Posted on October 15, 2020
The very first batch of entrepreneurs has completed the first phase of Berytech’s Cleanergy Accelerator. Throughout this time the startups have worked to validate and ensure that their solutions fit the market needs and that they are scalable. The first phase was also a big test for the startup teams to learn whether they were capable to take on this challenge.
By the end of this validation phase where the startups received a grant of $2,000 each, 13 teams were shortlisted to join phase 2 of the program. The startups will use this 4-month phase to build their minimum viable product (MVP) and get traction with a $15,000 support grant.
The jury of the selection day included Evert Jaap Lugt – Managing Director of YES!Delft, David Beijer – Director Innocubes at YES!Delft, Constantin Salemeh – Senior Coach and Investment Advisor at Berytech, Nader Hajj Chehade – Founder and Principal Energy & Sustainability Consultant at OTB Consult, Georges Gharios – Water Resources Consultant at AQUEOS, Tarek Domiaty – Director of CEO Office of Areeba, Ramy Boujawdeh – Deputy General Manager of Berytech, Mario Goraieb – Head of the Environment Program at arcenciel, Hannah Wuzel – Project Manager at cewas Middle East, and Hania Chahal – Marketing Economist.
The shortlisted teams are:
Parkly: A mobile application guiding drivers to the nearest available parking spot. The app addresses the scarcity of vacant parking spaces in crowded cities, which contributes to 30% of traffic congestion.
REBORN: A startup working on a solution for the inefficient usage of resources in manufacturing activewear fabrics and products. The startup is working on a sustainable activewear brand in its material, process, and ethics.
BIOwayste: A decentralized enclosed system that allows the on-site conversion of organic waste into biogas and biofertilizer through a natural and straightforward bio-degradation process. Unlike fossil fuel, the produced biogas is a natural gas that does not promote the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, or acid rain, and it could be used as cooking gas.
BiomWeb: A product that promotes a decentralized network of remotely monitored nature based WWT systems. The startup’s vision is to ally with nature, IoT, and SME’s to disrupt the sector by offering wastewater treatment as an affordable service to municipalities, businesses, and disaster relief organizations.
PVBOT Cleaner: A fully autonomous robot mounted on a chassis that can move between different PV rows, eliminating the need to dedicate one robot for each row. Simultaneously, the robot detects ‘Hot Spots’ which is a unique feature for the PVBOT.
HADEER: An online platform aiming to revolutionize the transportation sector by providing a safer, more accessible, and more reliable solution for both bus passengers and drivers.
NADEERA: A social enterprise offering an integrated, inclusive, and innovative solid waste management platform to Lebanon’s municipalities.
The Kids Factory: A startup working on reducing waste into refurbished and up-cycled accessories for kids. Kids Factory aims to reduce the importation of toys, instead of refurbishing local ones and encouraging the Lebanese economy.
RESECO: A startup working on a smart waste container that can be placed on any street of a village, town, or city. The container absorbs a full household waste bag with mixed recyclables, automatically sorts the waste to compact them finally.
Precious Plastic Lebanon: A startup working on recycling plastic to produce commercial products. They are targeting municipalities that are struggling with the abundance of plastic. They are transforming plastic waste into valuable, fun, and educational objects.
Garbaliser: A startup working on converting household food waste into natural gas and fertilizer to solve the environmental and economic problems technologically.
Enlight: A startup working on upcycling and upgrading any type of old lighting system targeting a wide range of customers including but not limited to municipalities, companies, and households in the vision of being Eco-friendly.
MCI Smart Charger: A startup working on a new technology for batteries to save energy, and reduce toxic waste from the high consumption of batteries, by increasing the life span of the battery and organizing discharge/charge cycles autonomously.
The phase started with an induction day, giving the participants an overview of the program, the workshops, clinics, deliverables, timelines, processes, access to the Berytech dedicated office spaces for the program, and the Berytech Fab Lab.
Nadine Asmar, a design thinking consultant, led a ‘Concept Initiation Workshop’ designed to help entrepreneurs clearly define the problem they want to solve and support them in identifying the required business activities to draft their first solution architecture.
