Meeting the 26-year-old organizer of the Start Up Weekend for Byblos, Lebanon is an education in itself. Simon Tadros is driven by his passion for entrepreneurial activities and has been for many of his young years.
He is at heart, he will tell you, a programmer, an evangelist of Open Source, as he maintains that knowledge is for everyone, and it’s meant to be shared he says, almost defiantly.
His idea to host the famous 54-hour marathon on tech innovation in the town that gave birth to what we know as the alphabet, is not an accident.
Byblos is also the home of LAU, the prestigious local Lebanese American University, a campus that boasts over 5,000 students.
Tadros is not just organizing the event, he is calling for a revival action in today’s youth to get involved, embrace technology and be part of the evolution of tomorrow by learning the skills to make a difference.
“We cannot be bystanders while the rest of the world designs our future, I believe that we as Lebanese have the heart, education, and talent. We want to encourage angel investors to follow local innovations to make it possible for small people to think big and make giant leaps forward for the nation.”
Tadros is counting on support from the business community to support the Start Up Weekend in Byblos, set to attract 100 tech savvy participants to compete throughout the weekend of March 1st- through March 3rd to join a team, pitch an idea and then spend the rest of each hour, totally focused on manifesting the idea into a viable business. Each of these events give participants the opportunity to win prizes, many related to actually giving them real support in starting their own business.
Start Up Weekends are a non-profit global movement that have have captured the imaginations of ‘wannabe’ entrepreneurs from every corner of the globe. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is the global sponsor of this NGO that has seen 80,000 Entrepreneurs present in 7,500 events around the world.
“These events give young people the opportunity to test drive the world of being a designer, developer, driver, entrepreneur and drills their skill as individuals and ability to work as a team, and ultimately to communicate their developed idea to a jury at the end of the weekend” said Tadros.
“We also have to realize that it will be the entrepreneurs who will create the jobs of tomorrow. Our communities will benefit, our families and our future will be impacted through innovation and initiatives we strive for today.” he added.
There are many communities and countries around the world that may not feel they are stagnated by war, or religion, or politics, or even corruption in some cases, but the human mind is always free, free to explore, to question, to challenge, to imagine. This will be the theme of our event, ‘Dare to Imagine’.
Byblos Start Up Weekend is set to crate new standards for the youth of Lebanon to aspire to, to innovate at LAU, the selected location the event.
So what is the dare to imagine theme, we asked Tadros.
“To dare is actually to have the courage to imagine, to have the courage to take action and follow though on the intentions and actions and make something happen.
This is why I am an entrepreneur,” said Tadros.