Innovation Factory 2020: Plastic Recycling Project Selected for Incubation with Berytech

Posted on May 29, 2020

We are so looking forward to the incubation phase where Berytech will be supporting and guiding us to make the PETCRETE idea a reality and to start make a change in the concrete industry”

Five teams enrolled in the Innovation Factory 2020 Program recently showcased and pitched their innovation in front of jury members.

PETCRETE – a joint research project by Ahmad Barazi from the American University of Beirut and Mariam Naja from Rafic Hariri University, was selected as the winner of the third edition of the Innovation Factory Program.

The team will benefit from 3 months incubation support from Berytech as well as receive a grant of 4,000€(four thousand euros) to be spent on technical and business support. The duo is working on a sustainable fiber made from abundant PET plastic to reinforce concrete at a highly competitive cost with higher durability. Read more about PETCRETE here.

Ahmad Barazi comments, “The jury members asked many questions about the project, they didn’t miss a detail to an extent that made me think they didn’t like the idea! Then I was relieved when we won the competition. We are so looking forward to the incubation phase where Berytech will be supporting and guiding us to make PETCRETE idea a reality and to start make a change in the concrete industry.”

PETCRETE is now working on the business aspect getting ready to disrupt the concrete and plastic recycling industries.

Jury Day

The jury members, including Nicolas Rouhana – GM of IM Capital, Elias Bachaalany – CEO of AutomatiX Group and Member of the Lira Program, and Amal Abdallah –  Partner and Country Manager of Saba & Co. Intellectual Property, convened on May 29, 2020 to hear the teams pitch and select the incubated team accordingly.

The expertise the jury members brought to the table was varied and highlighted several fundamentals needed for creating a business, such as investment, technology and industrial expertise, business development, and Intellectual property.

In addition, the teams received valuable feedback from the jury members about their business model and prototype development to further help them develop and grow their Innovation to market. 

The pitching teams were graded and evaluated based on their value proposition, their innovation and market need, the applicability of their technology and intellectual property, their business model and scalability potential, their team and implementation capacity, and finally on their pitch effectiveness.

“Through Innovation Factory 2020, Berytech is creating a space for creative researchers to build connections with key stakeholders, to learn from experts how to navigate their innovative solutions into businesses, to shine and strive in these challenging times,” comments Amal Abdallah.

As for Nicolas Rouhana, he had this to add, “We see a lot of innovation happening in R&D labs of the Lebanese universities which go unnoticed; I truly hope that Berytech, through the Innovation Factory Program,will contribute to help innovations that have market potential to see the light and flourish, thus contributing to the socio-economical well-being of Lebanon and limiting the brain-drain.”

“Innovation support through programs such as Innovation Factory 2020 is our last chance to revive Lebanon and to build the right economical model for the generations to come. Innovation is our last hope!” concludes Elias Bachaalany.

The Incubation

The PETCRETE Team will benefit from follow-up personal working meetings and technical assistance sessions with the Berytech Business Support & Development Team to develop the business plan and be ready to meet with investors. 

The incubation period will revolve around: setting the selected team’s roadmap of activities, assessing their needs and challenges, matching them with the right experts, setting up meetings with potential investors, and granting them access to masterclasses.

“Our team will provide the needed support that will allow the team behind PETCRETE to refine and validate their business idea, develop their strategic foundations, launch their startup, and give them the capability to grow it and finance it,” explains Joanna Abi Abdallah, head of Business Support and Development at Berytech. “We know that launching a startup can be the most challenging thing to do, this is why we created a flexible support program that can carry them from idea to success in a few months.” 

Innovation Factory: From Research to Market 2020

Berytech launched the third edition of the ‘Innovation Factory: From Research to Market 2020’ back in March 2020. The 4-month program revolves around Technology Transfer and allows researchers and novel startups to develop their innovation into commercially viable products and applications.

The program, based on technology transfer, gives participants international exposure with access to local and global markets, B2B networks, and a pool of seasoned experts, mentors, and investors. It is funded by the European Union under THE NEXT SOCIETY program, and organized in Lebanon by Berytech and AnimaInvestment Network.

Learn more about the Innovation Program here.