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Angel investors celebrate graduation with IM Capital.

Summary: Insure and Match Capital celebrated the graduation Friday of its business angel groups -- Seeders and the Lebanese Women Angel Fund -- the Class of 2017-18.

BEIRUT: Insure and Match Capital celebrated the graduation Friday of its business angel groups -- Seeders and the Lebanese Women Angel Fund -- the Class of 2017-18. Forty-six Lebanese businessmen and women completed a program that educated them on investment and finance methodologies to support the startup of Lebanese enterprises. The event was held at the Grand Serail.

IM Capital is funded by the United States Agency for International Development and delivered by the Middle East and North Africa Investment Initiative (MENA II).

Participants and attendees included entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, banks, private sector representatives, universities, incubators, accelerators, key stakeholders and the media.

Dignitaries included Telecommunications Minister Jamal Jarrah, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Edward White, USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson, Berytech Chairman Mr. Maroun Chammas, and IM Capital General Manager Nicolas Rouhana.

The Seeders Masterclass for Business Angels was launched in 2016 by IM Capital in an effort to attract and educate individuals to invest in Lebanese startups.

The first MBA class graduated in July 2017 with 26 angel investors and investments in 4 startups.

Currently, two new MBA programs have been running since September 2017, one of which consists of 23 women-only angels (the LWAF) to invest in women-led ventures. Both groups are investing around $1.150 million in startups, 50 percent of which has been provided by the iSME program funded by the World Bank. The groups are provided a guarantee of 50 percent of their investments by IM Capital.

Maroun Chammas, CEO of Berytech said: "Myself a Seeders Alumni, I am extremely proud to witness the graduation of the new batches. This powerful group and community of business angels is growing and to date IM Capital has graduated 72 certified angel investors, filling a gap in our Lebanese Startup Ecosystem."

IM Capital's Rouhana added: "So far, the groups committed $800,000 in five startups with a potential for follow-on rounds. The Seeders and LWAF Class 2018-19 will launch in September 2018, onboarding new angels. Any individual who is interested in investing in prominent Lebanese startups while becoming a certified investor and belonging to a unique diverse impactful group is encouraged to apply now."

IM Capital provides matching capital, equity guarantee, and support programs to a broad range of qualified early-stage business and investors in Lebanon, reducing the risks associated with investing in early-stage businesses. IM Capital is a fully owned subsidiary of Berytech Foundation.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jul 7, 2018
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