Posted on August 29, 2019
Berytech has announced that applications for batch 3 of the Agrytech Accelerator Program are now open. 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.
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.
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.
Innovators need to be part of a startup or SME at an idea or early stage. They don’t necessarily have to be an expert in the agri-food sector, but rather have a creative solution to a challenge in food and agriculture or have a working solution that can be adapted to the agri-food industry.
Berytech is sourcing solutions that fall under four main tracks, Farming – solving challenges from the supply of products and materials to farming practices including harvesting, Post-Harvest – solving challenges from the time the products are harvested and collected until they reach processors or consumers, Manufacturing/Processing – solving challenges from the time the products reach processors through different transformation activities including packaging and distribution, and Marketplace – solving challenges online or offline in marketing, distribution, and exports of products and services.
The solutions need to use technology (hardware, software, or a combination of both) and can also be innovative food and beverage products.
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.