Lebanese American University

Tomorrow’s Leaders

From Purpose to Impact, an Algerian LAU TL Student Participates in the Economic Recovery in Lebanon

When Mohamed Rissal, an LAU MEPI TL Computer Science student from Algeria joined the MEPI Tomorrow’s Leaders program in fall 2019, he didn’t expect that this year will be, by far, the most challenging yet most rewarding year of his academic life, and here is why….

Only a couple of months after Rissal joined Tomorrow’s Leaders program at LAU, an unprecedented uprising has rocked Lebanon which led to schools and universities closure for months. Few weeks after resuming classes, a complete lockdown was imposed on the country to combat the novel COVID-19. Given the circumstances, Rissal had to quickly adapt to remote learning. Actually, Rissal went far beyond completing his academic goals. He joined an innovation opportunity offered by LAU Innovation Center: Rissal participated in MIT Challenge, a large- scale hackathon focusing on solving the most pressing economic challenges facing Lebanon. Forming a team of four from different countries, Rissal and the team members chose to tackle the thorny economic meltdown that Lebanon is facing. In only 48 hours, the team came up with « Booster », a match-making start-up concept that helps bank depositors invest their monies in companies in Lebanon. This startup could result in a win-win situation: The depositor will rule out the risk of deposits hair-cuts that the government may impose, simultaneously, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME’s) may be able to survive the financial crisis. 

By presenting a cohesive and detailed proposal, Rissal and the team members scored second place and were entitled to enroll in the MIT accelerator workshop. This workshop is the next level of the contest where the team will go to the execution phase with the support of professionals.

With little time spent in the MEPI TL program at LAU, Rissal started to harvest successes and achievements. Yet, it is only the first step of a journey of thousand miles…


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