AGRYTECH HACKATHON 2019

Bring innovation into agriculture and launch your agri-tech business in 4 days!

The Agrytech Hackathon returns in a third exciting edition! Learn, validate, hack and pitch your agri-food business idea in 4 days. Use technology to tackle challenges in farming, post-harvest, manufacturing and processing, and marketplace, guided by international industry experts with access to a hardware prototyping fabrication lab.

Learn More

DAY 1

Field Trip

Discover real challenges facing the agri-food sector with on-sight field visits

THURSDAY 22 AUGUST

DAY 2

Workshops

Acquire all the information you need to turn your idea into a valid business solution

FRIDAY 23 AUGUST

DAY 3

Hackathon

Develop your innovative agri-food hardware or software solution in 30 hours

SATURDAY 24 AUGUST

DAY 4

Pitching

Pitch your solution to the jury, receive expert feedback and win valuable prizes

SUNDAY 25 AUGUST

ABOUT THEHACKATHON

Berytech is organizing the third edition of the Agrytech Hackathon, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon. Held at Berytech’s Innovation Park in Mar Roukoz and continuing over 4 days, the hackathon is an exciting opportunity to develop your prototypes and agri-food solutions using technologies such as Internet of Things, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence.

Throughout the hackathon, you will receive the assistance of technical, industry and business experts, as well as the support of Source Institute with their international experts, and you will have access to the tools and hardware prototyping facility of the Berytech Fab Lab.

Learn more about the Agrytech Program and the different Lebanese agri-food innovations and startups.

HOW ITWORKS

The 4-Day Schedule

  • On Thursday, you will be allocated a field trip destination based on the 4 challenge areas that your solution falls under – farming, post-harvest, processing and manufacturing, or marketplace.
  • On Friday, you will receive a full day of workshops to help you shape your idea, understand the needs of your customers and develop your business model.
  • On Saturday and up until Sunday afternoon, you will be given the time and support to work on your solution and develop your hardware or software prototype.
  • Finally, on Sunday afternoon, you get to pitch your idea to a jury who will then announce the top 3 winners.

THEPRIZES

1ST PRIZE

$6,000

*4,000$ immediate prize+
2,000$ cash grant during the accelerator program

2ND PRIZE

$4,000

*2,000$ immediate prize+
2,000$ cash grant during the accelerator program

3RD PRIZE

$2,000

*2,000$ immediate prize

THEAGENDA

Discover first-hand eminent challenges facing the agri-food sector with on-sight field visits based on the 4 challenge areas: Farming, Post-harvest, Processing and Manufacturing, or Marketplace.

09:30 am Registration
10:00 am Welcome & Introduction
11:00 am Workshop 1: Finding your flock, meet likeminded people
12:30 pm Lunch
13:30 pm Workshop 2: What’s your business model? Explore your options
15:00 pm Coffee Break
15:30 pm Workshop 3: Spotting your key assumptions
17:00 pm Hackathon Kick-off
08:00 am Breakfast
09:00 am Hacking & Fixer Sessions
02:00 pm Lunch
03:00 pm Hacking & Fixer Sessions
06:00 pm Basics of pitching
07:00 pm Dinner
08:00 am Breakfast
09:00 am Hacking & Pitching Practice Session
01:00 pm Round 1: Pre-selection 1 minute pitching session
01:30 pm Hand in final pitches
02:00 pm Lunch
04:00 pm Final Round: 3-minute pitching session
05:30 pm Closing Ceremony: Winners Announcement

JUDGINGCRITERIA

Use your hacking time wisely to build a prototype that showcases your product’s most important features. You will need to present your creative and hard work through:

Your solution will be judged based on:

IDEA VALIDATION

  • Clearly addresses problem & Market Validation
  • Clear Value Proposition

IMPACT

  • Demonstrates clear customer understanding and empathy, and targets a specific pain, or problem for them.

INNOVATION

  • Breaks into the market or society with new idea, device or method.

SUSTAINABILITY

  • The business model is feasible and can generate revenue.
  • The solution is scalable across markets.

PROTOTYPE

  • The product or service demo clearly exhibits the functionality.

TEAM

  • Team member backgrounds are clear, fitting with the roles and responsibilities needed to take the idea forward.

THECHALLENGES

Below you will find 20 different challenges proposed by our partners in the agri-food industry, categorized into 4 different tracks: Farming, Post-harvest, Manufacturing/Processing, and Marketplace. We encourage you to go through them, and apply your critical and innovative thinking to creating solutions for these challenges, no matter what your background is.

In this category, we are looking at solutions to solve challenges from the supply of products and materials to farming practices including harvesting.

