About the Agrytech Program
AGRYTECH IS LEBANON’S AGRI-FOOD INNOVATION HUB, A PROGRAM JOINTLY FUNDED BY THE EMBASSY OF THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS AND BERYTECH.
The Global Food Challenge
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.
Lebanese Agri-Food Solutions & Innovations
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.
Four Pillars to activate entrepreneurship & industrial innovation
The Program is activating entrepreneurship and industrial innovation with four program pillars: the Accelerator, the Cluster, the Resources Platform, and the Berytech Fabrication Lab.
The pillars of the Agrytech program are
Meet the Members of the Agrytech Team
Deputy GM of Berytech
With more than 17 years of international experience in management in different disciplines, Ramy amassed diversified knowledge in the fields of change and quality management, operations, and entrepreneurship support programs. With a strong business mindset and a firm commitment to achieve excellent, Ramy is an Angel Investor and actively advises early-stage startups in Lebanon. Ramy holds a B.S. in Agriculture Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and a M.S. in Business Management and Economics.
Agrytech Program Manager
With more than 15 years of international experience in management in different disciplines, Fadi amassed diversified knowledge in the fields of technology implementation and business transformation delivering value to stakeholders through engagements in consulting, project management, telecom, IT and software solutions, operations, and entrepreneurship support programs. With a strong business mindset and a firm commitment to achieve excellence, Fadi actively advises early-stage start-ups in Lebanon and Africa. Fadi holds an Executive MBA from ESCP Europe and a Master of Engineering in Telecommunications and Computer Science. He is certified as Business Incubation Manager from InBIA and as a Project Management Professional.
Seth Shumate, Ph.D.
Agrytech Program CTO
Seth joined Berytech as the CTO of the Agrytech Accelerator Program in April 2017. He is also a volunteer mentor with the MIT Confideo Venture Mentoring program organized by IM Capital and has volunteered and consulted with several organizations in the Lebanese ecosystem. Before moving to Lebanon, Seth co-founded two Solar PV startups based in the United States and has participated in globally recognized accelerator programs. Before completing his Ph.D. in 2015, he was a member of graduate teams that placed top-3 in nearly 20 business plan competitions, with many first-place finishes including the prestigious MIT Clean Energy Prize. Seth has an Edison Award and several patents for his inventions.
Berytech Fab Lab Coordinator
Wael is a Mechanical Engineer with wide experience in Digital Design & Fabrication. He has a diverse engineering background with valuable experience in the electromechanical industry, including pipe manufacturing and equipment installation for oil & gas and pump station projects. In addition, he is proficient in using most advanced CAD designing tools and programming software available in the market. Wael also has technical experience in operating and controlling a wide range of digital fabrication tools and equipment including but not limited to Laser Cutters, 3D printers, and CNC machines.
Berytech Events and PR Officer
With a Master’s in Tourism Management and Planning- Development of Tourism Products from the Universitat de Girona and a B.A. in Hospitality Management- Events Management from Notre Dame University, Joey joined the Berytech team as Events & PR Officer in charge of the Agrytech Program in January 2018. Joey has worked in several fields related to events management from theater, exhibitions, hotels, and catering. She is dynamic and resourceful, traits which play in her favor in developing successful outreach programs and events at Berytech. She is a former professional dancer at the famous Caracalla Dance Theatre, and enjoys yoga in her spare time.
Agrytech Program Officer
With a Masters in Web Science and Digital Economy and Bachelor of Economics from Université Saint-Joseph, Hadi joined Berytech in 2016, first as an intern then as the Agrytech Program Officer. He is responsible for the success of the trainings, workshops as well as the event operations and business support, and works closely with the incubated teams. Hadi is an avid guitar player. He enjoys a healthy combination of music, football, video games, and reading and keeping up with the latest technologies.
Members of the Advisory Board
The Advisory Board consists of prominent professionals, with the main role of advising the Program’s administration and assisting in formulating and implementing its strategic priorities.
The Board members also play an important role in setting our program standards and providing feedback on the market.
Moreover, the Advisory Board is an integral component of the Program’s linkage to the Agri-Food sector.
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