THE NEXT SOCIETY helps young researchers develop their start-ups to foster technology transfer in the MENA region
THE NEXT SOCIETY launches the Tech Booster, a programme to support entrepreneurial skills of young talents willing to turn a research project into a start-up.
After a pilot phase in 2018, the activities of the Tech Booster will be implemented in the coming months and first started in Lebanon and Egypt in September 2019. They offer several opportunities to MENA young researchers: Tech Transfer bootcamps, collective coaching sessions, soft landing missions in Europe, public pitching sessions and DemoDays to get connected with targeted investors, industry leaders and experts. Winners of the Tech Booster will also join the 2019 edition of Emerging Valley in Aix-en-Provence in December to meet French and African Tech leaders and work on the design of the city of tomorrow during a workshop co-organised by ANIMA and thecamp.
The challenge of this collaboration is just as strategic for researchers-entrepreneurs as it is for large companies, as Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, co-founder and director of the HEC’s Social Business Chair, pointed out at a workshop organised by ANIMA:
“Large companies realised that the success of technological innovations developed by subsidiaries of transnational corporations in emerging countries depends on a ‘corporate culture’ allowing to be as close as possible to consumer needs, and to the realities and constraints of the local situation”.
The Tech Booster, a programme to support entrepreneurial skills of young talents willing to turn a research project into a start-up
The Tech Booster is intended for young researchers or innovators who developed a technology or a research project and who want to turn it into a successful business. It provides a tailor-made support from a pool of experts, mentors and investors to explore market, funding and business opportunities, develop a valid business model and get local and international exposure. A strong emphasis is on entrepreneurship skills, Intellectual Property (Assessment, Rights and Protection) and go-to market strategy.
THE NEXT SOCIETY, an open community of change makers engaged in innovation and economic development led by ANIMA Investment Network and 30 partners and co-funded by the European Union, decided to launch the Tech Booster acceleration programme to boost technology transfer in the Mediterranean by supporting success stories of research-based start-ups in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.
These projects led by researchers-entrepreneurs are a powerful demonstration of the technology transfer potential and can help to create a momentum to remove the barriers to innovation.
Commenting the impacts of the programme from the Berytech point of view, which had previously organised, in October 2018, a 3-day Technology Transfer Bootcamp: Krystel Khalil, Programs Director at Berytech, concluded that:
“What Berytech is doing by organising and hosting these bootcamps, is changing the perception of research, moving it from behind closed doors to the public arena, where it can be valued and commercialised”
Also, Zoé Luçon, who coordinates the Tech Booster implementation at ANIMA, added that:
“We’ve learnt a lot about business models and that’s something we don’t get in engineering”, said Samer Abou Diab, beneficiary of the Tech Booster who develops a smart device for road safety in Lebanon. “Investors, business angels and industry leaders involved in the coaching, mentoring and BtoB meetings of the Tech Booster are impressed by the great project ideas they discover and believe there is real potential to expand the portfolio of ‘investable’ projects in the MENA region”
These activities are already gaining momentum in the innovators communities of the Mediterranean and can be found in the press!
The Tech Booster acceleration programme is implemented in Egypt and Lebanon in September 2019 thanks to the support of the national partners of THE NEXT SOCIETY, TIEC and Berytech. Several activities targeting researchers-entrepreneurs in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Palestine and Jordan will be organised soon.
See the pictures of the event on the Facebook page of THE NEXT SOCIETY!
Watch the video of the Lebanese Technology Transfer Bootcamp organised by Berytech in April 2019, and listen to the different reactions!
“This programme helped us transform our passion and research and papers into business,”
Rosabelle Chedid, Co-founder of C-GREEN, an initiative transforming treated sludge into a 100% local organic fertilizer.