and et3arraf.
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