On September 26, 2023, Berytech marked a significant milestone as it hosted a pitching event for the first cohort of graduates from the ScaleSmart program. These five innovative startups showcased their solutions and ambitious scaling plans to an audience of investors, industry professionals, and media representatives, in the presence of Jan-Jaap Sas, First Secretary for International Cooperation and Economic Affairs at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon.
ScaleSmart’s The Support Dimensions
The ScaleSmart program was meticulously designed to empower participating startups with the knowledge and tools required to chart a solid fundraising path. For the duration of four months, these startups received comprehensive training, were strategically connected with potential investors, and substantially enhanced their prospects of securing crucial funding. The types of support that were provided throughout the program focused on five main areas through tailored mentorship and advisory: go-to-market and growth transformation, product scaling, ESG governance, financial and deal advisory, and pitch nights for promising investment opportunities.
The Event Overview
Remarkably, this was Berytech’s first standalone demo day, separate from larger events. The event featured two insightful fireside chats with notable speakers: Bassam Jalgha, Co-founder of Roadie Music, who shared his startup’s growth and fundraising journey, and Michelle Mouracade, Alfanar Impact Fund Advisor, who shed light on impact investments.
The event concluded with a networking session that facilitated meaningful interactions between the startups and the attending audience.
Ramy Boujawdeh, the Chief Operating Officer of Berytech, underlined the program’s significance in fulfilling Berytech’s mission of supporting entrepreneurs and small- to medium-sized enterprises across diverse sectors. He stated, “ScaleSmart emerges as a necessary addition to our programs, catering to pre-seed and seed startups. It equips each startup with a tailored roadmap for successful fundraising, offering diverse training opportunities, investor matchmaking, and invaluable insights.”
Yara Hamdar, Acceleration Manager, who also served as the Master of Ceremony for the event, elaborated on the program’s dual objectives, stating, “We designed ScaleSmart with two main objectives. The first is to assist founders in preparing for their fundraising journey while scaling, and the second is to establish a robust support system for Lebanese tech founders.”
The five startups that presented their pitches at the event included:
1. Ajjerni: Lebanon’s pioneering online peer-to-peer rental marketplace, facilitating item rentals within the Ajjerni community.
2. Book-ink: An all-in-one SaaS platform designed to digitize, automate, and streamline the daily operations and booking processes of tattoo artists.
3. Brighter Energy: An IOT device that allows efficient management of solar energy consumption.
4. Kudwa Technologies Ltd: A SaaS planning and analysis tool that seamlessly integrates businesses’ financial systems using Kudwa’s plug-and-play model.
5. Little Melly: A startup dedicated to producing freshly made and additive-free baby food, making fresh and healthy options accessible to today’s busy yet health-conscious parents.
Antoine Fayad, Co-founder of Book Ink, shared his thoughts on the program, stating, “I would say that what we benefited from the most throughout the program was the intensity of the weekly sessions. From finance to strategy, to investment advisory; everything was exceptionally beneficial to us. We learned something new after each session that has greatly influenced our business.”
The First of Four Cycles
The successful completion of this ScaleSmart cycle marks the initial step towards the launch of the second cycle in a series of four. The program’s overarching goal is to empower scalable tech-based startups across diverse industries by providing them with the essential support required to kickstart their investment journey.
The ACT Smart Innovation Hub
The ScaleSmart program falls under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub, a comprehensive initiative initiated by Berytech aimed at empowering the Lebanese entrepreneurial ecosystem. This initiative seeks to revitalize the funding and investment sector, stimulate innovation and startup creation, and enhance the competitiveness, growth, and market access for innovative businesses in the agriculture, food, and clean technology sectors in Lebanon.