Berytech launched Batch IV of its Agrytech Accelerator Program, onboarding 28 teams to the first phase. The teams were selected from 60 shortlisted applications out of more than 500 received innovating in the agri-food sector.
Equipped with a grant of $2,000, the teams will go through an intensive 2-month cycle of support during which they will attend various workshops and one-on-one sessions to help them validate their ideas, create and brand their image and website, and work on building the foundations of their business.
Agrytech Program – Phase 1
Phase I is a two-month validation phase that is designed to allow the teams to focus on practical approaches to define objectives and validate assumptions about the problem, the opportunity, the market size, the audience, and the feasibility of the solution.
Experts and mentors follow up and advise startups on best practices to achieve validation. The first phase is composed of several sprints providing entrepreneurs with the required knowledge to complete the pre-requisites to move to Phase II of the program. The workshops focus on concept initiation, design, validation, business model, operations, and pitching.
In addition to the workshops, startups will receive several one-on-one clinics to develop their initial prototype and strengthen their business model. These clinics include prototyping, business follow-up, user experience, stakeholder management, validation, and pitching.
Meet the Finalists
On selection day, the 60 shortlisted startups pitched their solutions online to a jury composed of the Berytech team as well as diverse business and agri-food experts composed of: Abbas Sidaoui, Alissar Cheaib, Andre Abi Awad, Antoun Moawad, Chadi Mhanna, Charbel Mouawad, Christophe Zoghby, Elie Shammas, Elias Bustani, Imad Riachi, Jad Salhani, Michel Owayjan, Mustapha Ammouri, Nadine Asmar, Pierre Madani, Riyad Abou Jaoudeh, Roula Bachour, Roula Sawan, and Said Gedeon.
Solutions tackle challenges across the agri-food value chain covering Farming, Food Industry Packaging and Marketing, Rangelands and Forestry, and Management Support.
Meet the 28 solutions that made the cut:
- Agricultura Plus is developing a platform that links landowners and potential investors to facilitate the establishment of agriculture projects, extract consumable products and sell them.
- Best Beekeeper is innovating a Styrofoam box for beekeeping to replace the wooden box, helping beekeepers face harsh weather.
- BQ Whey is producing low-cost, high-quality feed material from wasted whey, targeting poultry feed producers.
- Collarvet is developing an IOT device that measures cow health parameters, temperature, feeding activity, respiration activity, ambient temperature, and humidity.
- Douda Vermiculture Solutions is restoring the soil ecosystem using natural-based fertilizers ‘vermicompost’ from their worm farms.
- Prochick provides locally produced, high-quality pet food made from chicken and vegetable leftovers.
- Tobatic is a startup that helps tobacco farmers automatically string tobacco leaves, saving them money and time.
- U-Farm is a mobile application that connects farmers with a community of farmers and experts, putting the latest technologies in the palm of their hands and turning their data into actionable profitable insights.
- Zubabati is a women-led startup that farms the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) to produce local and sustainable poultry and fish feed alternatives and organic fertilizer.
- Agrocedrus is developing a range of healthy carob-based products, including carob flakes.
- Aklé is a plant-based nutrition bar made of 100% natural, nutritionally dense whole food, inspired by the Lebanese diet.
- Buddha Gourmand is producing a baby food line based on the Middle Eastern diet that is healthy, nutritious and additive-free.
- Fast Freekeh is developing a healthy fast-to-cook product targeting people interested in healthy food and people with special diets.
- Instant Lebanese Food Company by Marrouche is working on authentic Lebanese retail products using locally sourced ingredients and building on the Marrouch brand legacy.
- Pasta is manufacturing fresh pasta in Lebanon utilizing local egg and wheat produce.
- SolDryTech is developing a convective solar drying machine allowing a safer, faster, and easier drying of food products than the conventional drying method used currently, with zero operational cost.
- Sugar N Spice provides healthy, natural, and delicious nut spreads.
- Superpowder the powder of nature is working on the recovery of polyphenols from agro-food byproducts. The obtained natural powder can be used in many cosmetic and food industries to replace expensive and synthetic molecules.
Packaging and Marketing
- Agriwa is developing a patch made from organic, locally sourced materials that can be added to fruit packaging to extend the product shelf life.
- From The Villages is a platform that promotes and delivers high-quality products made by rural suppliers.
- Jawnah is a wellness brand offering safe, sensual, and innovative food-powered skincare inspired by the Mediterranean heritage.
- Raw aims to locally grow a variety of plants and herbs in rural areas, extract their hydrosols and essential oils, and use them as raw materials for the personal care industry.
Rangelands and Forestry
- PineMed is a mobile application allowing pine producers to protect their pine production from pest invasion. Using image detection, the application acts as an early alert system that catches pine pests cold.
- Agricom is a digital platform enabling smoother cooperation among the different players in the agricultural sector by increasing efficiencies across the value chain.
- Agrilink is an online platform that links Lebanese farmers to exporters, giving them the chance to increase their exports while promoting their agricultural produce.
- Crowdfarming Lebanon is a crowdfunding platform aiming to provide farmers with an alternative source of funding as opposed to traditional financial institutions.
- Elysium is providing technical information and support related to farming and food production, linking producers to each other and to end consumers.
- FarmTech is developing a software and hardware solution capable of forecasting pest infestations and offers guidance on precise farming interventions.
Agrytech Program – Phases 2 And 3
By the end of May 2021, Berytech will choose up to 12 teams to continue to phase two of the Agrytech Accelerator Program, whereby each team will be granted $15,000 to build their MVP, in addition to receiving training and coaching. At the end of phase two, the participants should have a functioning MVP with enough traction to be selected for phase three.
By the end of September 2021, up to eight startups will be chosen to go through the third and final phase of the program This incubation and growth phase is scheduled over five months, with $20,000 awarded in matching capital to the teams, who will start preparations for their scaleup. This phase is crucial in helping the participants receive investment from venture capital or angel investors.
The Agrytech Program
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 feeding the world from Lebanon. The Agrytech Accelerator Program is under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub, a new 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.