Three climatetech start-ups from Lebanon, Egypt and Yemen won $6 000 each following a Middle East and Africa-wide hackathon presented by the Youth Climate Innovation Lab and Academy. The academy is a collaboration between the United Nations Climate Technology Centre and Network, SAFEEM, and Seedstars.
The founders of YuDA and bio-Treasure also attended the recent Cop27 conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Based in Lebanon, PTF is a waste-to-energy solution that converts plastic waste into fuel. YuDA is an Egyptian agritech venture that offers vegan leather made from toxic agriculture waste while Yemen’s bio-Treasure transforms organic waste into green energy and biofertilizer as a replacement for cooking gas.
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In total, eight climatetech start-ups from across the MENA region participated in the demo day hosted by the Youth Climate Innovation Lab and Academy.
This was part of a three-day virtual hackathon during which youth innovators – with the support of climate technology, entrepreneurship, and business experts – were able to explore design thinking tools to ideate and validate innovative solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation within selected sectors and technology fields.
More than 100 people gathered virtually to help participants flex their entrepreneurial muscles, and by the end, create business solutions for enhanced climate action in response to climate change threats to the MENA region.
From the hackathon, 12 teams were selected to participate in the Climate Innovation Academy programme delivered by Seedstars, where participants received follow-on support to implement and scale their solutions. The demo day at the end of the programme showcased the prototype solutions of the top-eight start-ups from the hackathon group.
Participants included SWM in Iraq, Sun Trip in Egypt, Drive Green in Lebanon, Solar Geek in Jordan, and Shams-i in Palestine. BioTreasure, YuDa, and PTF were the top three announced by judges Chris Lyle, head of Lebanon Advisory at CrossBoundary, and Adaeze Zita Edokwe, senior programmes manager at Seedstars.
“Addressing climate change is not an easy task and it’s true that a number of factors and stakeholders must come together to solve it,” remarked Mohamad Fanous, programme manager at Seedstars.
“But working with start-ups like the ones in our programme brings a lot of optimism to the table. It’s amazing to see the youth doing their part, creating innovative solutions to help tackle mankind’s most pressing problem.”