Agry­tech Hackathon Took Place in Le­banon

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Industry Stories -

March 31st marked the kick-off of the first Agry­tech Hackathon in Le­banon, at the Bery­tech Technology Pole for over 48 con­tin­u­ous hours. The hackathon is part of the Agry­tech Pro­gram, an ini­tia­tive jointly funded by the King­dom of the Nether­lands and Bery­tech, aim­ing to de­velop star­tups with dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tions in the Agri-food sec­tor – lever­ag­ing on technology and in­no­va­tion, pro­vid­ing them with the ad­e­quate tech­ni­cal and busi­ness re­sources and sup­port to scale into suc­cess­ful busi­nesses of global im­pact. The Agry­tech Hackathon re­ceived over 100 mul­tidis­ci­plinary ap­pli­cants with vary­ing back­grounds of agri­cul­ture and food sec­tors, busi­ness and fi­nance, and hard­ware and soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing, who pitched 22 unique ideas. 35 ex­pert men­tors from lead­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions guided the teams. Up to 30 part­ners in­clud­ing UNICEF, World Food Pro­gramme, USJ, ISOC Internet So­ci­ety-le­banon, MENA Devs Group, Green Stu­dios, Ju­soor Syria, Wamda, and Arab­net, among oth­ers; en­gaged in the 48-hour event. Par­tic­i­pants from tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ers, en­gi­neers, agron­o­mists, food ex­perts, de­sign­ers, to in­no­va­tive prob­lem solvers of the Agri-food space in Le­banon and the re­gion, were given 48 hours to gen­er­ate a pro­to­type (or a demo of a pro­to­type) to an­swer to the in­dus­try’s chal­lenges. Souk Bal­adi was awarded first place and a $1,300 prize, pre­sented an on­line mar­ket­place con­nect­ing small farm­ers to niche stores. Starchy won sec­ond place ($1,500 prize), it syn­the­sizes bio-plas­tic for fruits and vegeta­bles aim­ing to of­fer an or­ganic al­ter­na­tive to wax and vac­u­umed plas­tic for pre­serv­ing food to ex­tend their shelf-life, de­lay­ing ox­i­da­tion and de­creas­ing the mass of thrown food prod­ucts, aim­ing to ben­e­fit farm­ers and mer­chants alike. Both win­ners will have di­rect ac­cess to the Agry­tech Ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram with the op­por­tu­nity to re­ceive up to 12 months of sup­port, and up to $40,000 of grant fund­ing.

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