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Toward a Critical Mass of Startup Support

AltCity aims to prove that more collaboration means a win-win situation for all Lebanese. It was built on the bittersweet experience of its founders, who returned to Lebanon “to do something positive for our country“–only to watch friends leave to pursue their dreams elsewhere.  AltCity co-founder David Munir Nabti blames this brain drain on “the lack of reliable infrastructure” for creative innovators.

AltCity’s core mission is “to address that situation, to help build a [homegrown] community” of these types by helping provide business and technical support. With diverse partners, AltCity supports everything from mobile app and digital game development to media for social change and social entrepreneurship through numerous workshops, conferences, and art exhibits.

“If we really want Lebanon to be an active player in innovation and tech,” Nabti insists, “we need to break down this sense of negative competition and territoriality and become much more open-minded and happy to share. We’re much better than we were a few years ago, and hopefully we can keep moving in that direction.”

For more info – www.altcity.me

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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