STARTCHY, a startup producing a 100% bioliquid product used as a natural edible coating to extend the shelf life of perishable produces was named Lebanese Agripreneur of the Year 2017 part of the Future Agro Challenge (FAC) – a global competition for food and agribusiness startups in more than 60 countries addressing national, regional and global challenges.
About the Competition
The Future Ago Challenge competition was launched in Beirut in July 2017 through the Agrytech Program – jointly funded by Berytech and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon.
FAC provides key tools and opportunities to help your startup grow its business and expand it into new markets. FAC is working to make a difference on a global level by increasing interaction amongst agro innovators, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders by addressing national policies and challenges.
Six finalists were shortlisted to compete for the title Lebanese Agripreneur of the Year, pitching in front of a jury during an event held at the Startup Weekend in Bekaa. First prize of $2000 went to Richardos Lebbos for STARTCHY, and the runner up prize of $1000 went to Selim Yasmine 209 Lebanese Wine, an online platform promoting more than 40 Lebanese wineries.
Pitching startups also included Benergy, a startup turning coffee waste into clean energy; Lili’s Farm, propagating organic agriculture in earth sheltered grow rooms; The Good Thymes, a startup with a modern approach to harvesting, packaging and selling Lebanese thyme; and Freekey, a startup producing wholesome snacks based on freekeh supergrain.
The competition was open for Ideas in Food Tech; Ag Tech, Agroforestry, and Husbandry; Food or Beverage Product or Retail; Nutrition and Health; Safety and Health; Packaging and Logistics; Agriculture Education; Food Security and Sustainability;, Agriculture Tourism; Food Waste; and finally Agriculture Production and Processing.
The Competition Judges
Competition judges included Michel Daher – owner of Daher Foods, Pierre Njeim – Specialty Fertilizers Line Manager for MENA at UNIFERT, Najah Jarroush Abdouni – owner of Tassamim, Dr. Hady Khalaf – Digital Transformation Director of Bel Group Middle East and Africa, Said Gedeon – Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture of Zahlé & the Bekaa, Dr. Maya Kharrat – Director of ESIAM – USJ; and Kim Issa – External Relations Manager at arcenciel.
The Next Step
STARTCHY will compete internationally for the title of the “Agripreneur of the Year” at the Global Agripreneurs Summit, taking place at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Turkey on April 16-19, 2018.