Zoom In: Ground Vertical Farming

Posted on September 24, 2020

These unprecedented events didn’t discourage the supportive ecosystem we had.”

Eight startups have reached the final phase of the Agrytech Accelerator Batch 3. Berytech reached out to hear from the founders themselves about their journey in the program so far.

Ground Vertical Farming provides a complete vertical farming solution that includes fully automated vertical panels, growing mediums, seeds and a main controller for agricultural businesses and restaurants. The aim is to help them optimize the use of their agricultural space and achieve the highest yield at the best quality, all the while reducing their costs. The solution can be operated all year-round and helps maximize revenue. 

According to co-founders Mitri Harmouche and Rita Asmar Harmouche, “The Agrytech Accelerator program packs in so much information from the years of experience and skills that each mentor has amassed. This concentrated form of information allowed us to speed up what we are doing with our startup. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we are leveraging their years of accumulated wisdom to launch our startup in a more calculated, strategic way. Clearly, this can improve our chances of success. Plus, mentors in the Agrytech accelerator program help us see the complexity that will develop in time and steer us in the right direction to deal with it. They ask the questions that get us thinking of the bigger picture and what it should look like. Then these mentors suggest the tools and tactics to get us there. Finally, the collective and collaborative environment found at Berytech is sure to keep us going and moving forward. Interaction with other founders is a powerful motivating force. When we hear about their own self-doubts and challenges, it resonates with us. It reminds all of us that it is possible to overcome those doubts and work together to clear our respective hurdles. We are hoping at the end to acquire skills that are essential for running a business, including sales and marketing, communications, finance and even some technical skills. At the same time, we want to identify our risks and to be able to minimize them and manage them effectively.

The Agrytech Accelerator Program is a tremendous catalyst for Ground’s growth. Everything from the day we were selected and through the whole 9 months was just a wonderful journey directed by a wonderful team with different skills and backgrounds. So far, the Agrytech team helped us validate our product in the market and close our first sale. Positive mental attitude, skills, character and the right support community and team helped us settle on the right track to achieve success in our startup. The most significant accomplishment is validating that the product we have built is a fit with our target market. We think we are on the right track.

The Covid-19 pandemic came on the heels of a deep economic, social, and political crises in Lebanon. Coupled with the recent explosion of the Beirut port, it has delayed some of our activities specially the Go-To-Market phase since we had strict confinement measures. Despite the disrupted pace of business, our vision and mission remained the same with a small edit regarding our market entry. More than ever, Lebanon is in need for our product, as we believe we can be part of its growth by helping the agri-food sector fulfill the needs of the domestic market and create opportunities to strengthen revenues.

These unprecedented events didn’t discourage the supportive ecosystem we had. The entire Agrytech Program team has been committed to our success, and always managed to motivate us. The physical and virtual clinics and events they prepared were beyond impressive and helped us adapt as much as we can. We managed to conduct our meetings with our vendors and clients virtually and tried to site visits as much as we can. Unfortunately, the Beirut explosion on the 4th of August further compounded the pain and difficulties that we have had to cope with as of late. Although we were lucky enough to survive the explosion, we are still suffering the mental impact of the blast and shocked with the consequences. However, our journey won’t stop here. We will recover and resume our work. Fortunately, the Berytech community was supportive to all members and their families as well as all the Lebanese affected by this explosion.”

Learn more about Berytech’s Agrytech Accelerator program.