Small Lebanese Start Up Goes Global

Published on Wednesday 28th of April 2021

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We talked with our very own; Audrey Nakad (CEO & Co-Founder) and Zeina Sultani (CMO & Co-Founder).

 

They told us the story of Ostaz; how a small idea that started on paper, struggled its way in Lebanon, up until its acquisition by Inspired Education Group. 

 

Audrey comes from a finance background, she worked in consultancy and investment banking but she has an undying passion for entrepreneurship that stems from her upbringing.

Her passion drove her to start her venture and continues to drive her through every day. 

 

Zeina comes from a different world. Her background is in the corporate world. She held a high position as the Marketing Director at Azadea group holding and was not familiar with the concept of startups! 

 

After a call from Audrey, Zeina felt compelled to the potential Ostaz has, especially that as a mother, Zeina always had an issue finding qualified tutors for her children. 

 

So, with a passion for education and a genius marketing mind, Zeina quit the corporate world and joined Audrey in her venture! 

 

So the journey of building something from scratch began as Audrey and Zeina took on this project working on it day in and day out! 

 

What do you think it takes to be an entrepreneur?

 

I can summarize it with one word, GRIT! I learned what it means very recently and it resonated so well. It takes persistence, motivation, passion, and being hungry to be an entrepreneur and that is what GRIT is.

 

The journey is a roller coaster, you will see more downs than ups. If you do not have GRIT, you will not make it. 

 

Why did you start Ostaz?

 

We have a very clear problem! We cannot find tutors that are highly qualified, available, and fitting for our curricula. Students can’t find tutors and vice versa swell; tutors can’t find students. 

 

Zeina also said that, as a mother, finding a tutor, was very time-consuming and ineffective. She would ask all around and rarely ever get matched with a qualified tutor. 

 

“We don’t have time to go through trial and error with our children, we need a platform that ensures credibility and availability” 

 

How do you think Ostaz changed over the years?

 

We started with an idea on paper. 

 

We went to our first accelerator and pitched horribly but we did get it. 

 

We got some money and the right mentors and we worked so hard, day in and day out until we got ourselves a product! 

 

We would go to top universities in Lebanon and make sure every student heard of us. It worked, many people started seeing us and knowing us! 

 

We continue to expand to schools across the world, offering highly qualified tutors for students across the world in different subjects and curricula! 

 

Hear more about what they have to say on our podcast 

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