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President Obama honors Lebanese entrepreneur

President Barack Obama greets young entrepreneurs in the vestibule of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium prior to remarks at the 2015 Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) and Young Entrepreneurs event, May 11, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

(WASHINGTON, DC) — U.S. President Barack Obama honored Lebanese entrepreneur Ziad Sankari for creating innovative heart technology during a White House global entrepreneurship event on May 11.

The White House invited emerging entrepreneurs from around the world to highlight the importance of investing in young businesspeople and innovative solutions. Sankari was among only five others who were honored.

Sankari started CardioDiagnostics in 2012, several years after losing his father to a heart attack. He pursued studies in understanding the electrical activity of the heart and how monitoring and analyzing that activity can save lives.

Today, his company uses FDA-approved wearable devices that are 24/7 GPS-enabled heart rate monitors allowing for heart monitoring centers to communicate diagnostic and preventive information to patients in the United States and Lebanon. The center has more than 40 employees.

In 2008, Sankari attended Ohio State University on a U.S. Fulbright scholarship. After returning to Lebanon, he was selected to pitch his idea at the 2011 Global Innovation through Science and Technology’s (GIST) Tech-I competition where he won first place.

Sankari received his first round of seed funding and traveled through various U.S. cities to expand his network, learn how to negotiate, and connect with mentors. Given his experiences, Sankari sees education as essential to successful entrepreneurship and to combat rising issues of poverty and extremism.

He hopes to support other startups and build a high-performing educational system in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East that leverages U.S. expertise and connections to open a world of opportunities to younger generations.

The event comes ahead of the President’s travel to this summer’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya and provides a unique opportunity to galvanize global attention on emerging women and young entrepreneurs.

Guest speakers during the event included Shark Tank stars Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, and Daymond John. The White House also named nine other top American entrepreneurs as Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, according to a news release.

WATCH President Obama recognize Sankari:

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