Concluding three months of training, mentorship, and legal support, Jusoor Agriculture Accelerator was concluded with a Demo Day on April 6th, where 33 teams pitched their ideas to a group of seasoned judges from all across the entrepreneurial investment landscape.
The participating teams pitched their business ideas revolving around Agri Production, Agri Trading, Agri Finance, Agriculture; Technology and Related Services, Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Horticulture, and Apiculture. The accelerator aimed to support these start-ups in addressing solutions to challenges faced in the agriculture sector in Jordan and Lebanon. Out of 33 teams, Jusoor Agriculture Accelerator awarded the six winning teams - three from Lebanon and three from Jordan - an equity-free seed money prize worth $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 for first, second, and third places.
The first prize was awarded to Mahsoul from Jordan, and Crowd Farming from Lebanon, both of which received $5000 to build a sustainable impact in their businesses. Mahsoul is the first company in Jordan to work on the computerization of the purchase and sale of crops by connecting the retailer with the farmer directly through an app. The team shared their ideas of modernizing the traditional way of promoting goods in a method that is more efficient, less expensive, and more practical. While Mahsoul implemented technology with agricultural services, Crowd Farming thrived in the same category as they presented an innovative idea of their electronic platform that helps agricultural projects secure funding via crowdfunding in the form of microloans. The team of seasoned veterans aims to create a more sustainable agricultural sector in Lebanon, especially after the recent economic crisis the country is facing.
The second prize was awarded to World of Plants from Jordan, and Spreadly from Lebanon. Both of them won $2000. World of Plants ventured into the world of using artificial intelligence to diagnose plant diseases, allowing farmers to overcome one of the main problems in the agriculture world. Spreadly is a Lebanese producer of nut-based spreads. Each Spreadly product is made only of 2 to 3 natural ingredients, free of preservatives and dairy.
The third and final prize of $1000 belonged to Khudretna and Bobplants. Both of these teams are Syrians based in Jordan and Lebanon. Khudretna is an aquaponic farming system that saves the farmer a lot of money and effort. Bobplants presented their idea of cultivating plants that are rarely cultivated in Lebanon, which the team thinks would encourage local farming instead of relying on imports, especially in Lebanon.
These six innovative startups will enjoy an opportunity to create a sustainable agricultural landscape in Jordan and Lebanon. This project was open to Syrian, Lebanese, and Jordanian nationals living in Jordan or Lebanon who have a plan to support their communities that promotes healthy practices and profitable and environmentally sound methods.
We are so proud to announce the six winners of our first-ever Agriculture Accelerator. This three-month intensive program has demonstrated that there is real talent in the region and that we need to continue supporting local entrepreneurs, and provide them with the necessary tools and knowledge to grow their businesses.
Grace Atkinson, Jusoor’s Executive Director.
Jusoor’s expertise was particularly relevant in leading this accelerator program. Since 2014, Jusoor has enabled refugee & host community-led businesses in the MENA and has supported entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses by connecting its vast network of experienced entrepreneurs and access to all areas of business support to overcome legal obstacles, scale-up, or access funding. Its flagship regional program The Startup Roadshow has been building business capacity for 3+ years in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, connecting like-minded entrepreneurs and equipping them with the tools and best practices to succeed. The program went 100% online during the COVID-19 Pandemic and served over 2,000 Entrepreneurs in 2021 alone.