Ambassador Richard Kicks Off “Start Up Lebanon – Silicon Valley Roadshow”

U.S. Ambassador Elizabeth Richard joined the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Startup Megaphone to kick off the “Start Up Lebanon – Silicon Valley Roadshow” at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut this afternoon.  The Silicon Valley Roadshow is a 1-week executive tour of San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Mountain View, California, featuring site visits and business meetings for a Lebanese delegation of investors and creators of startup businesses with executives at leading American tech companies from September 12-17, 2016.  As part of our ongoing efforts to encourage increased commercial ties between the two countries, the U.S. Embassy is pleased to support this opportunity to showcase Lebanese innovation, connect talented Lebanese and American entrepreneurs, and promote investment in Lebanon.

In her remarks at the event, the Ambassador declared:  “I’m thrilled that the delegation will head to Silicon Valley, the home to Google, Facebook, Apple, and many other companies on the cutting edge of technology and innovation.  Their meetings and engagements in what many call “the global capital of entrepreneurship” will offer the Lebanese participants a chance to trade ideas with industry leaders, as well as an opportunity to showcase their products and innovations.  As we Americans like to say, it’s a win-win situation.”

She continued:  “I am proud of our support to the Start Up Lebanon-Silicon Valley Roadshow.  Through USAID’s $15 million Middle East and North Africa Investment Initiative project, we are directly funding several entrepreneurs’ participation in the roadshow.  The entrepreneurs were specifically selected for their innovative ideas and potential growth of their start up businesses.”

Ambassador Richard added:  “I think many Lebanese are aware of the high level of security assistance that we are proud to provide to Lebanon’s army and security services.  But stability in Lebanon is not just about the military.  America also seeks to advance a healthy, stable society here through economic development.  Whether it is the $41.7 million Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development project that creates income-generating opportunities for small-scale farmers throughout Lebanon, or today’s initiative to support entrepreneurship and innovation, we are very committed to supporting Lebanon’s economic prosperity.  Our activities in this regard may be less known than our military aid, but they are every bit as important.”