Adopting precision viticulture requires an adaptation for all farming systems, thus implying huge investment in new equipment (tractors, spreaders, and sprayers)

What is needed:

A simple add-on to existing equipment that transforms current traditional spreaders and sprayers to smart agriculture equipment. The solution can be imagined as follows: drone imagery is taken, the photo is uploaded and analyzed on the cloud-based software to differentiate different zones of vigor or soil types (E.g. Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3). The farmer will enter the dose for each zone. This add-on equipment will have an accurate GPS tracking system. Based on the location, an order is given to adjust the flow of the spreader or sprayer for each of the delimited zones. In the traditional system, the farmer used to apply one dose for each plot, usually the highest. With this new solution, the farmer will only apply the needed amount which will significantly reduce production costs (less product used) and increasing the yield by having the right amount at the right location at a reasonable cost.

Harvesting fresh cherries is the most labor-intensive practice within cherry production. To date, farmers do not have access to any mechanization of this process, which could significantly alleviate their cost.

What is needed:

A mechanical device that can help growers harvest the cherry crops and decrease their labor costs.

Growers rely on traditional methods to determine harvest date and may end up with harvested olives that do not meet the optimum criteria to get the right quality and quality of the oil.

What is needed:

Develop a mechanical tool that could test the ripeness of the olive on the tree. This tool should be specific to the variety of olive and should help farmers decide if they can start to harvest or not.

More than 70% of available water resources in Lebanon are used by the agriculture sector. Climate change is threatening the existing resources and making it scarce to farmers. The Bekaa plain has an overall Mediterranean climate with a more arid tendency. Agricultural production is concentrated in this area and accounts for 42% of total cultivated land. Growers in this area do not know the exact amount of water needed per type of plant and soil. Knowing the exact amount of water needed may help save these resources and make it more sustainable. Research made in this perspective helped to provide the calculation of different parameters such as ET0 and ETP, temperature and humidity. Tools created helped determine the amount of water but were not taking into account the plant type, the soil characteristics, and daily prevailing climatic conditions. Also, tools were not allowing automatic irrigation. The Michel Daher Social Foundation is concerned about this challenge and is looking to find a tool for farmers so they can irrigate knowing the right amount of water needed per plant.

What is needed:

Design a very convenient cost-effective tool that can be purchased by farmers to inform them about the amount of water needed per type of plant.

Soils with high clay content hold the highest quantity of water. Sand, silt and clay form the soil texture; thus, farmers need to analyze their soil for their texture content percentages of these three components. The reason why technology innovation is still needed in soil moisture sensors goes to the fact that existing technologies are either expensive or not accurate/or both. Accuracy in soil moisture content measurement will save water in huge volumes because agriculture consumes the majority of water nationwide and even worldwide. Water conservation is environmentally among the priorities and it can save a fortune at the farmer level (money-wise).

What is needed:

Innovate a soil moisture sensor that might be read remotely and provide accurate readings. Soil moisture sensors are still under investigation scientifically to reach inexpensive model and easy to be tackled by farmers. If we may reach a simple accurate manner of measuring soil moisture sensors, it will open a great business in relation to farmers and on the level of water management (water governance). Sensors could be read through communication technology and by mobile application facilities.

Currently, many scientific studies help experts decide which species to plant and best practices to use. However, there is no user-friendly tool that would allow average users to take such decisions.

What is needed:

A decision-making tool that includes data on soil, precipitation, site conditions (slope, aspect), site location (latitude, altitude), and site history to generate data related to species to be planted and practices to be used. LRI has done a modeling exercise producing this data through a geographic information system (GIS). We, however, need a tool that is easier than GIS for the average user such as a land-owner or a municipality.

Available data:

• Cost of container
• Cost of shipping and customs
• Percentage of breakage of containers on site
• Satellite data http://www.lebanonspatial.org/ and http://www.arabspatial.org/

Solid waste has been a prominent issue in Lebanon and the reforestation sector is currently seeking to decrease waste in its process. Currently, native tree seedlings are placed in reusable plastic pots during the process of planting forest sites having plastic waste as an unfavorable consequence of the process; seedlings are produced in imported containers that are reusable and not found in the local market.

What is needed:

An easy and environmentally-friendly packaging system that allows nurseries to send their seedlings to the planting site without them being damaged and without sending the containers. Also, the cost of seedling transportation doubles when seedlings are sent with their containers because of their return trips, size and shape. Thus, LRI is seeking to find a solution to reduce pollution to our environment by using underrated materials.

