Solve challenges in solid waste management by creating solutions to push people to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Are you a team of innovators interested in solving challenges faced by municipalities in the solid waste management sector, from generation to final disposal? Apply to the USAID DAWERR Ideathon to receive technical and business support, work with fellow-innovators and get the chance to develop your idea.  


About the Ideathon

Under the Diverting Waste by Encouraging Reuse and Recycling (DAWERR) activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Berytech is organizing the DAWERR Ideathon to initiate participants to entrepreneurship and the opportunities that exist in the fields of municipal Solid Waste Management in Lebanon.  

Held online over 5 consecutive days, the Ideathon is an exciting opportunity allowing young entrepreneurs and startups to develop innovative solid waste management solutions around the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) to solve real problems/challenges in rural communities. Entrepreneurs, professionals and experts from different backgrounds are given the opportunity to learn, experiment and build their green solutions. 

The DAWERR Ideathon aims to encourage and support ideas at an early stage, allowing participants to discover real challenges facing the municipal solid waste management sector across Lebanon, particularly in rural areas, to learn how to transform their ideas into a valid business solutions through intensive online workshops, and then to pitch their proposed solutions to a panel of judges. 

Three winners will receive  in-kind grants as well as a 2-month incubation time from Berytech to support them with further technical and business needs. 

DAY 1 – DAY 2


Get all the information you need regarding the process, discover real challenges, identify the main problem, and sketch different solutions.

WED, JULY 28, and THU, JULY 29, 2021

DAY 3 – DAY 4


Receive support from mentors and experts.

FRI, JULY 30 and SAT, JULY 31, 2021



Pitch your solution to the jury and receive feedback to enhance your idea.

SUN, AUG 01, 2021

The Grants

3 winners



*The top three winners will have access to an incubation program delivered by Berytech providing business and technical assistance to support the incubated startups in validating their business idea and developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and receive an in-kind grant of up to $6,500 to be spent on their startup.


You are encouraged to apply if you are a young professional, entrepreneur, a student, or a graduate under 30 interested in solving challenges in the solid waste management sector. 

Preferred background: Engineers, scientists, environmentalists, makers, creatives, innovators, entrepreneurs or young professionals interested in finding solutions in the  solid waste management sector.  

You can apply with your own idea or get inspired from one of the pre-set challenges as long as your idea includes an innovative process, product or service.  

DAWERR Ideathon is open for Lebanese teams residing in Lebanon only.   

The process 

  • Submit your application before July 20, 2021
  • Check your inbox and follow the steps to join the DAWERR Ideathon platform
  • Detail your idea and introduce your team on the platform
  • Meet and brainstorm with other participants before the Ideathon on the platform
  • If selected, attend the DAWERR Ideathon and develop your business model over 5 days 
  • Pitch your idea/solution and get the chance to win.

Team requirements

Only team applications will be evaluated for the selection of the 20 teams that will join the Ideathon. Your team needs to have:

  • Two to four members
  • Interest to solve a challenge in the solid waste sector.
  • The solution needs to be at the idea stage, under development (existing startups are encouraged to apply if the idea is still under development)


On Wednesday, you will get all the information you need for the Ideathon and discover the real challenges facing the solid waste management sector.

This session will be followed by a business workshop for the participants to receive all the information and guidance you need to identify the main problem you are tackling, sketch different solutions, validate your assumptions and better understand your customer. 

4:00 pm Introduction and Challenges presentation  

5:30 pm Business Sessions: Problem identification and Customer Discovery 

9:00 pm  Ideathon kick-off

On Thursday , you will get all the information you need to turn your idea into a valid business solution. 

5:00 PM Check-In

5:10 PM Business Workshops: Lean Model Canvas and validate your business idea  

8:00 PM End of day 2

Develop your innovative solution and get the support of experts. On Friday, you will also get all the information you need to finalize your pitch deck.

Teams will be receiving the support of experts: business and field.  Clinics will be scheduled for 30 minutes for each clinic and will be conducted from 1:00 pm till 5:00 pm.

1:00 PM 1-1 clinics with experts
5:00 PM Workshop: Basics of virtual pitching
7:00 PM End of Day 3

Last expert feedback before the selection!   

One clinic will be scheduled for 30 minutes and conducted from 11:00am-2:00pm

Pitch your solution to the jury to get the chance to be selected among the finalists.

10:30 AM Check-in
11:00 AM Pre-selection 
4:00 PM Final Selection 
7:00 PM Winners Announcement


Participants will need to present their creative and hard work through a 3-minute pitch to present their solution in a sustainable business model. 

Idea Validation

  • Clearly addresses the challenges.
  • Clear Value Proposition.
  • Clear market validation.

