Handiss, a Lebanon-based platform that centralizes freelancing in the construction realm, is poised to go global after being picked as one of seven projects to be supported by the Nucleus, an initiative of The UK Lebanon Tech Hub (UKLTH).
Handiss works toward bringing together clients with construction projects and the engineers and architects needed to deliver them. Founder Ramzi Jreidini said that the portal connects people in the industry on a project or task basis, instead of full-time, making Handiss unique in this way, since most portals in this particular market tend to provide full-time employees for companies.
UK government-backed Nucleus initiative, and the Central Bank of Lebanon, are looking to foster entrepreneurship and research & development in Lebanon. Entrepreneurs are able to take advantage of benefits which span over a 12-week period, including assistance with further developing their product and business model as well as practical workshops on topics such as finance, legal structures, raising capital and marketing.
Each company is assigned a “Dragon’s Den” type of board, with industry and media experts, relevant academics and potential buyers. Regular monthly board meetings are conducted through the entire program to ensure a business ‘road-map’ is set and followed. Upon completion, UKLTH continues to support all the start-ups by enabling them tap into their international networks, garnering partnerships and helping them raise potential investments.
Jreidini said that the main competition Handiss faces is really the status-quo and the paradigm of the market itself. “People in the market are not used to the idea of finding freelance engineers and architects using an online platform. Most people rely on their own personal connections or a search on LinkedIn to find one or two professionals who can help them out on their project, with all the obvious limitations that entails,” added Jreidini.