- Reimagine Lebanon is an initiative by CME aiming to invest in the Lebanese youth and empower them to turn challenges into opportunities
- Yalla Bus wins $10,000 for brilliantly tackling the transportation problem in Lebanon
Beirut, 17 March 2017: CME, the leading technology company and end-to-end engineering solutions provider in Lebanon, announced the winner of its competition “Reimagine Lebanon” during an Award Ceremony held under the patronage of the Minister of Economy and Trade Mr. Raed Khoury. The event, which was held at Beirut Digital District, welcomed the representative of HE Minister of Economy and Trade Johnny Matta, some of the country’s key entrepreneurial figures, media personnel, bloggers, university students and staff.
The Jury of Reimagine Lebanon consisted of 5 members including co-founder and General Manager of CME Wissam Youssef, president and co-founder of Live Love Beirut Abbas Sibai, founder of Alephpreneur Carole Issa, CEO of Speed@BDD Sami Abu Saab and ICT consultant and former Principal at Strategy& Antoun Halabi. The Jury thoroughly reviewed all the submissions, choosing 10 shortlists based on a detailed evaluation of each idea, coupled with the internal votes of CME’s employees. The contenders were then asked to work on a prototype of their idea and to present it to the jury at a private event, held just before the award ceremony.
The winning idea chosen was “Yalla Bus”, a brilliantly imaginative solution that tackles the transportation problem in Lebanon. At its heart is an innovative application designed to enhance public transportation in the country.
A Spokesperson from the winning team expressed his joy and explained the idea in a few words. He said, “We started off by looking at one simple fact. 20 percent of the Lebanese do not use public transportation because they have doubts about their safety, hygiene and organization especially in terms of passenger capacity and timeliness. Our reimaginative idea is a smart mobile application called Yalla Bus that hopes to improve the public transportation experience in Lebanon for both the passengers and drivers. The application allows the user to enter the destination he wishes to reach, automatically identifying the bus that he/she should take and the time it needs to reach the bus stop. The application clearly maps out the whereabouts of the bus throughout its journey. The drivers can also benefit from this application, especially since it allows them to check the number of passengers waiting for the bus and whether there’s enough space to withstand the total amount. If the bus is full, the driver can use the application to suggest an alternative bus for the remaining passengers. The application also allows users to give feedback of their experience, which will automatically enhance the overall service in the long term.”
The winning team was granted $10,000 for this innovative idea as well as free consultations to help towards its development.
During the event, Wissam Youssef gave a historical detour of his company’s journey. He said, “Congratulations to the winning team on their inspiring idea and rationale. Yalla Bus is a very forward looking concept that tackles a real problem and stems from a very human insight. 14 years ago, CME was that imaginative idea we hoped would keep us in our home country. The challenge at the time, which lives on till this very day, was the need to immigrate in order to build a career and earn a decent living. The problem was profound, and it was an important factor that drove our strategy to develop what we now know as CME. In a small office in Monot, with a few computers and as little as $100 for capital, we ventured on a mission to offer innovative end-to-end engineering solutions, across software and hardware. Our efforts were eventually recognized globally and our team grew into a family of 300 engineers. With a track record of 7 patents and a number of awards, CME became our very own reimagination of Lebanon. This competition is the chance we hoped to give to them to reimagine Lebanon as they wish it could be.”
Reimagine Lebanon stems from a powerful national insight, and is driven by an aim to empower the Lebanese with their very own ideas. Lebanon is a country that suffers from multiple economic, political and social problems. These unfortunate circumstances are pushing many young Lebanese to search for opportunities abroad. For that reason, CME decided to create a platform encouraging all the Lebanese, especially the youngsters, to reimagine Lebanon and turn obstacles into great opportunities. To give the initiative the weight it deserves, it was launched in the occasion of the Independence Day back in November 2016, a time when we all consider what we love most and what we would like to change about our country.
CME, joining efforts with Live Love Beirut, put together this compelling initiative to encourage people to reimagine Lebanon as they would wish to live it. It’s an all-encompassing call to action that will live on beyond the competition and hopefully elicit real and tangible change.