Posted on July 25, 2022
Berytech launched a special edition of the Agrytech Accelerator Program, onboarding ten teams to join a six-month edited version of the program. The teams were selected from 85 applications innovating in the agri-food sector and differentiating themselves in their innovation and ability to scale.
Through the accelerator program and with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Lebanon, Berytech will work with the startups and help them grow their solutions across the agri-food value chain to enhance their prototypes into viable businesses.
This special edition will be exceptionally supporting innovators that have validated their solution and are part of a startup or SME at an early stage versus the previous four batches of the program that were also open for innovations at idea stage. Innovators do not necessarily have to be experts in the agri-food sector, but rather have solutions that can be adapted to challenges in the industry.
The selected startups have the capacity to scale beyond the Lebanese market and the potential to create sustainable job opportunities locally. Berytech is supporting business model innovations as well as disruptive, cutting-edge scientific and technological innovations in the agri-food sector.
The startups will be supported in their innovations to develop their minimum viable product (MVP) or prototype into a successful business with global impact.
Balamida: Its mission is to supply fish products to households and restaurants by supporting the local fishing community.
Brisky: Makes pre-cooked and dehydrated meals with an extended shelf-life and no preservatives that can be safely stored at room temperature and quickly reconstituted.
Kenza Kitchen: Creates vegetable-flavored wraps using local organic or natural vegetables and fruits.
Legendairy: Is a plant-based dairy alternative producer that makes plant-based dairy accessible, affordable, and optimal for consumers.
Little Melly: Is creating freshly made and additive-free baby food making fresh and healthy baby food accessible to today’s busy yet health-conscious parents.
PawPots: Is an online subscription service offering fresh and natural food for pets.
Remer: Is a mixed culture of naturally occurring beneficial organisms that can be applied as soil inoculants. Through the use of REMER, the startup directs farmers towards sustainable and ecological agriculture.
Safran du Liban: Offers the highest quality of Saffron, grown and processed in Lebanon.
SunCode: Is developing a convective solar drying machine allowing safer, faster, and easier drying of food products than the conventional drying method used currently, with zero operational cost.
Whitelogs: Promotes mushroom cultivation by providing products and services for mushroom farmers, focusing on medicinal mushrooms to produce medicinal mushroom products.
Berytech held a three-day design thinking bootcamp on July 2, 3 and 4, 2022. The teams had to go through three stages: Building empathy with their users, building their minimum valuable product (MVP) and test it with the users, and building their business model. On the final day the teams had to pitch in front of an internal team of Berytech experts.
During the first day, the teams built empathy with their users and had to refine their problem to validate the problem/solution fit. Case studies and hands-on workshops were given on key concepts in design thinking methodology, planning the user’s research route, analyzing insights, retracing the user’s journey, and choosing pain points to tackle. The teams had to meet and interview their target audience to define and clarify their value proposition.
Jennifer Mansour, Co-Founder of Little Melly, stated “We have just joined the Agrytech Accelerator Special Edition program, it’s been three days we have been participating in the Design Thinking Bootcamp and it’s been mind-blowing. The speaker’s level, engagement and how everyone interacted with one another is impressive. We’ve been part of many programs and still, we had so much new information to learn.”
During the second day the teams had to test their assumptions and build their minimum valuable product (MVP). Workshops and hands-on exercises were performed to help the teams define their MVP & MVP roadmap, design a low-fidelity prototype, identify their riskiest assumptions and test their prototype with customers as a trial run.
Soraya Joundy, Design Thinking & Lean Startup Coach, Trainer and Facilitator, stated “During my time at Berytech, I got the opportunity to train, challenge and support impact-driven entrepreneurs often combining technology and innovative solutions to answer local challenges but also potential global needs. I was really amazed how humble, hardworking and eager to learn and improve the startups were. I felt truly privileged and honored to train such high-quality profiles. I also would like to acknowledge all the work done by the Berytech Team to make it possible. I discovered an incredibly unique set of personalities and skills but one of the most value & impact driven teams I ever met. It was again, truly an honor. Keep rocking!”
During the third and final day of the design thinking the teams had to build their business model and define their next most important steps.
Demonstrations and hands-on workshops were conducted to help the teams in refining their business model through the lean canvas and got some tips for pitching their solution story.
The accelerator phase, with a duration of 3-months, offers the necessary resources, knowledge, support, and funding.
The startups will be supported to enhance and optimize their minimum viable product (MVP) or prototype and test it with early adopters, establish the business from a financial, marketing, management, operational levels to be able to pitch their business.
The startups will have access to Berytech’s electronics and hardware Fabrication Lab, the Berytech Fablab, they will also receive technical and business coaching during bootcamps, training sessions and masterclasses to develop their entrepreneurial competencies. The startups will also be promoted in local and international markets, have the opportunity to strengthen the linkages with the agri-food community, as well as having access to a pool of dedicated local and international experts.
The acceleration phase ends with an expert jury selecting up to six companies to go into the incubation phase for 3 months.
By mid-September 2022, up to six startups will be chosen to go through the second and final phase of the program. This incubation and growth phase is scheduled over three months, with up to $20,000 awarded in matching grants to the teams, who will work on their scaleup. This phase is crucial in helping the participants become investment ready and receive equity and non-equity funding from venture capital or angel investors., and finally go on a soft-landing program in the Netherlands.
Berytech designed and developed the Agrytech program to make sure Lebanon has the most competitive companies that are sourcing, solving, growing, and transforming food, as well as innovating and feeding the world from Lebanon. The Agrytech Accelerator Program is under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub, an out-of-the-box approach by Berytech, co-funded by the Kingdom of The Netherlands, aims at strengthening business advancement and job creation in the Agri-food and Cleantech sectors in Lebanon. Berytech supports innovations across these sectors by offering startups the resources, knowledge, support, and funding worth around $100K, necessary to scale their ideas and grow them to penetrate international markets.
Learn more about the special edition and the different details of the program on this link.