DigitalAg4Her Hackathon: Women-led Agri-tech Solutions

Posted on April 14, 2021

Three winners will receive an in-kind grant of $4,000 and 2 months incubation.”

Applications are now open for the DigitalAg4Her Hackathon taking place online from May 27 till June 5, 2021.   

20 teams selected, 3 challenge tracks, 10 days of hacking, 3 winning solutions, $4000 in-kind grant, 2-month incubation in Berytech  

The first edition of the DigitalAg4Her Hackathon is organized by Berytech, in collaboration with the World Bank Group’s Mashreq Gender Facility and Agriculture and Food Global Practice. Its aim is to crowdsource and support innovative ICT-based solutions, tailored to enhance women’s productivity in the agri-food sector in Lebanon.   

Through the online hackathon, teams will discover real challenges facing the agri-food sector in the region, learn how to transform their idea into a valid business solution through intensive online workshops, prototype their solution, and then pitch it to a panel of judges.   

Three winners will win an in-kind grant of $4,000 (advisory services, technical assistance, etc.) as well as 2-month incubation from Berytech who will support the winners with further technical and business assistance.   

10-Day Online Event

Held online and continuing over ten days, the hackathon is an exciting opportunity for teams to develop their prototypes and agri-food solutions using technologies such as Internet of Things, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, allowing professionals and experts from different backgrounds to learn, experiment and build agri-food solutions that can lead them into creating their own startup.  

Targeting Women Innovators 

The program is open for young individuals interested in solving challenges in the agri-food sector focusing mainly on undergraduates, graduates in business, engineering, agriculture, agronomy, food sciences, computer sciences, and telecommunications. 

Teams will have to be composed of at least two members, with a woman leading the project. Existing ideas will be taken into consideration as long as the project is still at its early stage: idea, idea under development or prototype.   

Challenges  

Berytech and The World Bank Group have been working with experts as well as the public and private sectors to identify a list of challenges within the agri-food value chain. These challenges could inspire participants to innovate in the sector.

Three challenges were identified:

  1. Improved access to finance and productive assets: How can digital technologies facilitate access to finance and productive assets?
  2. Market Linkages: How can digital technologies promote market linkages?
  3. Capacity building and risk management: How can digital technologies reduce inequality by facilitating access to information?

How It Works

Participants are encouraged to apply if they are young professionals or students under 35 with the desire to bring transformational change in the agri-food sector and empower women. Ideal candidates are agrifood experts, environmentalists, engineers, scientists, makers, agronomists, innovators, entrepreneurs or young professionals interested in finding a digital solution to the agri-food sector.

Participants can apply with their own idea as long as their solution includes an innovative process, product or service with the capacity to enhance women’s productivity in the agri-food sector in Lebanon, by solving one of the pre-set challenges. 

The team should be composed of at least two people, preferably with different backgrounds, led by a woman. The online hackathon is open for teams residing in Lebanon only. 

The 10-day hackathon will be run in four phases. During Phase I, participants will get all the information needed regarding the process of the hackathon, discover real challenges facing the agri-food sector, receive the guidance needed to identify the main problem and sketch different solutions, and will have the chance to validate your assumptions to better understand your customer. 

In Phase II, participants will have time to go on the field to validate their idea, in Phase III they will receive all the information needed to turn their idea into a valid business solution and build their prototype. In Phase IV, judges will select the three top winners.


The DigitalAg4Her Hackathon is organized by Berytech, in collaboration with the World Bank Group’s Mashreq Gender Facility and Agriculture and Food Global Practice, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture in Lebanon and with the technical support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Lebanon (FAO).

Read more and apply to the DigitalAg4Her Hackathon.

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