Agrytech’s 2024 Immersion Trip: Embarking on an Agrifood Experience in the Netherlands 

From the 21st of February to the 1st of March 2024, five select startups embarked on Agrytech’s 2024 Immersion Trip to the Netherlands, in collaboration with the StartLife Accelerator. The participants, strategically selected from phase one of the program, got the unique opportunity to benefit from international learning, connections, and exposure.  

Since 2017, the Agrytech Program has been supporting startups to innovatively disrupt the agrifood sector, generating job opportunities and contributing to local and regional food security in the process. Co-funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the program offers mentorship and training, acceleration, and incubation to select startups, ultimately supporting 5 ventures to benefit from this experience.  

This immersion trip was designed with several end goals, each serving as an essential part of the startups’ overall growth and development journey:  

International Exposure

The Agrytech entrepreneurs got the chance to showcase their business solutions to a global audience, which included the Lebanese diaspora – represented by H.E. Mr. Issa Abdel Sattar, Ambassador of Lebanon in the Netherlands – and members of the Netherlands-Middle East and North Africa Business Council. This exposure was achieved through pitch nights with the StartHub community, and through events attended by a diverse panel of professionals and innovators. Such activities allowed for increased visibility, providing the startups with new international audiences and investment opportunities.  

Connections and Collaborations

The trip greatly facilitated networking and matchmaking for the business groups, paving the way for knowledge exchange and invaluable collaborations with globally successful entrepreneurs, professors, researchers, and experts from the Wageningen University and Research. Different site visits, conferences, and meetups with stakeholders from the agrifood sectors also allowed for insightful discoveries and conversations, offering the participants a richer understanding of the Dutch entrepreneurial ecosystem. And to spice things up, a football match was held, merging both parties for a night of laughter, fun, and deepened connections.  

Learning and Innovation

Learning was a continuous aspect of the trip, spanning across the 10-day period and taking diverse shapes and forms. Targeted workshops and personalized one-on-one sessions made for an integral experience, marked by inspiration, innovation, and growth, particularly in the food and agriculture sectors. “We learned how to validate our business solutions and expose our products to the market, and we discovered the key differences between the Lebanese and the Dutch markets, allowing us to gain deeper insight into international trends and advancements”, recall Rayan Sadek and Ali Saraeb, co-founders of the Dr. Feed startup. These tailored activities offered the entrepreneurs insights into the latest research and development trends, innovative business practices, and technological solutions, ensuring a holistic approach to discovery and knowledge acquisition.  

The importance of international exchange was clearly highlighted throughout this experience, both from a mentor’s perspective and for the participating startups. “Our collaboration with StartLife and the opportunity to have spent these few days at Wageningen University hold significant value for both our entrepreneurs and us. It offers us firsthand insight into international opportunities, the operations behind programs worldwide, and it generally broadens our perspectives”, stated Elise Sfeir, Accelerator Manager from Berytech’s Innovation Hub.  

The Agrytech Immersion trip was more than just a travel experience, it was a pivotal part of fueling thriving business ventures in the Lebanese agrifood sector. By bridging the gap between local innovation and international opportunities, it paved the way for future collaborations, growth, and success in the field.  

Meet the Participating Startups

  • Agriworm Solutions: Revolutionizing animal feed production and fertilizer solutions through innovative mealworm farming. 
  • Dr. Feed: Converting waste produce into nutritious animal feed, offering healthier alternatives to imported options.  
  • Loop: Breeding land snails in a contained farm to extract snail slime with patented equipment.  
  • Brafech: Developing a natural alternative to chemical pesticides by utilizing yeast from the soil and leaves of vines.  
  • G Algae: Cultivating spirulina in raceway ponds, leveraging river water and compost for efficient, low-input production. 

About Agrytech

Berytech designed and developed the Agrytech Accelerator 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 was launched by Berytech and co-funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon to enable the Lebanese entrepreneurial ecosystem and stimulate innovation and startup creation in the agriculture, food, and clean technology sectors. 

Picture of Noor Maroun

Noor Maroun

Noor Maroun joined Berytech in January 2024, as a Content Writer for the Communication & Outreach Department. She supports the team in crafting compelling content for diverse media outlets and strives to ensure every message is communicated clearly and concisely.

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