Available data:

• Climatic data
• Soil data
• Topographic maps
• Site history
• Satellite data http://www.lebanonspatial.org/ and http://www.arabspatial.org/

Beekeepers move long distances to ensure optimum measures of temperature, moisture, etc…, are prevailing in their hives, and this is time-consuming. To date, researchers have developed a sensor that helps them control the hive and monitor the prevailing conditions, however this is very costly.

What is needed:

Creating a simple cost-friendly analysis tool can assist beekeepers in this heavy-duty.

Climate change has increased the risk of wildfires during the last decades; drier climatic conditions and higher temperatures are aggravating the situation. To closely monitor future large wildfires, concerned entities should be timely updated on the occurrence of fires at the national scale.

What is needed:

An online application that can help in timely showing and recording fire occurrences in Lebanon throughout the year and providing automated reports on the time and location of the fire occurrence.

Available data:

https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/active_fire/#firms-shapefile


In this category, we are looking at solutions to solve challenges from the time the products are harvested and collected till they reach processors or consumers.

Typical by-products from dairy farms include buttermilk, whey, and their derivatives. The high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) of whey protein poses major pollution for dairy industries. The latter once emitted into river systems contribute to high organic pollution to the environment. Around 400 L/day of lactoserum is produced at Arcenciel.

What is needed:

A simple way to valorize whey into food or pharmaceutical products.

High level of waste results from agriculture products during postharvest handling (sorting, packaging), storage and transportation. Management of this waste is crucial on economic and environmental aspects.

What is needed:

A solution to deal with the daily waste at the post-harvest unit at Arcenciel.

Fruits and vegetables need to be harvested at the right maturity for best taste and right firmness to bear the postharvest handling. It is possible to objectively check the product maturity and quality by testing sugar and acid content, firmness, aroma and other parameters. However, existing tools are destructive.

What is needed:

Non-destructive cost-effective tools to do those tests (starch content; sugar content, firmness level, sugar level, acid level, etc.) in the field, help farmers to detect ripeness level of random fruits and vegetables allowing the decisionmaking and the planning of the harvest campaign. This tool would be owned by cooperatives and rented by farmers when needed.


In this category, we are looking at solutions to solve challenges from the time the products reach processors through different transformation activities including packaging and distribution.

Freekeh – crushed durum wheat at a green growth stage, is a Lebanese product and one of the world’s latest food trends. It is well known for its nutrients and health benefits. The tradition of harvesting and roasting wheat is a common practice in the southern villages of Lebanon and ensures work opportunities for many women. An important phase during the freekeh preparation relies on sorting the freekeh to eject the stones and control the quality of the grain without manual intervention to avoid contamination.

What is needed:

Design an optical sorting machine that can be used for freekeh as well as other types of grain such lentils.

A huge amount of waste is generated form agricultural products, which causes economic and environmental problems in many regions in Lebanon. Valorizing the extra waste and transforming it into new products would be helpful to avoid these losses.

What is needed:

An innovative way of processing new products on the seasonal major crop.

Olive tapenade is a delicious and healthy appetizer that Lebanese consumers appreciate. It is produced in Lebanon at manufacturers of food products. There exist large scale machines or family size tools to pit the olives for tapenade production.

What is needed:

Designing a small machine for small cooperatives to help them process their olive production while creating an olive paste with a twist.

Food industries that use cereals are dependent on fumigants, usually methyl bromide, for disinfecting the whole factory including machines and pipes and protecting them from insects. The product has been banned worldwide because it depletes the ozone layer and impacts human health severely.

What is needed:

Available alternatives to act like methyl bromide without the drawbacks.

Sumac production is on the rise; however, it is time-consuming to separate the crust from the full.

What is needed:

Creating a new tool that helps to do this task will facilitating the harvest of sumac for many farmers.

High dioxin levels are found in bread because of the combustion and the furnaces where bread needs to pass.

What is needed:

Find a possibility to replace combustion with conduction heat with an acceptable cost.

A common challenge that is currently being faced by food processors is how to control their stocks (i.e. incoming and outcoming items) as well as maintain consistency of their products. Finding a solution for this challenge (traceability) will help food processors maintain and sustain their markets through tracing products. This is good if we take into consideration the feasibility of these solutions.

What is needed:

A solution that enables small processors to control their stocks and track the quality of their products with backward linkages to the input suppliers at an affordable and feasible cost.


In this category, we are looking at solutions to solve challenges online or offline in marketing, distribution and exports of products and services.

The export of the Lebanese agriculture product is decreasing. The main problem is that these products do not meet international standards, and this is lowering the image of Lebanese agriculture products. Tracking and tracing agriculture products from the farm to retailers is crucial for agriculture producers to be able to safely deliver quality products to their consumers. Product traceability also allows these producers to respond faster to potential quality issues and guarantee a quality product.

