10 – 12 june


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.  

 Applications are now closed.


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 2022 to support selected participants grow their business in the fields of Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Lebanon.

Held over three consecutive days, the DAWERR  Ideathon is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs and startups, working on innovative solid waste management solutions around the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) solving real problems/challenges in rural communities in Lebanon to enhance their concept to scale up and grow in the market.

Teams will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, receive support for a valid business solutions through intensive workshops, and then to pitch their proposed solutions to a panel of judges.

The startup will have to:

  • Be working on solving challenges in the SWM sector across Lebanon particularly in rural areas,
  • Have a Proof of Concept (PoC), a prototype or a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Not be registered


Get all the information you need to enhance your solution.


Receive support from mentors and experts.


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

The Grants

6 winners



Six winners of the Ideathon 2022 will be incubated for eight weeks at Berytech receiving technical and business support. Following this phase, three startups will receive up to $6,500 in-kind grant each to finance their market research and validation, branding, design, website development, enhance their MVP, register as a legal entity, and other. 


You are encouraged to apply if you have a team working on solving challenges in the solid waste management sector. Your startup needs to meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Each startup must be comprised of at least two members and a maximum of four 
  • Startups must not be registered as a legal entity; 
  • Startups must have a Proof of Concept, Minimum Viable Product or prototype;
  • All Team Leaders and members must be Lebanese nationals;
  • The majority of the startup members must have completed their undergraduate studies;
  • The team is proposing a solution to solve one of the four challenge statements included in the section below
The process:
  • Submit any questions before May 20, 2022, at 5:00pm
  • Submit your application before May 30, 2022, at 5:00pm
  • If selected, attend the DAWERR Ideathon 2022 over 3 days
  • Pitch your idea/solution and get the chance to receive the grant


4:00 pm DAWERR Introduction and Challenges presentation

4:30 pm Panel on WASTE MANAGEMENT and success stories of previous startups  

5:30 pm Applicants Introduction & DAWERR Ideathon 2021 Graduates 

6:30 pm Break  

7:00 pm Business Model Canvas 

9:00 AM Breakfast

10:00 AM Go To Market Workshop

11:30 AM Product Clinics   

1:00 PM Lunch Break

2:00 PM Go To Market Clinics

5:00 PM Pitching Workshop & Body Language Power Session 

9:00 AM Breakfast 

10:00 AM Pitching Clinics  

12:30 PM Lunch Break

1:00 PM Pitch Training/Rehearsal

3:00 PM Closing Ceremony and pitches (2 cohorts) 

5:00 PM Deliberation 


By the end of the  Ideathon 2022, all startups will have to present a 3-minute pitch presenting their proposed solution to the specific challenges in the form of sustainable business model to a jury of experts followed by a 5-minute Q/A.

Target market, and Customer Segment

  • The startup demonstrates a clear customer understanding and empathy and targets a specific pain or problem for a relevant stakeholder.
  • The startup has a clear understanding of the characteristics of their target customers and personas.

Idea Validation

  • The startup addresses the problem and market validation. The problem/opportunity is ubiquitous, and the solution is innovative and feasible.
  • The problem is worth solving, has a clear value, and matches the solution’s value proposition.

Business Model

  • The startup has a clearly defined model of “how they will generate revenue.”

Competitiveness and Scalability

  • The idea is competitive globally. Few competitors would be working in direct competition with the startup after they move from idea to MVP to a fully operational startup/SME.

Innovation and Impact

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


  • Startup composition demonstrates the ability to execute and are committed to the project.
  • Startup members’ background is clear, fitting with the roles and responsibilities needed to take the idea forward.

Start your application

Applications are now closed.

Deadline To Apply: May 30, 2022 at 5:00PM (Beirut Time)


The DAWERR  Ideathon 2022 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.

The aim is to introduce financially sustainable solutions that increase the reuse, push for recycling, and monetize solid waste ultimately reducing the amount of solid waste that goes to landfills.

Applicants are encouraged to work on one of the four real-life challenges that the team has put together to allow them to create solutions with maximum impact:

Special waste is any material that requires special handling due to its size or physical and chemical characteristics. In the case of Lebanon, such materials are poorly managed and quite often end up in landfills.

As much hazardous as they can be, they are rich in resources when treated properly; This makes them a great opportunity to be tackled by local innovators that can unlock the business opportunity in recovering, treating, valorizing, or substituting these types of waste. 

Rejects on the other hand are the residual materials that are not diverted through recovery due to the absence of demand for them by the existing recycling industry. In the case of Lebanon special waste most often also end up as part of the rejects.

Below are the key waste materials we need your support in tackling:

Personal hygiene products: Such materials include napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, q tips, menstrual pads, cotton pads, etc. These materials are most often rich in carbon and petroleum-based products and have a high energy value. Their main challenges are that they main contain a biohazard while also containing more than one material making their separation difficult. Take the challenge and look for safe and lucrative methods to properly treat this type of waste or bring to market substitutes that are more recyclable or biodegradable.

