Agrytech Program: Berytech Invites Innovators to Solve Eminent Agri-Food Challenges

Posted on November 16, 2020

The program offers the necessary resources, knowledge, support, and funding, valued at $100,000.”

Applications for batch 4 of the Agrytech Accelerator Program are now open. Berytech has worked with multiple stakeholders in the agri-food sector to identify real-life challenges that need immediate innovative solutions.

Through the Accelerator Program and with the co-funding from the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Berytech’s mission is to nurture and grow disruptive ideas in the agri-food sector, assist the innovators in designing their proof of concepts and accordingly build their prototypes into viable investment-ready businesses. 


The Challenges

The challenges, gathered by Berytech and proposed to be solved part of the Agrytech Accelerator, were identified by the different stakeholders in the sector under five tracks. Applicants to the Accelerator are encouraged to stir their innovative problem-solving skills towards creating solutions to these challenges directly impacting Lebanon and the region:

  • Farming Challenges in land use and planning, water pollution, import substitution and post-harvest conditioning.
  • Food Industry Challenges in packaging, business sustainability, customer behavior, marketing, logistics and cold chain management.
  • Rangelands and Forestry Challenges in forest pest prevention and irrigation of forest lands that require innovative solutions using science and technology.
  • Fishing and Aquaculture Challenge where fishermen have an immediate challenge to locate new and safe fishing locations that fit their available safety equipment.
  • Management Support Challenges in extensions, voucher schemes, cooperation and coordination, online learning for technical schools, lab testing and result release are facing the agri-food sector in Lebanon and the region.

You can read about the challenges in detail by clicking here.


From an Idea to a Growing Business in Less Than One Year

Berytech is looking for innovations which have a disruptive scientific or technological focus in the agri-food sector. The startups must have the capability to scale beyond the Lebanese market but with the potential to create sustainable job opportunities locally.

Berytech will support the startups with innovations across the Agri-Food sector through the yearly 3-phase Agrytech Accelerator by helping them grow their idea into a successful business with global impact. The program offers the necessary resources, knowledge, support, and funding, valued at $100,000.


Why Join the Agrytech Accelerator Program?

Agri-food innovators and startups who qualify for the program will receive funding – up to $37K cash injection, will have access to Berytech’s electronics and hardware Fabrication Lab with technical support to prototype, will receive Business Coaching during bootcamps, training sessions and master classes to develop their entrepreneurial competencies, will be promoted in local and international markets as well as have the opportunity to link with the Agri-Food community and a pool of dedicated Lebanese and European experts. 


Who Can Apply?

Innovators need to be part of a startup or SME at an idea or early stage. They do not necessarily have to be experts in the agri-food sector, but rather have a creative solution to one of the pre-set challenges or have a working solution that can be adapted as a solution to the challenges.

The solutions need to use technology (hardware, software, or a combination of both) and can also be innovative food and beverage products.


The Program

Up to 24 shortlisted applicants will first go through a two-month Validation phase. This first phase focuses 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 will follow-up and advise the startups on best practices to achieve validation. Startups accepted into the first phase will receive $2,000 to validate their ideas and prototypes. 

Up to 12 startups will then be shortlisted and move to the 4-month Acceleration phase, to build a minimum viable product (MVP) and get traction with a $15,000 support grant. This phase focuses on operations, product development, business modeling, and go-to-market. Experts and mentors will follow-up and advise the startups on how to build and launch an MVP. Founders learn about product-market fit, how to communicate to the right audience, develop the basics of a sustainable financial structure to secure the stability and growth of the business, and clear all bottlenecks that limit their product delivery.

Typically, during Acceleration, software startups finalize and launch an alpha version of their MVPs, hardware startups clear all technical bottlenecks that limit them from delivering their product to market, and food startups standardize their product features, product design, and their product delivery process.

Finally, up to 8 startups will be shortlisted to join the 6-month Incubation program and will benefit from up to $20,000 in matching grants. The Incubation phase will focus on fundraising, operations and building healthy client and investor relationships to gain traction and scale. Experts follow-up and advise startups on how to scale their businesses after launching their product in the market. Activities will include private and group interactions that enable the growth of startups participating in the group incubation phase, including workshops, meet-ups, talks, group pitching sessions, and a boot camp. Private interactions include clinics that tackle operations, finance, and investment readiness along with monthly review sessions to ensure that the startups are on the right path to achieve their objectives.

To learn more and to apply to the program, please click here.