DigitalAg4Her Hackathon

A Hackathon to empower women through digital technologies in the agri-food sector

Are you a team of innovators led by a woman and interested in solving challenges in the agri-food sector to empower women through digital technologies? Apply to the DigitalAg4Her Hackathon to receive technical and business support, work with fellow-innovators and get the chance to win services for a value equivalent to $4,000 to help you develop your idea.

MAY 27 - JUNE 05, 2021 · ONLINE

ABOUT THE
HACKATHON

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

Held online over ten consecutive 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, Artificial Intelligence, etc. Professionals and experts from different backgrounds are given the opportunity to learn, experiment and build agri-food solutions that can lead them to create their own startups. 

Through the online hackathon, teams will discover real challenges facing the agri-food sector across Lebanon, 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 receive in-kind grants of $4,000 (e.g. advisory services, technical assistance, etc.), as well as 2-month incubation from Berytech with further technical and business assistance.

DAY 1 – DAY 3

Pre-Hackathon

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

May 27 – May 29

DAY 3 – DAY 5

validation

Go on the field and validate your idea

May 29 – May 31

DAY 6 – DAY 8

hackathon

Get all the information you need to turn your idea into a valid business solution, develop your prototype and get the support of experts.

June 1 – June 3

DAY 9 – Day 10

post-Hackathon

Pitch your solution to the jury, receive expert feedback and win valuable prizes.

June 4 – June 5

3 PRIZES

$ 4,000*
+ Incubation

* three winners will receive services for a value equivalent to $4,000 each to provide them further with technical assistance and other needs in developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Winners of the Hackathon will also receive a two-month incubation at Berytech.  

WHO CAN APPLY

You are encouraged to apply if you are a young professional or students under 35 with the desire to bring transformational change in the agri-food sector and empower women. Preferred background: Agri-food specialists, engineers, scientists, makers, environmentalists, agronomists, innovators, entrepreneurs or young professionals interested in finding a digital solution to the agri-food sector,  

Your solution – an idea or within an early-stage startup, needs to fall under the agri-food sector, solve one of the pre-set challenges and should include a tech component (Software, hardware, IoT).  

You can apply with your own idea as long as it falls under one of the pre-set challenges. Your solution should include 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 below. 

To participate you need to be a team of at least 2 people, preferably with different backgrounds, and have a woman leading the team. If you don’t have a team, no worries, you can still join us on the DigitalAg4her platform and find a team before applying.    

The online hackathon is open for teams residing in Lebanon only.   

The process 

  • Submit your application before May 18
  • Check your inbox and follow the steps to join the DigitalAg4Her Hackathon platform, submit your idea/team and meet and brainstorm with other participants before the hackathon
  • If selected, attend the DigitalAg4Her Hackathon and develop your prototype and business model over 10 days  
  • Pitch your 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 Hackathon. Your team needs to have:

  • Two or more team members
  • A woman leading the team
  • An involved team interested to find a digital solution to the agri-food sector
  • The solution needs to be at the idea stage, under development, or with an existing prototype

THE 10-DAY
SCHEDULE

During phase 1, you will get all the information needed regarding the process of the e-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.

DAY 1  Thursday, May 27, 2021 – Introduction and Challenges Presentation

Get all the information you need for the e-hackathon and discover the real challenges facing the agri-food sector.

Workshop 1: Business Workshop: Problem identification

Get all the information and guidance you need to identify the main problem you are tackling and sketch different solutions.

Sessions will be conducted from 5:00pm-8:30pm

DAY 2 Friday, May 28, 2021  –Workshop 2: Business Workshop: Customer Discovery

Get all the information and guidance you need to validate your assumptions and better understand your customer.

Sessions will be conducted from 5:00pm-7:00pm

DAY 3 Saturday, May 29, 2021 –Workshop 3: Business Workshop: Lean Model Canvas

Get all the information you need to turn your idea into a valid business solution.

Sessions will be conducted from 9:30 am-12:00 pm

During phase 2, you will have to go on the field to validate your idea. 

DAY 3- DAY 5 Saturday, May 29- Monday, May 31, 2021 Validation Days  

Field assessment 

Validate your idea by going on the field, develop a field assessment and pivot your idea if needed.  

No sessions planned. However, you will have to go on the field and interview people to validate your solution. 

*All precautionary measures related to COVID-19 should be respected. 

During this phase, you will receive all the information needed to turn your idea into a valid business solution and build your prototype. You will have to use the time outside the sessions to build your innovative agri-food hardware or software solution. 

Day 6 Tuesday, June 1, 2021Technical Workshops 

Get all the information and guidance you need to build your prototype, whether it is hardware or software.  

