Posted on April 12, 2021
Berytech launched the first cycle of the Cleanergy Accelerator onboarding startups with innovative solutions in energy, waste, water, transportation, and agriculture.
The challenges of the accelerator and the hurdles of the last year did not stop our ambitious and determined entrepreneurs from participating in different startup competitions in the ecosystem and reaping several awards.
We took the opportunity to catch up with five of the teams and hear more about their experiences, learnings and triumphs.
BiomWeb is a product that promotes the development of a decentralized network of remotely monitored nature-based wastewater treatment systems.
“We were runners-up at the Sheraa UCAN Startup Awards, won first place in the G20 Infra Challenge. We got short-listed for the HIF Fecal Sludge Tender and we were also admitted into Aldar Scaleup Program in partnership with NYU Abu Dhabi.
Each competition offered a slightly different benefit and opportunity to us. With Sheraa’s funding, we were able to establish our company in the UAE. We have since established a branch in Sharjah. The GI Hub is followed by the movers and shakers in the industry, and introducing ourselves as the winners of the G20 Infra challenge has buoyed our brand and licensed our stakeholders to vocally support our initiative and the disruptive change in strategy it entails.
Our strength in these competitions is our team. We have strong experience in the sector and have invested a lot of time and effort to install projects and address practical considerations. In addition to that, our startup is addressing an important problem and we are getting our hands dirty to see it through. We are a vision-based company and we have looked beyond the technical aspects of our solution and addressed the wider regulatory fabric in which our solution sits.
Practicing pitching with the Berytech team helped us to clarify our story in a way that is readily understood by non-industry insiders. The technical support and validation exercises helped us to identify the key value of our remote monitoring equipment and develop the minimum value product that would allow us to more effectively communicate our ideas. The Berytech team helped us to understand the value of an MVP to validate our product and communicate its value to our customers, which at an early stage may be more important than its working functionality.
Our solution involves a lot of moving parts and a vertical value proposition across the design, manufacturing, construction, and operation of wastewater treatment equipment. Berytech’s support in developing our financial model has helped us evolve from an SME project-based approach to a scalable operational outlook that will help us attract traction among our stakeholders and potential stakeholders. Berytech team and advisers have offered practical advice to construct the bones of our future enterprise.”
Diwama is utilizing digital technologies to develop computer vision software for waste detection and analysis.
“We were among the 20 who pitched in the MIT Pan Arab competition, which was exciting for us because of all the exposure it provides. We also won the OMDI grant organized by Makesense. We won the Spark Accelerator by Veolia and joined them to develop a pilot project in Abu Dhabi in the coming six months. We were also part of the top 10 startups selected to join the GO Austria program.
Some of the startups we competed against were more advanced than us and some were at earlier stages than us. Our edge is the impact our solution has on the environment which allowed us to connect with mentors in the impact investment track.
Being part of the Cleanergy Accelerator helped us formulate a well-thought-of pitch deck which was the main item in our competition application that showed what we did as a startup.”
Plastic Lab is a startup working on recycling plastic to produce sell-able products.
“We won the OMDI competition with MAKESENSE supported by the French Institute in Lebanon. We were selected as one of the three finalists under the “Evolution” startups category.
The reason we chose to participate in the competition is that we felt our initiative meets all the requirements and goals of the program: it has a social/environmental impact, builds an inclusive and sustainable community in Lebanon, solves a local challenge in Lebanon, and has a positive impact on the society.
For those same reasons, we got selected, also because our solution complements the other two finalists, forming a circular economy collaboration, with Greentrack handling the collection operation and RESECO the sorting process.
Being part of the Cleanergy Accelerator Program at Berytech helped us work on the business aspect of our project while working on the social aspect with Makesense.”
BIOwayste is a decentralized enclosed system that allows the on-site conversion of organic waste into biogas and biofertilizer through a simple and natural bio-degradation process.
“We were selected as finalists in the Agorize Campus 2030 Challenge and we won. We also won first prize in the DonBosco Renewable Energy entrepreneurship competition. We won the second prize in Flat6Labs Pitchathon and the GIL Program award organized by INJAZ.
The reason we applied to different competitions is to increase our exposure and broaden our knowledge. We started as a research project and we did not know how to take it from research to the market. We also needed the funding because we need to produce costly equipment for our system. We needed the funding to produce a prototype and MVP later on and to start registering a company.
We know that our system is solving a real pain. We first identified the problem on a visit to the Tripoli dumpsite and we saw that around 50% of the waste in the dump is organic.
People suffer from the disposal cost and specifically at the commercial level and from the cost of energy. With the combined knowledge of our team, we created a system that solves a real problem.
We applied to Berytech’s Cleanergy Accelerator Program with just an idea, and in the program, we did it all. In the first phase and with all the provided training and coaching sessions and the cash grant we were able to produce our prototype and in the second phase we were able to test it and work on our MVP. All of this helped us win the different competitions.”
Garbaliser is a startup working on converting household food waste to natural gas and fertilizer.
“We participated in the USPeak competition and won because our idea combines both waste and energy, benefitting the society, the environment and the economy.
The Berytech team through the Cleanergy Accelerator Program helped us develop our idea and business model. The different pieces of training, workshops, and advice we received from the team helped us improve. They even gave us hints on what to focus on when participating in a competition to know what the jury and investors want. This is why we were one of the most successful teams participating in the competition.”
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.