The Agrytech Hackathon
The Agrytech program is jointly funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Berytech and aims to catalyze innovations across the entire food value chain.
The Agrytech Hackathon is an exciting experience where people from various backgrounds collaborate to create innovative solutions to challenges in the agriculture and food sector over the course of one weekend.
The hackathon launches on Friday March 31st afternoon in Berytech Mkalles and continues over a period of 48 hours. Mentors and industry experts will guide you to develop your prototypes and agri-food solutions. Pitching and jury will take place on Sunday evening.
To participate you can apply as a team or an individual. You are encouraged to apply if you are a technical developer, engineer, agronomist, food expert, designer, or a business-minded and innovative problem solver. You can apply with your own idea, or you can hack one of the preset challenges.
The program is open for Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians residing in Lebanon.
Why would you recommend others to participate in a hackathon?
The HealthTech Hackathon in BDL Accelerate 2016 was my first hackathon experience, where we built an automated pill dispenser for the elderly. It taught me 2 main things: First, in 48 hours we can do extraordinary things when we had the dedicated time, space, tools, and experts. Second, I experienced teamwork in a new way, and learned to delegate and trust a team with varying expertise, each does their own work and then we put our work together
– Karam Basyouni, Engineer // Lebanon
During the hackathon’s presentation, when we were asked if we thought that agriculture was not as relevant/interesting, we shook our head yes. A couple of hours later, we were reading each article about the agriculture sector in Lebanon that we could find. It is relevant, it is interesting. It’s just that we don’t know much about it. After 48 hours of thinking just about it, we have realized that agriculture could be the real MVP of the Lebanese economy. We hope that our solution (if it works out) could help revitalize the sector. Thank you for opening our eyes on this existing challenge and on giving us a push to do something about it.
– Lama Miri – Student
Experts predict that we will need to double global food production over the next 35 years while land, energy and water resources are being quickly depleted, risking sustainability and threatening global food security. Advances in technology are key to the future of food and agriculture.
The Hackathon is open to innovative solutions tacklingany agri-food challenge of your choice. You can also check the below challenges for inspiration:
1. Animal feeds are not widely available in the region, heavily relying on imports. High cost of veterinary visits and drug supplies, compounded by shortages in veterinary services
and a threat of higher disease outbreaks in animals.
Can you think of an innovative solution to improve
animal health and nutrition in the region?
2. High losses of agri-food products are due to poor post-harvest practices, poor logistics, combined with poor food safety systems and malpractices. Can you think of an innovative solution that can optimize the quality and limit these losses?
3. The agri-food industry lacks the information that allows exporters to access new markets and to understand the demands and preferences of consumers in these markets. Can you think of an innovative solution that would help elevate local recipes and traditional products into high value niche markets?
4. Lebanon is a net food importer, importing 80% of its food consumption needs. The country is thus highly vulnerable to the price volatility of food and other agriculture commodities. In parallel, Lebanon has an unexploited potential of agriculture areas that account to 32% of its surface area. Can you think of an innovative solution that would optimize the use of space to feed the growing population and reduce the dependency on imports?
You have 48 hours to work on your solution, so it is important that you build a prototype that showcases your product’s most important features.
The result of your hard, creative work will be
Your solution will be judged based on
• Clearly addressed problem
& Market Validation
• Clear Value Proposition
Directly improves outcomes for targeted problem/pain
• The business model presented is feasible and can generate revenue
• The solution is scalable across markets
The product/service demo clearly exhibited the functionality of the service
(Site open for 24 hours)
|6:00 PM||Agrytech Hackathon Begins|
|6:30 PM||Team Formation|
|7:15 PM||Announcement of Teams|
|8:00 PM||Mentor Meetup|
|9:00 PM||Shuttle Services Available for Departure|
|9:00 AM||Startup Pitching Session Voluntary|
|11:20 AM||Product Development|
|3:00 PM||Product Development|
|9:00 PM||Shuttle Service Available for Departure|
|9:00 AM||Product Development|
|1:00 PM||Lunch Break|
|2:00 PM||Product Development|
|3:00 PM||Submit Your Presentations!|
|5:00 PM||Pitching Time!|
|6:30 PM||Winners Announcement & Ceremony|
|7:00 PM||Departure & Shuttle Service|
You can sign up as an individual or as team. We will match individuals with complimentary skills to form teams during a networking session on Day 1.
All you need is to fill out the application that fits you best:
I am a Technical Hacker
If you are a designer, developer, engineer or maker, then this is where you need to sign up.
I am a Field Expert / Business Hacker
Sign up here if you are an expert in business, marketing, finance, law, food or agriculture.
We are a Team
Sign up here if you have a team and you are ready to roll. If your team is missing a certain skills, you can fill the gaps during team formation day.
Will the venue be open 24/7 for the hackathon participants?
Yes, the venue will be accessible for participants to work from and stay in from the time the event opens on Friday, March 31 until the winners are announced on Sunday, April 2.
Hot beverages and water will be served all through the event. Participants are advised to bring with them necessary items like deodorant, warm clothes, earphones, a pair of socks and underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste, and phone chargers during the event. Read more suggestions here
Where is the event venue? How do I get there?
The event is located at the Berytech Technological Pole – ESIB in Mar Roukoz, Mansourieh. You can arrive by car, and there are dedicated parking spaces for you. You can choose to use our dedicated shuttle service for the Agrytech Hackathon. The bus shuttle transport participants to and from the central location in Beirut to the event venue. Details on the shuttle service will be shared soon.
What are we expected to present in 48 hours?
As a team, you are expected to present your software or hardware prototype and present a pitch deck about your suggested business model for your solution in a 4-minute pitch. It is okay if you were unable to have a functional prototype. We understand that sometimes code doesn’t work the way we want it to and this will not affect your score from the judges.
How many members can be in a team?
We recommend between 3 to 5 team members that have various skills including development, business, and design. However, we don’t have a limit to the number of people working on one idea.
Can I apply as one person?
If you are one person and don’t have a team to apply with, you have 2 options: (1) Apply with an idea, and either work on it alone or work with a team formed during the Team Formation section on Friday, March 31. (2) Apply with no idea, and join a team working on a cool idea you like during the Agrytech Hackathon weekend.
Can I apply if I don’t have an idea?
Yes absolutely! If you don’t have an idea to work on, you can still participate in this amazing experience. At the event kick-off, there will be a Team Formation segment where teams and people will be matched based on skills and cool ideas they want to work on during the Agrytech Hackathon weekend.