Sessions will be conducted from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 

Day 7 Wednesday, June 2, 2021 – Clinics and hacking 

Develop your innovative agri-food hardware or software solution and get the support of experts.   

Three clinics will be scheduled for 30 minutes each from 10:00am-3:00pm 

Pitching Workshop  

Get all the information you need to finalize your pitch deck. 

Sessions will be conducted from 4:00pm-6:00pm 

Day 8 Thursday, June 3, 20211-1 Pitching Clinics 

Last expert feedback before the selection!   

One clinic will be scheduled for 30 minutes and conducted from 3:00pm-7:00pm 

Finally, you will have to pitch your solution and present the demo to the jury to get the chance to be selected among the 8 finalists. 

DAY 9 Friday, June 4, 2021– Pre-selection 

Pitch your solution and present your demo to the jury to get the chance to be selected among the 8 finalists. 

Sessions will be conducted from 5:00pm – 8:00pm 

DAY 10 Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Pitch your solution to the jury, receive expert feedback and win valuable prizes. 

Sessions will be conducted from 5:00pm – 8:00pm 

SELECTION CRITERIA

Participants will need to present their creative and hard work through (1) a prototype or demo of a prototype, and (2) a 3-minute pitch to present their solution in a sustainable business model

Idea Validation

  • Clearly addresses the challenges 
  • Clear Value Proposition for promoting efficiency, equity and environmental sustainability 

Customer Segment

  • Demonstrates clear customer understanding and empathy, and targets a specific pain, or problem for them 

Innovation and impact

  • The idea, device or method is innovative and solves the pre-set challenges 

Competitiveness and scalability

  • The business model is feasible and can generate revenue 
  • The solution is scalable across markets 

Prototype

  • The product or service demo clearly exhibits the functionality. 

Team

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

Apply Now

Once you apply, we will send you the access information by email.

DISCOVER THE 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 should inspire you to innovate in the sector. Make sure to take them into consideration, come up with an innovative solution, build your team, and apply now to the DigitalAg4Her Hackathon.

    How can digital technologies facilitate access to finance and productive assets?

    Female labor force participation in agriculture in Lebanon exceeds female ownership of agricultural assets. Based on FAO’s global analysis, if women had equal access to productive resources, they could increase the yield on their farms by as much as 20-30 percent. In Lebanon, women have little access to productive assets, which negatively impacts productivity and competitiveness. Furthermore, in Lebanon, women control 8.6 percent of farms which is only 4 percent of the country’s utilized agricultural area. High interest rates and lack of collateral restrict the access of farmers to credit, further limiting their capacity to invest in the farm machinery and post-harvest systems. Smaller farmers, including women, without access to capital, typically secured inputs on a credit basis, repaying the input supplier the full price of the inputs at the time of harvest. However, because of Lebanon’s financial crisis which is exacerbated by the COVID-19 impacts, this arrangement has been canceled in favor of cash-only operations, limiting farmers’ ability to plant on credit as in the past. Estimates suggest that this will cause agricultural production and GDP to decrease because of reduced input of farmers due to currency depreciation, absence of credit facilities, and a need to rely on more expensive imported inputs.

    How can digital technologies promote market linkages?

    Women farmers and cooperatives lack an advanced understanding of consumer markets. They are not always aware of new trends, customer behavior, prices, and needs. Often, they produce what they can without taking into consideration the demand. They also have limited knowledge of logistics and capacity. They tend to sell their products in surrounding areas and hardly send their production to promising urban areas. Furthermore, COVID-19 exacerbated the situation as it led to the closure and suspension of farmers’ markets in Lebanon. Lowering information-related transaction costs can expand access to input and output markets—and reduce information asymmetries and inefficiencies caused by reliance on market intermediaries and middlemen. 

    How can digital technologies reduce inequality by facilitating access to information?

    Women farmers lack guidance on a range of topics, including climate-smart agriculture, improved seed varieties, nutrient management, pest control, crop planning calendars, and international certifications for export which is decreasing their resilience to climate and other shocks. Women farmers also lack knowledge and expertise in business skills and financial management which further limits their productivity and competitiveness. COVID-19 further restricts the traditional extension services due to multiple lockdowns and movement restrictions. 

    FAQ

    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 your prototype and 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, with a woman leading the team. If you don’t have a team, don’t worry, you can still register and join the event platform to find a team before applying.   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. 

    Depending on the Covid- 19 situation, you will be able to book an appointment to visit the Berytech Fablab and receive the support needed to build  your prototype. However, this will be subject to the precautionary measures related to the pandemic. You will not be able to access the space without face masks and prior booking as the number of people will be limited. 

    You can always build your prototype from the comfort of your home. We will be presenting the different typed of accepted prototypes during the workshop on product development. 

    THE SDGS

    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 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 (FAO).

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