5 Days With Techstars MD Jag Singh In Beirut
From March 23rd to 28th, the Beirut Digital District (BDD) and Speed@BDD welcomed Jag Singh, the Managing Director of Metro Accelerator – Techstars, in Beirut. During his first visit to Lebanon, we invited Jag to dive into the local startup ecosystem and get to know Lebanese entrepreneurs and what they’re working on.
Jag mentored some of our portfolio companies and met with officials, VCs, and BDD tenants/entrepreneurs. He led a roundtable, organized by BDD, about RetailTech where major retail representatives and distributors met to discuss the future of retail. He also shared his insights during a fireside chat with our CEO Sami at Demo Day V:
“I evaluate thousands of startups from around the world every year for our programs, and I keep seeing startups coming out of the Speed@BDD program in the top brackets of our evaluation pipeline. This is my first visit to Beirut, and it has provided a great opportunity to engage with the ecosystem – listening to the stories of founders and the challenges they’re overcoming is inspiring. I may soon invest personally in one of the startups I recently met!
Lebanon is an emerging economy, but it also makes for an excellent test-bed for startup ideas that have the potential to scale globally. When the world thinks of Lebanon, the first thing that comes to mind is the entrepreneurial nature of the Lebanese people. The term Lebanese is practically synonymous with the word ‘entrepreneur’. You have all the right ingredients for a hotbed of tech innovation — a multilingual and highly-educated workforce, coupled with a population comprised of millienials. This incredible pool of early adopters just waiting to try out new products is a haven for startups.
I’d like to find a way to help grow and expand the safe-haven that Speed@BDD provides to young startups. Angel investors and accelerators are a crucial part of the recipe for innovation, and as more startups in Lebanon find exits, we’ll see them spur more growth in this country. Techstars is about relationships and equipping entrepreneurs, and I look forward to strengthening the relationship with Speed@BDD.”
Jag’s visit was also the perfect occasion to share our new collaboration with Techstars at Demo Day V. We will be working with multiple Techstars programs to provide Lebanese startups with new opportunities and Techstars MDs will share their best practices and open their networks to our management team through an in-person exchange with their accelerators around the world.