IdeaLab Cycle 2: Fueling Innovation in the Agrifood and Clean Technology Sectors 

With the successful completion of its second cycle, IdeaLab has proudly graduated 47 Lebanese startups in the agrifood and cleantech sectors. Spanning over two months and implemented across various areas in the country by Berytech’s Partners, the program provided aspiring entrepreneurs with technical and business support to validate their innovative solutions and turn them into successful ventures. By the end of this cycle, over $50,000 was granted to the graduated startups, to help them build their prototypes, validate their value proposition, and present their solutions in cleantech and agrifood sectors.   

IdeaLab operates under Berytech’s Partner Growth Program in partnership with different organizations nationwide: ACIE, Farah Social Foundation, Injaz Lebanon, Michel Daher Foundation, and Park Innovation. Through these collaborations, each startup benefits from localized support, tailored to their specific needs, granting them access to mentorship, networking, and resources most relevant to their area. 

Through this initiative, the program aims to create strong business teams, that will have the capacity to tackle different challenges and scale up their work and impact, promoting sustainability, reducing environmental impact, and fostering innovation in a way that can drive economic resilience in the agrifood and clean technology sectors. 

Concept Initiation: Laying the Groundwork

The first phase of IdeaLab consisted of concept initiation and established the base for all subsequent efforts. The startups were encouraged to build on their ideas by identifying root problems and brainstorming constructive and innovative solutions within their fields of expertise. The participants were also guided through determining their key target audiences, setting the stage for a strategic approach to ideation. This integral introduction offered insight into the different aspects of conceptualization and made for a solid foundation to kickstart the program’s second phase.  

Market Validation: Testing and Refining Ideas 

At this stage of the program, startups were introduced to the various facets of market validation. This included a deep understanding of consumer needs and demands, insights into the latest investment trends, and a strategic marketing approach – built on customer behavior. The entrepreneurs also got the chance to test out their business solutions, through prototyping and by engaging different stakeholders to provide constructive feedback. One-on-one interviews were conducted by the startups with prospective customers, which allowed them to gain enriching perspectives and judge their ideas from different points of view.  

Prototyping: Transforming Ideas into Business Solutions 

Whilst discovering the most effective and cost-friendly methods and materials to use, the startups got the chance to turn their concepts into tangible business solutions. With guidance from expert mentors, the participants were able to leverage budget management, sustainable approaches, and innovative resources to build on their ideas and shape them into a final product design, optimized through end-user testing and feedback. 

Business Model Canvas: Structuring Business Plans 

Throughout this phase, the startups discovered the best ways to keep track of their business components in a strategic and organized way, which helped them properly understand the essential elements that constitute their administrative work. The importance of business model canvas was highlighted, as these tailored tools provided startups with a structured workflow and practical evaluation of their approaches and strategies. 

Pitching: Communicating Ideas Effectively  

During this final stage, the participating startups got the chance to learn the best ways to present their ideas in an effective and time-efficient manner and were briefed on the crucial impact of effective communication in its different shapes. From strategic body language to powerful pitch decks, they were able to optimize their communicative resources to their advantage, gaining powerful experiences in the process.  

To end the cycle on a productive note, a Demo Day was hosted at each partner organization. This final event paved the way for the startups to present their business solutions, pitching them in front of a panel of experts and seizing the opportunity to showcase their advancements and achievements.  

Through this initiative, IdeaLab was able to support the startups’ growth and development, whilst also promoting core values such as sustainability, innovation, and perseverance. The joint efforts of the mentors, coordinators, and partner organizations had a significant impact, ensuring personalized support and the fulfillment of IdeaLab’s primary goal: empowering startups to validate their ideas into solutions. 

About The ACT Smart Innovation Hub     

The Partner Growth Program is under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub, a comprehensive initiative launched by Berytech and co-funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to enable the Lebanese entrepreneurial ecosystem and stimulate innovation and startup creation in the agriculture, food, and clean technology sectors.

Picture of Rudy Daniel

Rudy Daniel

Rudy Daniel joined the Berytech Communication team with his experience as a marketer, content writer, and trainer having led numerous successful campaigns and supported local entrepreneurs and change-makers. Rudy is a huge video game enthusiast who enjoys mind-boggling puzzles, hiking, deep-sea diving and paragliding.

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