Posted on May 11, 2021
For a period of six months, Berytech has incubated the 4 winning projects of the competition of the DEEL Program (Développement de l’Entrepreneuriat Étudiant au Liban).
The competition was launched in the network of universities that are members of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) Regional Office in the Middle East which has been engaged, since 2017, in promoting student entrepreneurship in Lebanon. More than 120 students from 13 Lebanese universities took part in the competition and developed their projects with the support of their mentors in their respective institutions completed with training offered to them by the Berytech and Smart ESA.
As the program’s partner, Bertyech has been providing training workshops on developing a business plan to the teams during the competition. Due to the special circumstances, this year, instead of traveling to France for 1 month to join an incubator, the winning teams had the chance to be incubated at Berytech for 6 months.
While 6 were selected, only four teams decided to join the incubation program. Meet the winning projects:
Toothpaste Dispenser | Charbel Matar, Kifah Tarabay | AUL
The project aims to create a vending machine to refill toothpaste tubes that can be installed in supermarkets sold with its corresponding refillable toothpaste tubes. The consumer will be able to refill the toothpaste tubes at a cheaper price.
PlastEco | Francesco Bakhos, MalaykaSoufi | LU
The project aims to reduce waste by incorporating plastic waste in the production of environmentally friendly and sustainable bricks to be used in construction.
The CyanoTree | Mohamad Sidani, Marie-Ange El Hayek | USL
The team has created an extremely powerful and self-sustainable air filtering device that uses highly reproductive and photosynthetic microorganisms cultivated in the lab.
Zooroo | Wadih Mazraani, Wasim Yaacoub | USEK
The team has designed an application for travelers that offers them customized travel packages with exclusive privileges and unique experiences.
“Berytech remains true to its mission to help create jobs in Lebanon and to minimize the brain drain. We support student entrepreneurship through different programs and work with the Saint Joseph University, as well as other universities in Lebanon, to push students to develop their entrepreneurial thinking,” details Joanna Abi Abdallah, Director of Berytech’s Business Support and Development Department.
The incubation program was developed to ensure that winners grow their entrepreneurship skills and bring their business ideas forward. They worked on their idea using different business tools to make them ready to enter future programs.
The program ran for 6 months with online sessions given by coaches and experts, while the Berytech team oversaw the progress of the teams. Based on their needs the teams were assigned online sessions covering Business Model, Customer Development, Market Research, Sales Strategy, Presentation Skills, Finance Essentials, and Marketing & Branding. The teams benefited from business development sessions with the Berytech team and were matched with coaches and experts who support them on business topics and specific technical topics in one-on-one sessions.
The DEEL program works towards strengthening entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education to ultimately promote the emergence of companies with potential growth and employment. With the coordination of the AUF, the program’s main aim is to develop the entrepreneurial culture of students while sensitizing both students and teachers to entrepreneurship and provide students with a favorable environment for the creation of businesses.
Nathalie Bitar, Project Manager at Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, confirms: “The objective of DEEL is to develop among Lebanese students a true culture of the entrepreneurial approach, through awareness-raising, training and support actions, as well as by the establishment of the national status of student-entrepreneur. DEEL also aims to enrich students’ skills in terms of creativity and innovation in order to offer them new professional opportunities.”
“As a biomedical engineering student with no background and experience whatsoever in entrepreneurship, the DEEL program has been a great opportunity for my team’s startup to take off and continue its progress on the right track. We have learned and benefited a lot from each session. They have helped us broaden our vision and become aware of all the aspects we should tackle to ensure the success of our startup. We have acquired strong tools and techniques to improve our pitch and eventually enter the market. We now have a clear path to follow. I would like to thank the DEEL team and the trainers for their time and their contribution to the development of our business. It has been an honor to take part in this program.” – Marie-Ange EL Hayek, the CyanoTree team
“This personally customized incubation program has literally surpassed my wildest expectations. Throughout the course of 6 months, I was able to work on my startup with the special support of gifted specialists who shadowed me every single step of the way. I was able to elevate my startup, taking it from its early stages into now the last final stage before launching. This program has offered my partner and I the essential set of skills and competences to fully immerse ourselves in our work and produce something impactful and inventive. Thank you DEEL, AUF and Berytech for this once in a lifetime opportunity. My little Entrepreneur heart will always be grateful!” – Francesco Bakhos, the PlastEco Team
“Berytech helped us move one step closer by transforming our idea into a concrete project. All the main topics were covered during the sessions and reshaped thanks to the one-on-one coaching sessions. Despite the current socio-economic and health situation in our country Lebanon, Zooroo will adapt and overcome all the challenges in order to place Lebanon among the main travel destinations worldwide.” – Wadih Mazraani, the Zooroo Team