What is needed:

Technologies that would allow producers to trace their products from farm to customer.

STAYTUNED

Application is now closed. If you’re interested in applying to next year’s edition or any other Berytech events, subscribe to #BerytechBeat and stay updated with all our upcoming competitions, programs, trainings and events.

LASTYEAR

By organizing these events under the Agrytech Program, we are proving that Lebanon can play a role in solving world challenges in the agri-food sectors.

Last year, 12 teams were admitted to the Agrytech Accelerator Batch 2 of which 5 startups have made it to the final incubation phase of the program and have receiving $40K+ in funding!

160

Applications

80

Competing Participants

10

Final Pitches

26

Teams Created

10

Industry Challenges

12

Teams admitted to the Agrytech Accelerator

30

International and local experts

3

Winners

5

Incubated Startups

GETINSPIRED

Read the stories of the teams who started at last year’s edition and got their startups rolling, joining bigger programs, getting all the support they need, and winning larger local and global competitions.


Mushtic: developing biodegradable materials from agricultural waste and mushroom

They started at last year’s Startup Weekend Mount Lebanon, organized by Berytech. Then, they took part in the Agrytech Hackathon 2018, got enrolled in Agrytech Accelerator Batch 2, and they’re currently finalists of the program. They recently won the 2019 Hult Prize Lebanon semifinals, which earned them a spot at the Hult Prize Global Accelerator program in London and kept them in the running for the first prize of $1 million in seed capital. The team also won the 3rd prize of the UN environment West Asia Award and will attend the Science, Policy and Business forum in the Fourth Session of the UN Environment Assembly – UNEA4.


IoTree: The smart solution to monitor and protect each farmer's plot

IoTree journey started during the Startup Weekend Mount Lebanon organized by Berytech, in which they won the first prize, making their way to competing in and winning the first prize of the Agrytech Hackathon 2018. They got a direct pass to the Agrytech Accelerator, and they’re currently among the finalists of batch 2. IOTree won awards at the LIRA Fund 2018 ceremony. The CEO – Nisrine El Turky got awarded as one of the top 3 women entrepreneurs of the year in the Arab countries. The startup won the Global Summit Venture Competition 2019 regional round and will be representing Lebanon in the finals in California. IOTree has just partnered with touch Telecom to work on the NB-IoT technology and received a golden pass to their Technology Innovation Program.


digimart

DIGIMART

Digimart is a B2B e-commerce platform that connects retailers or hotels and restaurants to suppliers and distributors. The platform helps distributors promote their new, regular and discounted products instantly and directly to the retailers which will save them money, effort and time. Digimart started at the Agrytech Hackathon then successfully completed the first two phases of the Agrytech Accelerator Program and is now in its final phase.


Quadra

Quadra is an optical fruit sorting machine, capable of sorting different types of fruits based on the international standards of size, color, and defects; utilizing the latest Machine Learning and Computer Vision technologies, coupled with state-of-the-art manufacturing, to provide the best levels of accuracy in grading, defect detection, and fruit handling. Quadra participated in the Agrytech Hackathon 2018 and got a free-pass to the Agrytech Accelerator after winning the NI challenge by the Berytech Fablab. Quadra successfully finished the first two phases of the Agrytech Accelerator Batch 2 and are now incubated in the last phase.


WATCHTHEVIDEO

FAQ

Yes, the venue will be accessible for participants to work from and stay in from Friday until the winners are announced on Sunday. Hot beverages and meals will be served. Participants are advised to bring with them their laptops, phone chargers and earphones, but also, a change of clothes if you’re planning on spending the night.

Read more suggestions here

The event is held at Berytech’s Innovation Park Mar Roukoz, in Mkalles (map). You can arrive by car, and there are dedicated parking spaces for you. We strongly suggest you car pool and/or use public transportation. For the field trips on Thursday, Berytech will be providing you with shuttles to the preset destinations based on the theme you are working on.

Berytech has a deal with CAREEM, use promo code BERYTECH to get 25% discount on your trip.
If you are already in one of the Berytech sites and you want to join us in Mar Roukoz, please use promo code INBERYTECH for 50% discount on your trip.

Berytech also supports CARPOLO. Download their app to use their services.

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 3-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.

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.

If you are one person and don’t have a team to apply with, you have 2 options: (1) Apply with an idea, and work on it with a team formed during the Team Formation section on Friday or (2) Apply with no idea, and join a team working on a cool idea you like during the Hackathon.

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 Hackathon.

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