Two startups, IOtree – a solar-powered smart device, and B.O.T – an impact sourcing platform, have won the regional competition of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) allowing them to compete in the global finals happening in April 2019.
For the 7th year in a row, Berytech has partnered with GSVC, an international competition aiming to inspire and empower entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges. Every year, extremely innovative Lebanese startups compete in the local edition and the winner – in this case, 2 startups – makes it to the international finals, representing Lebanon among hundreds of startups from more than 60 countries.
Seven Finalists, Two Winners
Out of the 30 startups who applied for the regional round, 7 finalists pitched in front of a jury including Amal Damien from USJ, Michelle Mourakadeh from Al Fanar, Kim Issa from Arcenciel, Bruna Elias from Global Compact Lebanon, Ramy Boujawdeh and Constantin Salameh from Berytech.
The competing startups each had a social or environmental aspect incorporated in their business model. All shortlisted startups were mentored, trained, and supported to fine-tune their applications and prepare for their pitches. The finalists included:
- Plastic Beach: Collects plastic waste from businesses, institutions, and homes to prevent plastic waste from reaching landfills, shores, and rivers. The initiative works on creating an impact on three levels; social, economic and environmental while engaging those who are underprivileged/unemployed in collecting plastic waste in return for cash.
- Live Love Recycle: Live Love Recycle is an environmental and social project founded by Live Love Beirut to help counter the garbage crisis in Lebanon. It is a free service based on a mobile application where residents all over Beirut are able to order up to two pickups per month for their recyclables at no cost.
- IOTree: A wireless, autonomous, solar-powered smart device based on AI technology. The IOTree device is connected to the IOTree server. The IOTree server will be sending reports/notification via a mobile application providing the users with all needed info on when and where he should intervene and advice on which prevention to use.
- Heatechs: an add-on accessory to mattresses used for night conditioning purposes.
- GRID: proposes a PV-based micro-grid system that aims at providing a clean and low-cost alternative for back up electricity in the average Lebanese house, thus replacing diesel generators. It integrates the concept of microgrid and power-sharing between neighboring houses in order to decrease the payback time of the system and increase its flexibility.
- Compost Baladi: A social business that is specialized in the management of bio-waste and the recovery of resources from it. Lebanon produces more than 1 million tons of municipal organic solid waste per year and more than 300 million cubic meters of wastewater per year.
- B.O.T.: An impact sourcing platform provides digital freelance income generation opportunities for skilled and unemployed youth and women from vulnerable communities. By offering organizations high-quality digital services, the platform leverages the skills of digitally trained youth to create a solution for the private and public sectors.
Last year, our local winner, FabricAid, competed internationally and won first place topping 550 startups from around the world. The team received local and international exposure and support, plus a $40,000 check. This year the local winners will also receive:
- A fully-funded trip to the United States to participate in the Global Social Venture Competition happening from April 3 to 5 in Berkeley, California with a chance to pitch for the $40,000 in the finals.
- International visibility and networking opportunities.
- 6-month incubation at Berytech including free access to the Berytech co-working space, entrepreneurship master classes, workshops, events, and private work sessions with leading experts and coaches.
- One-on-one coaching and follow-up to prepare for the GSVC finals in the USA.
- Access to local and international entrepreneurship networks, programs, grants, and funds.
The regional competition was made possible through Berytech’s travel partner Airfrance and support partners UN Global Compact Partner, Make Sense, Dot Lebanon, Arcenciel, Live Love Beirut, Al Fanar, ELFS, and Pitchworthy.
About the competition
Celebrating 20 years of impact in 2019, GSVC was founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1999 and has evolved into a global network of premier business schools, universities, and programs in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Latin America. Each partner school and the program is supported by a network that includes other universities and organizations, judges, mentors, and investors focused on social impact, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Since its founding, GSVC has helped more than 6,500 teams from 65+ countries across the globe and distributed more than $1M in prize money.