A 5-day Design Sprint Bootcamp was led by trainers Margriet Buseman and Robert Westerhuis co-founders of Orange Minds, and Hany Rizk founder of No BS – Innovation Studio accompanied by mentors from the Berytech team.
The entire five-day program was delivered online. The program is designed to help entrepreneurs understand the problem, focus on the customer, have time to brainstorm, sketch solutions, make decisions, build a prototype, and finally test with potential customers.
“Running the Design Sprint was a great experience. We worked with people from all corners of Lebanon and no one was stuck in traffic! We made sure to make everything visual via online tools and we also knew exactly what people have been working on because all their output is available via the online whiteboard. It was easy to coach them when they were stuck,” remarks Margriet on her first time delivering the Design Sprint online.
Tarek el Khatib, a UX/UI consultant delivered a UX Clinic that helped guide software-centric startups to build easy to navigate and user-friendly products.
Berytech Fab Lab experts Sevag Babikian and Wael Khalil led weekly prototyping clinics to track and mentor startups in their progress to identify the features and specifications of their Minimum Viable Product.
Mohamad Fanous and Zahi Hilal from the Berytech team worked with the startups in the Business Follow up clinics to track their progress and mentor them in their journey to validate their value proposition and assess their business opportunities.
The Business model workshop led by Joelle Atallah, Berytech’s Investment specialist, focused on transforming their business models into the Business Model Canvas while focusing on evaluating key activities, resources, and partnerships.
In his workshop, Orfeuo Lionor, Innovation Consultant at Sprintconsul, worked to provide the entrepreneurs with the tools to methodically achieve market validation and learn how to collect the data necessary to validate or negate their venture hypotheses. He then provided tailored support clinics to entrepreneurs in terms of designing their experiments to validate their business model.
Mario Ramadan, Accelerator Program Manager at Berytech, led an operations workshop where he introduced the core principles of Kanban and Lean, using engaging examples and hands-on exercises. Startups learned how to create, decompose, sequence & prioritize work packages.
Andre Abi Awad, founder of Entrepreneurgy, gave the startups pointers and shared best practices to help the teams prepare their pitches for different audiences. Entrepreneurs learned how to sell their product, their company, and themselves and how to pitch their decks to a selection panel. The workshop was followed by pitching clinics providing tailored advice and consultancy for the entrepreneurs to develop their pitch decks and scripts as well as their body language and presentation skills.
A very important aspect of the program that Berytech tried to maintain in delivering the program online is the sharing of knowledge and experience between startup founders that lead to potential collaborations in the long run. One of the activities to reinforce that is the ‘Huddle’ activity which is a casual online meetup between the founders and the Berytech team to create and strengthen the community bond.
Another fundamental activity that is part of the program is the ‘Avant-premiere’, an event that allows the teams to practice their pitches, receive feedback, and validate once more their provided solutions. Several professionals and experts joined the startups online and were given a virtual US$1 million in simulated investment money. The investors included Doniya El Dick from USJ, Hannah Wazel from Cewas, Jad El Jamous from Zota Ventures, Mario Ghorayeb from Arcenciel, Reem Irany from LCEC, Riyad Abou Jaoudeh from MEVP, Kamal Tarazi from Ex-GM – Accenture London, Maan El Rayyes from GRIP@DIFC, Zein Kabbara Ex-GM – Mefazec Incubator, Abdulkarim Bekdash from Mckinsey, Constantin Salameh from Berytech, Sami Saad from IM Capital, Tina el Boustany from WE4F, and Stephanie Tabet from Kafalat.
They visited with the teams, discovered their ideas, and invested in the solutions that were most attractive to them. Startups who raised the most funds won the game.
About Cleanergy Program
Berytech is catalyzing cleantech innovations through a yearly three-phase program that allows cleantech entrepreneurs grow their startup from an idea into a scalable business. With funding and support from the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Berytech designed and developed the Cleanergy program to make sure Lebanon has the most competitive companies innovating in clean technology. Learn more about the Cleanergy Program.