The Rising Stars of Agri-Food Innovation in Lebanon

Posted on February 28, 2019

Keep an eye on them, these innovators are about to grow big!”

Meet the Rising Stars of Agri-Food Innovation_web

Lebanon Agri-Food Innovation Day

After months of hard work, 9 entrepreneurs enrolled in Berytech’s Agrytech Accelerator program pitched their startups to a room full of professionals, experts, investors, academics and students at the Lebanon Agri-Food Innovation Day 2019 which received more than 1200 visitors.

The startups are in the third phase of the Accelerator and preparing to scale their business. They will each receive up to $22,000 in matching grants from the program. “Keep an eye on them, these innovators are about to grow big!” comments Ramy Boujawdeh, Deputy GM of Berytech and Director of the Agrytech Program.

 

Agrytech Program

The Agrytech Program – jointly funded by the Kingdom of Netherlands and Berytech, has been sourcing the top Lebanese startups with disruptive innovations in the Agri-Food sector and providing them with the adequate technical and business resources as well as community support to scale their ideas into successful businesses with global impact.

Agrytech supports startups with innovations across the Agri-Food sector through a yearly 3-phase program: Bootcamp where up to 30 applicants are shortlisted to join and receive a $3,300 grant to validate their market over a period of two months; Acceleration, where up to 15 startups are then shortlisted and move to this 4-month phase to build a minimum viable product (MVP) and get traction with a $16,000 support grant; and finally the Incubation and Growth phase, where up to 8 startups are shortlisted to join the 6-month incubation program and benefit from up to $22,000 in matching grants.

 

Lebanese Agri-Food Innovations & Solutions

CubeX, is a startup taking local and international NGOs, municipalities, and investors by storm. They developed a one-of-a-kind circular product that has the potential to create an extraordinary impact on the environment all while generating profit. Cubex is a home scale wastewater and solid waste treatment system that allows households to process all of their organic waste using decentralized treatment systems. The team includes Tommy Waked, Marc Aoun and Lara Gemayel

 

Rigino, is a startup founded by two executive women with enough experience and skills to make their company happen. Sabah Corm and Lara el Khoury are working to transform the way we trace the origin of what we eat in the MENA region. Rigino is a complete traceability platform serving entire value chains across multiple industries.

 

FoodCheck is an automated, autonomous device that monitors and tracks the location of products, all while providing stock management in real time. The solution aims to link all the nodes in the supply chain to provide adequate data to all the parties concerned. The team includes Brian Baboch, Georges Hachem, Jerome Jalkh, Anthony Aoun, and Christian Gemayel; these five young, passionate and energetic entrepreneurs developed a product that caught the attention of one of the biggest global FMCG producers with whom they are now working to perfect their solution.

 

It’s been said that they give trees a voice. They’re three fascinating women entrepreneurs, who in less than a year have developed a first-of-its-kind product, won five awards, filed a PCT Patent and just signed a partnership with the leading mobile operator in Lebanon Touch. IO Tree is a wireless sensory network controlling each farmer’s plot and making him apply the right farming practices through a farmer-friendly mobile app capable of being the eyes of every tree and raising every tree’s voice when necessary. The team includes Christina Chaccour, Dr. Nisrine El Turky and Nancy Daou.

 

Digimart is a B2B e-commerce platform that connects retailers or hotels and restaurants to suppliers and distributors. The platform helps distributors promote their new, regular and discounted products instantly and directly to the retailers which will save them money, effort and time. Entrepreneurs Georges Aouad and Tony Antoun have truly understood the problem they are solving.

 

Mushtic is a natural binding process that grows layers of mycelium (mushroom roots) over any agricultural waste to create natural packaging material which replaces petroleum-based products as Styrofoam. The team includes Lama Antonios, Charbel Sayah and Rayanne Beayno. They have recently won the semi-finals of the Hult Prize.

 

Tarek Itani, Georges Labaki, Imad el-Rayes, and Lamis El Ghor are developing a kit that allows you to enjoy safe food wherever you are in the world. Quick, easy and simple. Turista Kit is a medical device intended for travelers and people on the move allowing them to have a safe meal. The kit is ready-to-use with immediate and reliable results to protect users from food poisoning.

 

As for Quadra, what started as a final year university project, transformed into a startup that so far has won 3 competitions and signed 2 MoUs with institutions waiting to grab their product as soon as it hits the market. They have also recently won the Maroun N. Chammas Recognition Award for Technology Innovation. Quadra is developing an optical fruit sorting machine, capable of sorting different types of fruits based on the international standards of size, color, and defects. It utilizes the latest Machine Learning and Computer Vision technologies, coupled with state-of-the-art manufacturing, to provide the best levels of accuracy in grading, defect detection, and fruit handling. The team includes Serge el Khoury, Kevin Boutros and Kristina Farah.

 

AgriEats is an authentic startup with a big social impact. Their rural food has catered to more than 20,000 people already. AgriEats is a platform that aims to skill-up and empower home-based rural women and farmers to market their authentic and traditional food products. The team includes Haitham Saab, Dana Abou Chakra and Mazen Bou Hamdan.

 

Read more about the startups and watch their pitches here.