Two months from the launch of the second Batch of the Agrytech Accelerator and we are already wrapping up phase one where, out of the 27 admitted startups, only up to 15 will continue to the second phase.
The 27 teams were given all the needed tools to validate their market, from an intensive business bootcamp, to one-on-one coaching, to an ‘avant-premiere’ that was followed by the official jury day.
During the ‘avant-premiere’ – a yearly activity for the Accelerator, the teams were able to practice their pitches, receive feedback and validate once more their provided solutions. A number of professionals and experts were invited to the Agrytech Headquarters and given US$1 million in fake investment money. They visited with the 27 teams, discovered their ideas and invested in the solutions that were most attractive to them. Startups who raised the most funds won the game.
Paul Chucrallah, Managing Director of Berytech Fund II, explains that his criteria for investment are based on innovation and viability. Corine Kiame, Investment Manager at IM Capital, invests based on the qualifications, the passion of the team and the strength of their ideas, while Maroun Chammas, CEO of Berytech and serial entrepreneur, looks for potential, seriousness and the depth of knowledge of the team in their solution.
The 15 teams who will move to the second phase will be selected following jury day. The jury will base their decision on a series of criteria including:
- how critical and compelling is the problem solved,
- differentiation from competitors,
- market opportunity and size,
- scalability of their business model and
- validation of the product.
In phase II – acceleration, the selected startups will each receive a US$16,000 grant to build a minimum viable product (MVP) and get traction over the period of 4 months. Names of the winners will be announced shortly.