Laser Technology to Exterminate Weeds Wins Agrytech Hackathon

Agri-istic solutions – a startup which aims to replace chemical weed control with a one-shot laser technology, won first place at the 2019 Agrytech Hackathon event this weekend organized by Berytech under the Agrytech program, and supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon.

Three Hackathon Winners

They won the first prize of $6,000, divided into an immediate cash prize of $4,000 and a cash grant of $2,000 which they will receive to validate their solution during the first phase of the accelerator program, which they have qualified for.

Second prize winner Organy Clean won $4,000, divided into an immediate prize of $2,000 and the cash grant of $2,000 during the accelerator program, which they have qualified for. Organy Clean provides sustainable green cleaning products, such as agro-cleaning soaps made from agri-waste, which contains essential oils and vitamins, mixed with plant-based cleaning solutions.

The third winner was Grapak, who won an immediate cash prize of $2,000. Grapak manufactures biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging films made of grape residue.

Activities and Judging

The judges this year included Ramy Boujawdeh – Deputy GM at Berytech, Carine Fersan – head of brand management at BLC Bank, Nadine Khoury – president of Qoot Cluster and COO at Robinson Agri, Pierre Njeim – specialty fertilizers line manager for MENA at UNIFERT, and Rani Azzi – Vineyard manager and assistant technical director at Kefraya.

21 teams participated in the hackathon. These teams pitched to four judges on the third day and were shortlisted into the following 10 teams: Grapak, Food deals, Safer Agrifoods, Smart Weeding, Agri-istik Solutions, Point Solutions, Prae Cultiva, Storevest and Organy Clean. 

The hackathon qualified 60 participants from 120 applicants. 21 teams were formed and there were more than 33 volunteers and mentors, 21 challenges, more than 30 partners and six teams who adopted the suggested challenges.

The participants of the hackathon went on a fieldtrip on Thursday 22 August to visit Lebanon’s major players in the agrifood and deforestation sectors. These included the NGO Arcenciel, Souk el Khodra in Qab Elias, the Lebanese university in Zahle, the Lebanese Reforestation Initiative (LRI), Chateau Kefraya winery, and the fertile village of Ammiq in the Bekaa Valley. 

Participants were also able to use the Berytech Fabrication Lab to create their prototypes. The lab has the latest digital manufacturing technology and a wide range of machinery and equipment to develop hardware, electronics and other elements.

The Agrytech Hackathon was supported generously by Unifert and Robinson Agri, as well as Waterlution.

Read more about the Agrytech Hackathon 2019 here.

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