Reseco – a smart waste container that sorts paper, cardboard, plastics, cans, glass and electronic waste from a household waste bag won first place at the 2020 Berytech e-Hackathon, the first virtual hackathon focusing on clean technology organized by Berytech under the Cleanergy Program, and supported by the Embassy of The Kingdom of The Netherlands in Lebanon.
Innovating, Hacking and Winning
The winning team focused their solution on decentralizing sorting facilities. The smart container can be placed next to traditional street waste bins, bags are placed on one side of the container and on the other side, bales of recyclables will be ready to be sent directly to recycling factories. This will help in reducing cost for waste management, monitoring waste data in each region and reducing space requirements.
The Reseco team is now qualified to join the first Batch of the Cleanergy Accelerator Program, along with the winners of second and third place. They won the first prize of $5,000, divided into an immediate cash prize of $3,000 and a cash grant of $2,000 which they will receive to validate their solution during the first phase of the accelerator program.
Second prize winner Nadeera won $4,000, divided into an immediate prize of $2,000 and the cash grant of $2,000 during the accelerator program. Nadeera, an integrated system to promote sorting at source, is powered by a software to leverage behavioral change, gamification, analytics and AI to promote, monitor and improve citizen behaviors towards sorting waste at source.
The third prize was shared equally between Solas and Hadeer, a $1,000 immediate prize and the cash grant of $2,000 during the accelerator program.
“We decided to have 4 winners with access to the accelerator,” explains Chairman and CEO of Berytech Maroun N. Chammas. “We saw a lot of potential in all the participating teams and we encourage them to continue working on their solutions beyond the e-Hackathon.”
Solas is a solution that cools down the solar cells using sea water as a coolant. The seawater would be heated up with the objective to desalinate it towards the end of the process. Hadeer is an online platform for travelers and bus owners that aims to standardize and organize public transportation.
“It gives us pride to see that despite everything happening we are taking an extra mile, not to generate extra revenue, but to use our passions to make the world a better place. We are glad to see so many innovative ideas participating. We will make sure that no matter the obstacles, we will keep on going to get there,” commented Hadi Saade, founder of Solas.
Teams and Judges
The judges included Dr. Najat Saliba – Director of the Nature Conservation Center at the American University of Beirut, Joumana Sayegh – Associate Director of Engineering and Planning at the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), Dr. Tony Issa – Vice Chairman of IPT Group and president of IPTEC, Selim Chami – Investment Adviser for Fondation Diane, Nour Abou Adal – Business Development Manager at Holdal – Abou Adal, Salah Tabbara – co-founder of the Naseem Akkar Wind Farms project and General Manager of Infratech SAL and Maroun N. Chammas, Chairman and CEO of Berytech.
21 teams participated in the hackathon and 17 teams pitched in the pre-selection process before being shortlisted to 8 finalists: EstaA, HADEER, Nadeera, Re-bat, Recycling power, RESECO, Solarly, and Solas.
Ramy Boujawdeh, Deputy GM of Berytech commented, “You are all winners. To see the passion and see your dedication was wonderful. It is our collective role to make the Lebanon we want.”
The judges who pre-selected the teams included Dona Geagea from Waterlution, digital fabrication expert Sevag Babikian, Ryme Asaad from Rise2030, Victor Ibrahim from Aquatersus as well as Constantin Salameh, Joelle Atallah and Mario Ramadan from the Berytech team.
A check-in team followed-up with participants assigned to them over the 4 days of the virtual event, while providing them with support and guidance: Georgy Kassab from Luxeed Robotics, Sabah Corm from Rigino, Hannah Wuzel from Cewas, Tony Antoun from Digimart, Sara Dia from Waterlution, Dana Abou Chakra from Park Innovation, Rayanne Beayno and members of the Berytech team.
The Berytech team qualified 70 participants to participate in the e-hackathon, who were hosted in 27 virtual rooms, while 105 one-one virtual meeting took place between the participants and their trainers, mentors and coaches.
In his opening speech, Ambassador of The Kingdom of The Netherlands in Lebanon H.E. Jan Waltmans confirmed that “the embassy has put engagement with Lebanese youth as a number one priority. We would like to promote job creation and innovation in the country through programs like the Cleanergy Program, through which we are pushing youth to innovate and create new jobs while thinking about how they can contribute to a better Lebanon instead of thinking of how they want to leave.”
Maissa Abou Adal, board member and CSR and SDG lead at Holdal Abou Adal Group, Platinum Partner of the e-Hackathon, addressed participants explaining: “For us to accelerate we need all stakeholders to play an active role to support sustainable development goals. The new leadership is not like before, you are the heroes and leaders of sustainable transformation. Society came to a pause; it is a unique opportunity to reshape our future in a more collaborative economy. Lebanese are recognized for their resilience, and you can collaborate to create a better future for Lebanon. Waste, water, energy are fundamentals for the future.”
The Hackathon Agenda and Activities
Throughout the e-hackathon, participants received the assistance of technical, industry and business experts, and had access to the tools and hardware prototyping facility of the Berytech Fab Lab.
Technical workshops, provided to allow the teams to develop their prototypes, included a workshop with Wael Khalil providing a brief introduction to new product development, an IoT Session with Jad Itani and a software product session with Nicolas El Khoury.
Business Sessions included an introduction to the lean model canvas with Joelle Atallah, a workshop by Amir Saab to learn how to validate assumptions and a pitching training by Andre Abi Awad.
Each team had a one-on-one clinic with business mentors, a field expert, and a technical expert. Business mentors included Elie Akhrass – Asher center, Maurice Mouawad -Transformeus, Carine Fersan – BLC Bank, Christine Francis – Viviti, Patricia Kebbeh – Noiyo, Chadi Snaifer – Group Wider, Sami Saad/Sara Yaacoub/Maroun Saber – IM Capital, Nadine Asmar – Beyond Reform, Pauline Sawaya -Swiftshift, and Myriam Hoballah – incepthub.
Technical experts included Christophe Zoghbi – Beirut AI, Jad Itani, Jad Salhani – Deloitte Digital, Nicolas El Khoury and Sevag Babikian.
Field Experts included Anwar Al Shami – AUB, Mario Goraeib – Arcenciel, Jules Hatem – triple E, Dounia Al Dick, Jessica Obeid – Chatham House, Rani Achkar – LCEC, and Dr. Nadim Farjalla – AUB
Participants were also able to use the Berytech Fab 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 Berytech e-Hackathon – Cleanergy 2020 was supported generously by Holdal, Naseem Akkar and IPTEC.