Berytech is thrilled to announce the successful culmination of the pitching competition for Cycle 2 of the BASATINE program. BASATINE, known for its commitment to nurturing innovation in the agri-food sector, has once again ignited a spark of enthusiasm among entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). While the first round is currently in the implementation phase, this cycle saw a remarkable response from 38 SMEs, each passionately articulating their unique needs and aspirations within the BASATINE ecosystem.
The Jury Panel
The pitching competition was a rigorous and highly competitive event that brought together two expert jury panels. These panels were entrusted with the crucial task of carefully selecting the most promising projects among the pool of participants. Comprising seasoned professionals with diverse backgrounds, each panel member brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, thereby contributing valuable insights into the intricacies of the agri-food sector.
Panel 1 was comprised of distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to the agri-food industry:
- Adam Sleiman: Serving as the Program Manager for Rural Entrepreneurs in Agri-food (REAF), Adam Sleiman brought his expertise in rural entrepreneurship to the panel, offering a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the sector.
- Jawad Bou Ghanem: As the Livelihood and Policy Program Officer at the World Food Programme (WFP), Jawad Bou Ghanem’s deep understanding of food security and policy added a crucial dimension to the panel’s deliberations.
- Dr. Marc Bou Zeidan: Dr. Marc Bou Zeidan, not only a QOOT Cluster Manager but also a respected university professor, provided invaluable academic and industry insights, enriching the jury’s evaluation process.
- Zakie Karam: Zakie Karam, the General Manager at DON TELECOM and a seasoned Business Development Consultant, brought a wealth of knowledge in business strategy to the panel, offering diverse perspectives on the challenges faced by agri-food SMEs.
Panel 2 was equally composed of accomplished professionals who played a vital role in the competition’s success:
- Elie Ghosn: As the Head of Business Consulting at Capital Inception and a seasoned Business Development Consultant, Elie Ghosn’s extensive experience in business strategy and development added significant value to the panel’s discussions.
- Joseph Nakhle: Joseph Nakhle, serving as the Program Manager at BASATINE – Mercy Corps, contributed his deep understanding of the program and its goals, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation process.
- Rima Hijazi: Rima Hijazi, the Program Officer for the Act Smart Innovation Hub at Berytech, brought her expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship to the panel, emphasizing the importance of innovation in the agri-food sector.
To uphold the principles of impartiality and fairness, the jury employed an innovative approach. They utilized an electronic scorecard specifically developed by Berytech, which allowed for a meticulous evaluation of each participant’s pitch. This scoring system considered various criteria deemed crucial for success in the agri-food sector, ensuring that the competition remained both rigorous and equitable.
Moving to the Next Phase
Berytech congratulates the 34 winners for their outstanding pitches and innovative ideas, which have earned them the opportunity to advance to the next phase of the BASATINE program.
These promising entrepreneurs will now receive specialized support, mentorship, and access to invaluable resources as they work towards transforming their ideas into impactful businesses in the agri-food sector.
“As a jury member, I was thrilled to witness exceptional talent and passion. Our careful deliberations resulted in the selection of outstanding SMEs, reaffirming my belief in the agricultural sector in Lebanon. It was a very smooth and successful experience.”Rima Hijazi, Program Officer for the Act Smart Innovation Hub at Berytech.
As we look forward to Cycle 2 of the BASATINE program, Berytech reaffirms its commitment to fostering innovation, sustainability, and growth in the agri-food sector. Through partnerships and collaborations with industry experts, BASATINE continues to empower entrepreneurs, driving positive change in Lebanon’s agricultural landscape.
About the BASATINE Program
This BASATINE programme is supported by l’Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and a consortium made of six NGOs: CARE, Mercy Corps, Berytech Foundation, Georges N. Frem Foundation, Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training and Al Majmoua.