Innovation and Impact

  • The business idea presented is original, new, or introduces a change made to an existing product, idea, or field.

Customer Segment

  • Demonstrates clear customer understanding and empathy, and targets a specific pain, or problem.
  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the characteristics of their target customers and personas.  

Competitiveness And Scalability

  • The solution is scalable across markets.
  • The idea is competitive globally.

Business Model

  • The business model is feasible and can generate revenue. 


  • Team member backgrounds are clear, fitting with the roles and responsibilities needed to take the idea forward.

Start your application



The first edition of the DAWERR Ideathon will challenge participants to solve one of the problems municipalities face in managing solid waste from the point of generation to final disposal, which are grouped into the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  

Suggested ideas must have the capability to be developed around sustainable composting value chains for organic waste and strengthening  existing recycling value chains (RVCs) for recyclable materials. The resulting incubated ideas would play a role in contributing to helping municipalities divert a significant portion of the Municipal Solid Waste stream away from landfills and create viable local or regional composting value chains.  

An important factor in producing good quality compost is relying on households and food related businesses to sort effectively at source. We are looking for a solution that encourages people to properly sort their organic waste and creating incentives for them to take action and separate well their organic waste. 

What is needed: How can your innovation take sorting to the next level and achieve better community engagement while creating awareness for a lesser cost? 

Today, consumers are increasingly conscious of environmental issues and many wishes to buy and consume products that are environmentally friendly. One way to increase demand of recycled products is by establishing a green trademark that incites people to buy consumer goods from recycled materials and organic compost. 

What is needed: How can you innovate in establishing and marketing a green trademark to enable the sales of products made with recycled and reused materials in Lebanon? 

In nature, different materials biodegrade at different rates. Hard materials like tires, nylon and tin cans take anywhere between 25 to 100 years to disintegrate, while plastic, styrofoam and glass could take 500 to 1 million years.   

What is needed: How would you innovate in diverting waste that currently does not have local recycling options and ends up in landfills like styrofoam, glass, tires, etc. to repurpose it in different industries such as furniture, accessories and clothing as an example?  

Sometimes, sorting organic waste could include some anomalies that would affect the quality of compost produced. We are looking for a solution that helps composters/composting facilities to detect those anomalies and remove them. 

What is needed: How could secondary sorting be optimized to reduce or detect the contamination of recovered waste thus minimizing cost and improving quality? 

While single-use products like straws, plastic forks, plastics bags enjoy a long-life sailing across the seas and oceans contaminating and threatening marine life and ecosystems, and with the fact that many of these items are not recyclable, we are looking to have less single-use items ending up in landfills. 

What is needed: How would you innovate to reuse or recover single-use products? 


The philosophy of ‘a waste avoided is more than a waste recovered’ stems from the need to push people to make decisions to avoid generating waste, setting priorities and using the resources available to them more efficiently.  

What is needed: Find a business model that economically drives community members to reduce or reuse. 

Organic waste has a short storage time before it goes bad and starts generating unpleasant odors complicating its handling and storage process at the source. 

What is needed: We are looking for innovative solutions that would provide cost effective and sustainable approaches for the collection of sorted organic waste. 

With the current economic situation in Lebanon, unemployment rates are increasing, and more people are dropping below the poverty line reducing or limiting their purchasing power and access to consumer goods with no system in place to ensure the circularity of these goods. 

What is needed: How would you enable the recovery, repair and/or resale of appliances, electronics, and other materials to people in need? 

The DAWERR Ideathon is organized by Berytech for the Diverting Waste By Encouraging Reuse and Recycling (DAWERR) Activity funded by USAID.

Learn more about the Procurements and Grants Policy for DAWERR Activities.


The event will be held online. You will receive all the needed information once you are selected among the 20 teams.

As a team, you are expected to present a pitch deck about your suggested business model for your solution in a 3-minute pitch.  

To participate you need to be a team of at least 2 people.   We recommend having 3 members in your team with different backgrounds. 

We recommend you get inspired from the challenges section and come up with an innovative solution. 

Yes. You will have plenty of free time to hack, you just need to make sure to attend all the online workshops and be ready for check-in so that the team doesn’t get dismissed from the competition. 

You can view the different selection criteria for different stages in the RFA Document. Learn more about the Procurements and Grants Policy for DAWERR Activities.

They can be taken into consideration, but the priority in selection goes to the solutions that target the 8 challenges.

If you have any questions or need information, feel free to email us on before July 2, 2021


As a member of the Global Compact Network Lebanon, Berytech enacts the 10 principles of the UNGC and the Agrytech program falls under Berytech’s mission to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

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