Ten business startups have pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges in Kosmos Innovation Center’s (KIC) 2020 AgriTech Challenge Competition in Accra.
These startups qualified from the first and second business pitches held in December 2020 and February 2021 respectively.
Two startups out of the ten will be selected to receive seed funding amount of $50,000 each and one-year full incubation with mentoring and coaching at the KIC hub.
The ten business startups, which pitched their business ideas are; FarmAsyst, Fruitflour, Dairy Depot, Bolstaar, Kaltivo, Faakolore, Feed Haven, Kuanijom and OASAL Group.
Mr Joe Mensah, the Senior Vice-President and Head of Ghana Business Unit for Kosmos Energy, said considering the challenges brought by COVID-19, the KIC business startups were resilient and determined in working on their products.
He said the Mastercard Foundation had shown interest to partner KIC to create more opportunities for African youth.
Mr Mensah encouraged Ghanaian entrepreneurs, particularly startups to take advantage of the opportunities that came with the COVID-19 to expand their businesses and reach out to more clients.
He also expressed happiness about the high female participation in the contest, adding that the Center would continue to encourage those who participated in the Programme to share their experiences with others.
He said over the period, 30 companies had come through the competition with 10 companies generating significant revenue to develop the economy.
“We are working with other institutions, who really want to help expand the initiative,” he added.
Mr Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, the Director of KIC, said the 2020 AgriTech Challenge began in December 2019 with 150 young entrepreneurs selected from over 1,000 candidates who applied for the programme.
He said the AgriTechies, as they were called in the Challenge, over the past 15 months benefited from a series of innovative activities which include over 30 training workshops, one group market research tour and two team led market research activities to help them develop their product from scratch.
He said they were required to build and test their product with potential users.
This was a prerequisite for the 3rd Pitch (Final Pitch) and high on the list of items the ideation team looked out for in the final pitch.
He said since the inception of the programmme in 2016, four cohorts had gone through the KIC AgriTech Challenge.
Mr Gyan-Kesse said the goal of Center was to create businesses led by young people and to support small and medium sized enterprises to scale up and become sustainable.
“These business startups have been resourced enough to run their businesses as expected and I believe they will do well in the AgriTech space,” he said.
He said the final teams for the past three months were working on their minimum viable product and proof of concept .
They were shortlisted from twenty-three business teams, who equally pitched their business ideas for the 2020 AgriTech Challenge Competition.
He said some of the start-ups that graduated from the programme have served and continue to serve thousands of Ghanaian farmers with innovative products.
“KIC continues to inspire, invest and transform the youth,” he added.
Ms Amma Serwaa Frimpong, the Business Development Lead for OASAL Group, one of the participating startups told the GNA that the Center had taught them a lot about business operations.
She said the lessons helped them because before now it was just an idea but currently they have a viable product.
“KIC has shaped us to move from an idea to a viable business,” she added.
With the final pitch done, applications for the 2021 AgriTech Challenge cohorts is now open untill June 30, 2021 as deadline.