WSJ’s Tech Europe has a great piece on Startup Weekend – Beirut, which was held in the Lebanese capital this weekend. Startup Weekend events bring together all sorts of people for a weekend to build teams and launch new companies centered around innovative ideas. Before I started delving into the innovation “scene,” I associated startups with tech companies and web apps like Twitter or Instagram, which made people tons of money and led to new features on Facebook or the Google. But the event in Beirut, like others before it, reveals the variety and utility of products and services that these new enterprises can bring to the market:
Among the youngest participants were two 17-year-old high school students from Beirut, Osama Brosh and Omar Turk who created AID (Auditory Impairment Device), a mobile phone application that alerts deaf people to loud sounds—such as fire alarms, car horns or doorbells—through a vibration, winning them first place in the competition.
Brosh and Turk had already chosen the objective of helping deaf individuals, and their winning startup began as a high school science project. The pair is currently working on future products around the same idea.
The Beirut Weekend was one of over a dozen that have occurred in the Middle East since the region’s first event was held in 2010 in Tel Aviv. You can find out more about Startup Weekend and future events near you at their website, http://startupweekend.org/events/.