The TechCrunch Startup Battlefield was held for the first time in Beirut. Beirut Digital District, the hub of local startups, was chosen to host the event, where startup companies pitched their ideas on stage. BuildInk the winner of the battlefield took home $25,000 and has also won a trip to Disrupt San Fransisco 2019.
Several of the visionaries in the MENA tech scene were also present like Careem’s Magnus Olsson, The Little Engineer’s Rana El Chemaitelly, Tarjama and Ureed’s Nour Al Hassan, Facebook’s Jennifer Fong, Mandali Khalesi from Toyota’s Automated Driving Mobility and Innovation, and many more.
15 companies competed in front of the judges, presented their pitches and answered challenging questions.
Those startup companies were:
Buildink is offering a revolutionary solution for construction firms, via a scalable and mobile friendly Cable Robot Concrete 3D printer and Signature Concrete Mixture. BuildInk believes that concrete 3D printing will not only open the space for unlimited architectural designs, it will also reduce the overall construction cost.
Harmonics is the leading marriage making app in MENA that not only match singles but also help them build healthy relationships. Launched in Cairo with a unique matching algorithm of one match at a time, powered by a strong team of psychologists, it managed to reach a 100,000 user base in only few months.
MaterialSolved is a data visualization software for chemical/nano compounds. MaterialSolved helps scientists and scientific illustrators create complex scientific 3D models, static illustrations, and animations in an efficient way.
MoneyFellows enables access to interest free credit and helps savers to easily reach their saving goals. MoneyFellows digitizes the traditional ROSCA model (Rotating Savings and Credit Association).
Neotic.ai created auto-traders for financial markets, giving the opportunity for everyone to use advanced technology to get higher returns on their savings. In other words, Neotic users can find ready to use, plug and play, live tested, AI powered trading strategies and deploy them directly on the broker account without writing any single line of code.
Naturansa produces high-quality protein from edible insect grown through pre-consumer food waste decomposition. The concept revolves around scalable technology that produces insect year-round which then get converted into a protein. This product aims to move into human consumption and solve major environmental problems that are present in current protein production.
IT Grapes is a precision farming platform composed by an internally developed hardware for smart monitoring of environmental data and control of in-field equipment, combined with an online hub that gives access to federated data for selected actors of the agricultural sector in order to help farmers, taking the right decisions and improve the decentralized intelligence included in the in-field devices.
IN2 is a sports and activities platform that aims to streamline the activity organization process. Whether it’s fitness, sports, music, or other activities, IN2 makes planning and participating in activities a much more enjoyable experience. It does that by empowering businesses & organizers with management tools and connecting them to the relevant stakeholders
Seez is a mobile app that reduces the time people spend searching for a car from 17 hours down to a few seconds. By fully automating your search, seez uses its AI chatbot, Cesar, to scan all sites, identify the seller, and even negotiate the price down for the user, providing the final price.
AUTOTELL is revamping driving experience, giving the right advice at the right moment, helping users reduce consumption, get the maximum return out of a car by providing the remote monitoring, detecting faults on road, have an access to an automotive Eco-system and getting instant advice whenever needed through AI personal assistant 24/7.
Synkers is mobile platform that connects students with highly qualified peer tutors on the spot. We aim to build the largest community of knowledge exchange to enhance the academic performance of future generations. By enabling a seamless cross-border transfer of knowledge and making education accessible to all, Synkers intends to change education through building an adaptive learning technology.
Verboze provides hotels with the ability to make their rooms smart such that guests can control lighting, air conditioning and other aspects of the room from in-room control tablets or their personal smartphones. Verboze integrates with any existing setup/infrastructure of a hotel, leading to a cost and time effective smart room solution.
MakerBrane is a digital and physical platform that lets anyone design, build, or trade their own playworlds. Mixing online design tools with a cross-brand, real-world construction system, it is hackable like Minecraft, physical like LEGO.
For the creatives out there, we know crafting spaces that interact with people is complicated, with a lot of technical challenges. To make everything simple, we created RGKit. It’s the world’s first modular plug-and-play gadget that transforms displays and exhibits into interactive spaces; with an easy-to-use process, to engage senses, stir emotions and create immersive experiences.
Pure Harvest Smart Farms is a regional innovator in sustainable agriculture focused on the production of greenhouse fruits & vegetables in the challenging (extreme) climates of the Arab Gulf region using world-leading greenhouse growing technologies. Specializing in vine vegetable crops (tomatoes, capsicum, cucumbers, eggplants, strawberries, etc.), Pure Harvest seeks to pioneer year-round production of affordable, premium quality fresh produce.
Speaking with the key persons at the Battlefield, they provided insights on the startup scene in the MENA region.