Tires: Vehicle tires are made of steel cables and rubber, once the grip has worn out, they are replaced and old sets are stockpiled at tire shops before ending up in dumps, landfills, or most often open burned for scavenging steel. While rubber is very inert and stable for decades making it a very durable material, if combusted, its emissions are rich in carcinogenic toxins posing a direct public health hazard. Except for open burning for steel recovery, they are being turned into culets for export and to produce playground mats. Take the challenge and find innovative ways to make use of waste tires whether through reuse, repair, repurposing, or recovery.

Glass waste: Accounts for 7% of our municipal solid waste stream and while having the highest recyclability of any material, the large majority of glass waste continues to end up in the landfill.

Glass waste is also one of the main sources of contamination in compost made from commingled municipal waste and the main source of worker injuries on sorting lines. Even though very recyclable, glass poses the challenge of the need to be color sorted to effectively be recycled into glass bottles and jars.

Given that glass gets shattered and commingled during collection, separation in Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) is a challenge. While there are glass artisans and two glass recycling and production factories in Lebanon (for transparent glass), they do not have the capacity to process all types of glass and are very limited in processing capacity. Therefore, we need your support in finding innovative ways to put all types of glass to better use or finding a mechanism for glass container return and reuse.

Furniture: Most often such items are bulky and contain a wide mix of materials including wood, steel, fabric, foam, and plastic. Once broken or needing replacement these items are often dumped near waste bins. Furniture refurbishing can be very lucrative, as furniture contains many valuable parts that can be salvaged. We want you to find the right business model that can recover used and old furniture and put it back to use.

EEE waste: EEE is all types of electronic devices from TV appliances, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and white goods (fridges, washing machines, dryers, home entertainment, and stereo systems, toys, toasters, kettles, etc.). While some innovators are already tackling some EEE waste many of them continue to be stored in people’s homes or dumped into landfills. These devices contain a cocktail of materials including different types of plastic and steel and require an extensive procedure to dismantle and export for recycling. Other products are salvaged by local repair technicians to be resold. What can you do to help enable the recovery and resale of EEE waste?

With a growing local energy crisis, ‘waste to energy’ is becoming more and more attractive, many technologies that prior to the economic crisis could not compete with the import of conventional fossil fuels are growing in value in Lebanon where the energy crisis is that of both prices and energy security. Anaerobic digestion is the methanization of organic waste, its main barriers have been its CAPEX intensity, long return on investment, and need for specialists for operation.

In the case of waste vegetable oil, the collection is successful from restaurants, but the challenge remains in the recovery of the small volumes produced by an individual household. In addition, the majority of waste vegetable oil is exported to Europe and sold for biodiesel production where its sale is subsidized and more economically attractive than having to compete with local diesel prices. Do you have what it takes to bring anaerobic digestion or biodiesel as affordable alternative energy generation to Lebanon? 

Waste collection accounts for a large portion of the cost of waste management. Most often it is one of the key barriers to sorting at source, selective waste collection, and effective recycling. The process of waste collection varies from one village to another in frequency, container type, vehicle type, and cost. Optimizing collection means collecting larger quantities of pre-sorted materials which can reduce capital and/or operational costs. The solution must close the gap of efficiency in sorting and collection to truly unlock the potential of the recycling sector. 

This challenge can be tackled through:

  • Software solutions: tracking and monitoring app, uberizing waste collection, etc.
  • Hardware designs: compostable and biodegradable bags for organic waste and recyclables etc.; or
  • Hybrid approaches.

The foundation of most successful material recovery and valorization is sorting at the source. The more we can convince users to contribute to the effort of waste recovery through sorting at the source, the more innovative, cost-saving, and environmentally sound solutions can be integrated into the waste management value chain.

It also happens to be one of the more difficult aspects of waste management to address, as it requires behavioral change that occurs gradually as communities grow environmental consciousness and sorting at source becomes a social norm. We need you to find creative programs that can be offered as a product or service to incentivize community members to sort at the source.

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.

“We consider the relationships we built and the support we received from USAID through the available experts as factors for our success.”

– LU Environment


The event will be held physically in Beirut. You will receive all the needed information once you are selected among the 15 teams. In the case any circumstance prevents the event from taking place physically, DAWERR will shift the process to hold the event virtually. 

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. You will have to have on a Proof of Concept, MVP or prototype.

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

If you have any questions or need information, feel free to email us at grants@dawerr.org before May 20, 2022


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.
Sustainable Development Goals

The DAWERR Ideathon 2022 is organized by Berytech for the Diverting Waste By Encouraging Reuse and Recycling (DAWERR) Activity funded by USAID.