Category Archives: News

Kosmos Innovation Center sets October 11 for third and final pitch of the 2018 AgriTech Challenge

Applications now open for 2019 AgriTech Challenge

ACCRA – September 17, 2018

On October 11, the eight final teams in the Kosmos Innovation Center 2018 AgriTech Challenge will pitch to judges to be selected as overall winner. The winning team will receive $50,000 seed-funding to start and grow their business.

The AgriTech Challenge tasks young entrepreneurs with developing innovative, technology-led business ideas to solve problems in Ghana’s agricultural sector. The 2018 Challenge attracted 500 applicants, which was then whittled down to 100 initial programme participants.

The eight business teams currently preparing for the final pitch on October 11 are:

1. Growth Factor, facilitating quick payments to SMEs in the agricultural sector
2. Tech Shelta, providing farm management services
3. ProFish (Lojaanor), helping connect small agricultural businesses with potential buyers
4. Soil Solution, helping farmers improve their soil quality and increase production
5. Farm Cure, helping farmers resolve challenges with pest control
6. Alpha (Rotate), providing farmers with access to skilled labour
7. AgroSol, providing processing services within the agricultural sector
8. Kwidex, providing farmers access to financial information about their business.

Over the past nine months, participants have benefited from expert training – including 20 workshops, two group market research tours, and an individual team-led market research activity to help them refine their minimum viable product.

The teams have also been working on their proof of concept since July. This is required as part of the final pitch to demonstrate their product can be built and works for potential end-users.

Joe Mensah, Kosmos Energy VP and Country Manager for Ghana, said: “The KIC business teams have come far with working on their minimum viable product and building prototypes. By making this requirement of the final teams, we ensure that the businesses are more robust and attractive to potential investors.”

The Kosmos Innovation Center is now Looking for applications for the 2019 AgriTech Challenge cohort. Applications are open until 11 November 2018 via


AgroSOL wins 4th place on President’s Entrepreneurship Challenge

One of the top participants in the 2018 AgriTech Challenge, run by the Kosmos Innovation Center, AgroSOL has won 4th place in the President’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, organised by the Ministry of Business Development.

AgroSOL is developing an innovative system to source agro-residues for processing companies who go on to use them as raw materials in their work. Agro-residues such as cocoa pods, palm kernel shells and coconut husks are most popular.

The team is currently participating in the 2018 KIC AgriTech Challenge. However, the entrepreneurial team also saw an opportunity for their business in the President’s Challenge. For this reason, they applied to be part of the competition with a new product called “GREENCOAL”. The product seeks to mitigate deforestation and environmental degradation and help reduce the reliance on wood for charcoal.

AgroSOL were among the 20 contestants shortlisted out of the over 1,700 applicants and given to opportunity to pitch. They were subsequently selected as part of the 10 best participants to pitch directly to the President for funding to run or start their business.

The final pitch of the President’s Entrepreneur Challenge took place on 25th June 2018 at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel at Accra. Richmond Nutsuglo pitched in the presence of the President, HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, the Minister of Business Development, the South African High Commissioner, the Zimbabwean High Commissioner and the president of the Greater Accra Regional branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and captains of industry amongst others.

Thanks to the KIC capacity building programmes which feature elevator pitch practice and presentation skills training, Richmond was the very first participant to pitch achieve the target 2 minutes of speaking. He did so with only 4 slides too – and was met with resounding applause.

“GREENCOAL” emerged as the 4th best business idea and was awarded with GH₵ 30,000 funding. ($6400)

About the President’s Entrepreneur Challenge

The Presidential Pitch is a project designed to offer young Ghanaian Entrepreneurs from 18 – 35 years of age the opportunity to Market their business ideas and to get financial assistance to implement such ideas. The Project is in line with His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of assisting young entrepreneurs to incubate their business ideas and improve Livelihoods. The programme is being administered by the Ministry of Business Development.

Complete Farmer wins Best Startup Award at DEMO Africa – Accra

Complete Farmer Limited – a Kosmos Innovation Center startup company – has been awarded ‘Best Startup’ at DEMO Africa in Accra. The Ghanaian leg of the pan-Africa competition was held at The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in the city on 6 July.

Complete Farmer builds and manages farms for remote owners, providing them with real-time insights on what’s happening through an online dashboard. Through the KIC, the startup has also been funded by the Premium Bank of Ghana.

Complete Farmer won an all-expenses paid trip to represent Ghana at the DEMO Africa Grand Finals. Taking place later this year in Morocco (18-19 October 2018), the competition will bring together other startups from across Africa for a final showdown!

The two other winners in the Best Startup category were data storage startup DevLess and e-health platform RedBird.

About DEMO Africa

DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of Lions Africa, a public-private alliance aimed at enhancing and deepening the start-up and innovation ecosystems of targeted fast-growing African economies. Competition winners are introduced to an audience of investors, corporate acquirers, strategic partners and global media practitioners. To date, over 30 DEMO Africa winners have ventured on to Silicon Valley though the Lions Africa innovation tour to partake in deep knowledge exchanges and engage the global innovation ecosystem.

Eight business teams selected to move onto final round of the KIC AgriTech Challenge

New businesses seek to address issues with pest control, soil quality and to provide Ghanaian farmers with better access to finance and information, and more.

Eight business teams have been selected to proceed to the final round of the Kosmos Innovation Center AgriTech Challenge programme. The AgriTech Challenge is an annual competition that encourages young entrepreneurs to take a fresh look at the agriculture value chain and to identify new areas of business opportunity.

Out of 14 teams that made it to the second pitch and elimination event on the 28th June 2018, just eight promising businesses were selected to continue. An expert panel of judges called the Ideation Team assessed the business viability of each idea presented on the day. The teams found to have the most scalable, practical and innovative business concepts were:

  1. Farm Cure, resolves challenges with pest control
  2. Soil Solution, resolves challenges with soil quality
  3. Growth Factor, provides access to finance information
  4. Tech Shelta, provides farm management services
  5. Lojaanor, provides market linkages
  6. Alpha (rotate), provides access to skilled labour and information
  7. AgroSol, provides agro-processing and market linkages
  8. Quidex, provides access to finance information.

The surviving teams will now have three months, from July to September, to develop their business concepts further and develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) before the final pitch. The objective of this is to ensure that the entrepreneurs have viable prototypes of their products ready so that they can be tested out by potential future users, customers and investors. This element was added to the programme structure in 2017 and has proved to be very useful, giving teams the opportunity to really validate their products before the final pitch. The Kosmos Innovation Center intends to continue with this measure in future AgriTech Challenge programmes. Teams are also required to build a solid marketing and scalability plan prior to the final pitch, drawing on what they have learned from their capability and skills training sessions.

Some Ghanaian and international companies and institutions were invited to attend the pitch event in June – including Puma Energy, OCP Africa, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, RMG-Ghana, KOICA-Ghana, YARA and the Netherlands Embassy.

Joe Mensah, VP and country manager for Ghana said: “We encourage corporate Ghana and other institutions to join hands with Kosmos Energy to support youth-led businesses to grow and develop, just like Premium Bank of Ghana and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) did in 2017. Together we can drive sustainable innovation in the agriculture sector and contribute to tackling Ghana’s youth unemployment challenge. By empowering one entrepreneur at a time, we are investing in a brighter future.”

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