It has been a very busy and productive year and we are very happy to share with you our latest news, achievements and growth initiatives. Berytech has been growing its outreach tapping into a variety of innovation tracks and entrepreneurs’ networks throughout exciting competitions in 2016, including:
– SHAAMS Competition, affiliated to a leading EU project that fosters solar energy innovations and technologies in the Mediterranean countries: 3 incubated teams were granted access to Berytech incubation program with further support from our tenant partner National Instruments: Antoine Skayem from RIEGO with a solar powered, dynamic monitoring irrigation control that optimizes the water consumption, Majd Chaaya offering a grid connected PV systems with storage and Ian Hoffbeck – Founder of Future Solar Industries.
– GSVC 2015-2016, an international Social Entrepreneurship Competition supporting social innovation with ESSEC Business School, USJ and Diane Foundation: 3 winners were granted access to Berytech incubation program, receiving up to $10,000 in cash grants and the 1st winning team had the opportunity to represent Lebanon in the regional final in Paris. The winner of the first prize who represented Lebanon in the ESSEC EMEA regional final is NARobots – an autonomous network of drones for quick detection and alert of early stage wildfires. Second and third-prize winners, on the local level, were RIEGO: a solar powered, dynamic monitoring irrigation control that optimizes the water consumption, and Carpolo: a smart carpooling mobile application service.
– FFE 2016, a competition that supports women entrepreneurs, in partnership with AUF, l’Orient le Jour and Commerce du Levant: 4 winners received up to $30’000 in cash grants and 2 will be granted access to Berytech incubation program in 2017: Maria Lati for her “Jasmine & Rose” project, offering pioneer environmental decoration concept for balcony and Saria Hanna for her “Wonder Full” box project offering key concepts of “experience gifts”.
– Mount Lebanon Youth Competition, supporting job creation in Mount-Lebanon, in partnership with UNDP and KDC: 4 winners received up to $60’000 in cash grants and were given access to Berytech incubation program in 2016. The winning teams are: Cranium STEAM Education Platform – a startup aiming at developing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities for children; Masons – a construction game with real building blocks; Hum’n Go is a startup selling hummus snacks in a cup with dipping sticks; Guidentity is a project aiming at teaching history, geography and sciences through field activities.
In total, Berytech received more than 150 application forms of Business Ideas for those competitions and incubated more than 15 teams from Berytech competitions and partner’s competitions (May Chidiac Foundation, BDL accelerate, LIRA, etc.). Around 7 Berytech incubated teams applied to and received the cash grant of ISME of 15K, where the Berytech team helped in the development of the application form.
Berytech got engaged in leading projects with International Bodies:
– UNDP: Mount Lebanon Competition, a competition covering the youth in Mount Lebanon, aimed at creating jobs and empowering vulnerable communities affected by the Syrian crisis.
– USAID: a capacity building training was held for Berytech team members to enhance skills in monitoring and results measurement, a methodology used by International Donors to track the impact of development projects.
– World Bank: Berytech led the Mapping of the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project in Lebanon, in collaboration with key partners in addition to the evaluation of the impact of a leading entrepreneurship initiative (coding bootcamp ) on job creation and youth employment.
– ILO: 2 team members trained in Monitoring and Results Measurement, a methodology used by International Donors to track the impact of development of a Monitoring and Results Measurement Plan for the Business Incubation Program.
– WeHubs: Berytech is the local node of the WeHubs -EU project, aimed at providing a strong support to women web entrepreneurs in Europe and Lebanon. WeHubs seeks to create a favorable environment for women web entrepreneurs, by linking together local fragmented web entrepreneurship ecosystem nodes into the first European Network for Women Web Entrepreneurs Hubs. Berytech developed and promoted the project success stories in addition to developing the network of local support organizations.
Berytech joined the 5TOI EU project as a consortium partner: this pioneer project aims at supporting Innovation in Energy, Water and Agriculture in the South Mediterranean countries, to build a bridge between innovation and policies to open new markets in the energy, agriculture and water management and support the players in those industries.
Berytech is engaging in many new and exciting initiatives in 2017:
- Berytech will be introducing an incubation program to business ideas/ startups that are not necessarily hosted in Berytech sites. This program integrates work sessions, training workshops, mentoring, by using different tools, one of them being Growth Wheel<http://www.growthwheel.com/>. Its aim is to guide aspiring entrepreneurs in developing their business model and business plan, in addition to accessing funding opportunities and meeting with potential investors.
- Berytech is launching the Smart Agri-Food Innovation Hub which will support entrepreneurs to innovate in the Agri-food value chain, from “Farm to Fork” by providing innovative solutions in engineering and tech to solve and improve this sector regionally.
- We’re also launching the 15thyear anniversary of Berytech with a new branding for Berytech and key initiatives along the year focusing on our innovative community .
Now let’s talk about funding:
- IM Capital, the USAID-funded initiative that provides Matching Capital, Capital Insurance and Business Support to Early-Stage Businesses, has already co-funded 10 companies with over $3M in various sectors, and launched two initiatives : Confideo Mentoring program powered by MIT Venture Mentoring Service, and Seeders Masterclass for Business Angels powered by GoBeyond building the investment readiness of novice angels to fund early-stage high risk ventures.
- Berytech Fund II, the 331 financed fund, continues its rapid deployment with a total number of companies financed reaching 20 by 2018 Q1, and amounts deployed hovering around 65% of the total funds raised if not a bit more.
- Berytech Fund I announced its successful exit from 3 of its 15 portfolio companies and a 14.4% dividend.
Finally we would like to welcome Fadi Khoneisser who will be Directing the Community and Facilities support at Berytech. Fadi is has a 24- year progressive career in the telecommunications industry mainly in the management and the operations of data and internet services providers. Fadi holds degrees from ESIB (telecommunications engineer), ESA/ESCP (MBA) and an Executive Certificate in Global Management from INSEAD. He will be overseeing the day to day operations of our Business and Innovation Centers in Mar Roukoz, Mathaf and BDD, supporting the site managers and facilities team. He will also be leading the operations of the Beirut IX which provides hosting and internet exchange services for the Lebanese ICT sector.