After the jury of local experts selected the winners of the 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge in Lebanon, they were presented with their awards at an official ceremony held on March 1, 2019 at Liza Beirut restaurant. The three winners of the Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge in Lebanon are:
1. Ghassan Zughaib, transport category, YallaBus, it is a smartphone application that aims at improving the public transportation experience in Lebanon - specifically buses. Using GPS technology, the app enables users to reliably commute with buses by providing them with real-time directions; while improving the sector and helping it grow.
2. Georges Bitar, environment category, Live Love Recycle, it is a new social and environmental project that allows users in Beirut to recycle for free. This initiative helps counter the garbage crisis in Lebanon. Live Love Recycle helps unemployed individuals re-integrate the working force by providing them with jobs as recyclables collectors.
3. Charbel Trad, social category, Bridge. Outsource. Transform, B.O.T bridges skilled youth from marginalized communities with organizations in need of quality assured digital services in Data Entry, E-commerce Listing, Call Center Support and AI Training Data. Quality assurance is done through in-house technical experts. These young entrepreneurs will receive financial support of up to €12.500 for the first prize to develop their project. They will also receive personalized support and coaching from Smart ESA and a communications campaign to publicize their project.
The winner of the Top Female Entrepreneur award, a new addition to the 2018-2019 Challenge to support women in business, is:
Marielle Khayat, culture category, Koullouna, it is a box, delivered monthly to the client's doorstep, targeted mainly towards Lebanese expats and authentic Lebanese products lovers worldwide, containing 6-7 products made in Lebanon along with the stories behind them, and 10% of the box's price is dedicated and donated to the initiative of the month.
The 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge, held simultaneously in 55 countries - 37 of which are in Africa, 11 in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region, 4 in the Americas, and 3 in Europe - reaffirms Total's commitment to social and economic development in host countries worldwide. By helping innovative young entrepreneurs to realize their projects, the Challenge strengthens the local social fabric.
The second Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge received nearly 50,000 entries, of which more than 15,000 were fully completed. In all, 825 finalists presented their projects to a jury of experts, with 165 winning prizes.
The first prize winner in each country will see their project presented to the international grand juries that will pick the six Grand Winners from all 55 countries.