“I saw an opportunity to use a cloud platform to accelerate Internet business models.”
- Year selected
At the forefront of the cloud computing revolution, Element^n is preparing for takeoff. After years of product development in the enterprise software space serving mobile network operators, Element^n has turned its product legacy into Apstrata, a highly scalable, cloud-based solution for back-end infrastructure. Apstrata packages the fundamental server-side building block components necessary for HTML5 and mobile application development, saving mobile developers both time and money. In a space now termed “Back-end as a Service” (BaaS)—the market is estimated to be US$500 million to US$1 billion, growing 50% annually for the next 5 years—Element^n has the technology to capture significant market share. Entrepreneur Rabih Nassar plans to grow his business by accessing the booming centers of mobile development that are cropping up across key tech centers in the United States and elsewhere. His decision to build a technology company in his native Lebanon despite an unfavorable financial and professional environment stems from his desire to contribute to building the country’s knowledge economy and creating highly skilled jobs.
A technology-driven serial entrepreneur, Rabih has built a long career in IT with several ventures to his name. Since graduating in 1992 from St. Joseph University—Lebanon with a degree in telecommunications, Rabih has teamed up with other founders to start DigiSys (1992) and PortalElements (1999), whose assets were merged with super11.net in Brazil (2000) to become the 2nd largest Brazilian free ISP. Rabih also held positions as Business Development Manager for Navlink (AT&T subsidiary) in 1998, Director of pre-Sales for South of Europe at BroadVision (BVSN) in 2001, and then as SVP of Engineering for Vidavee (acquired by Vignette/OpenText). Seeing opportunities in the MENA region to build a Business Process Management (BPM) platform, Rabih leveraged contacts made from his career to found Element^n in 2003 with a running start.
In 2009, Rabih created Apstrata, a new, wholly owned subsidiary, which would offer its technology to cover essential back-end needs for mobile developers. Developing and maintaining back-end infrastructure entails systems administration skills, which are not always the strength of application developers. Apstrata eliminates the hassle of back-end maintenance—not only does it cut down on initial setup costs, but it also simplifies product evolution as applications are continuously enriched with features.