About the Program
To feed a population that is growing exponentially to reach 10 million in 2050, experts predict that we will need to double global food production over the next 35 years.
As a result, there will be growing competition for land, energy and water, as these resources are being quickly depleted, risking sustainability and threatening global food security.
Advances in technology are key to the future of food and agriculture given the global challenges presented and the need for innovation to address them.
The Agrytech Program aims to source the top startups with disruptive innovations in the Agri-Food sector and provide them with the adequate technical and business resources as well as community support to scale their ideas into successful businesses with global impact.
The pillars of the Agrytech program are
Advancing ideas into successful businesses
Empowering a smart
Sharing business &
Members of the Advisory Board
H.E. Mr. Jan Waltmans
Ambassador of the Kingdom
of the Netherlands
Mr. Jan Waltmans has been serving the Netherlands across the globe as a diplomat including countries such as Zambia, Afghanistan, Iraq and recently Lebanon. He started his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988 with assignments at the migration department and the department for humanitarian assistance.
Mr. Maroun N. Chammas
CEO of Berytech & Berytech Fund Management
Mr. Maroun Chammas is a serial entrepreneur with activities ranging from Oil and gas to telecom. He serves as the Vice Chairman and General Manager for the Chammas Group of Companies that control seven affiliated companies operating one of the largest privately owned bulk multi-refined oil product terminal facility in the Near East with a large network of service stations under the brand name of Medco and Phoenicia. He also serves as Chairman of the board and Managing Director of Berytech. Berytech helps entrepreneurs set up and create their business by providing counseling and support to their enterprise and has several venture capital funds with around 80 million dollars under management.
Dr. Roger Van Hoesel
Executive Director of Food Valley NL
Dr. Roger van Hoesel has a professional background in international economics and business economics and is specialised in food innovation. He serves as the managing director of Food Valley NL and also acts as board member of Startlife, a Dutch initiative aiming at supporting the development of start-up companies in the life sciences sector. In addition, he acts on various programme boards and steering committees of national and international food programmes. Moreover, he advices organisations in the Netherlands and abroad on cluster development.
Dr. Maya Kharrat Sarkis
Director of ESIA-M
Dr. Maya Kharrat holds a PhD in Agricultural Engineering & Animal Production from Montpellier SupAgro, France. She currently serves as the Director of ESIAM (School of Agricultural Engineering) and ESIA (School of Food Industry Engineering) of the St. Joseph University. She is a reviewer for Small Ruminant Research (Elsevier – Science Direct) and Lebanese Scientific Journal (CNSR-L) and a chair/co-chair for the Lebanese Association of Advancement of Science (LAAS) conferences.
Dr. Fadia Homeidan
Director of Grants & Contracts
American University of Beirut
Dr. Fadia Homeidan holds a PhD in Clinical Chemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK. Currently she serves as the Director of the Office of Grants and Contracts and the Centre for Research and Innovation at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Dr. Homaidan has extensive experience in pre- and post-award research management. She is engaged in encouraging; supporting and managing innovation and technology transfer at the university. She also directed and coordinated a EU funded project entitled: Innovation and Development of academic-industry partnerships through Efficient research Administration in Lebanon (IDEAL).
Mr. Michel Daher
CEO of Daher Capital
Mr. Michel Daher is the founder of Daher Foods, one of the largest FMCG producers in the Levant with over 1,000 employees, specializing in potato chips, extruded products, pellets and nuts, and Daher Agriculture, a pioneer in potato cultivation and storage with the cooperation of Agrico, the largest potato breeder in the world.
In 2003, Michel Daher founded Daher Capital, a Single Family Office (SFO) operating as a hybrid between a private equity fund and a hedge fund in Lebanon and investing around the world.
Mr. Peter Hrechdakian
CEO of UNIFERT
Mr. Peter Hrechdakian is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Unifert, a multinational company involved in fertilizer trading and agrochemical product distribution. He holds a BA in Economics and Philosophy from Cornell University and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He is also a member of the board of BEMO SAL, BEMO Europe – Banque Privée SA and Obegi Chemicals Group SA