Fourteen business teams, out of an original 23, participating in the 2018 KIC AgriTech Challenge have qualified to move ahead to the second round of the competition. The teams presented their innovative business concepts to a panel of judges at the first pitch event in May at the ISSER Conference Hall, University of Ghana, Legon and are now preparing for the second round pitch on 28th June. Only the most promising business teams will move forward to the third and final round of the competition.
This year, the teams’ business concepts span 11 thematic areas: Farm management, Access to Information, Market Linkages; Transportation and Storage, Processing; Produce Quality and Standards; Access to Skilled Labour; Access to Technology, Access to Finance; Soil Quality and Pest Control. Challenges in each of these areas were identified during the teams’ market research activities, that saw them interact with farmers and processors. The teams also met with other players along the agricultural value chain at a two-day AgriTech Exchange workshop. In addition, the teams undertook four months of expert capacity building and a skills training programme. This helped them to shape and create their own impactful business solutions to the challenges they identified.
As part of the second pitch event, on the 28th of June, the KIC Ideation team — a panel of expert judges drawn from different development and business sectors — will review and interrogate the business concepts being developed by the entrepreneurs; assessing their viability and scalability. They will review what work has been done to improve the business concepts since the first round of critical feedback was given.
Teams will continue to receive mentorship and advice as they prepare for next stage of the competition. The 14 competing business teams will receive support through one-on-one meetings with AgriTech Consultants and further capacity building and skills training. For example, training in Team Dynamics, Marketing and Planning, Digital Marketing and Marketing Communications will be administered by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a key KIC partner, and other individual experts.
Joe Mensah, VP and Country manager for Ghana said: “We appreciate the enormity and dynamic nature of the challenges in agriculture. We are committed to using a creative mindset approach in encouraging young graduates to see the entrepreneurial opportunities in solving the sector’s problems. Kosmos is helping to create a positive impact on agriculture in Ghana by finding and nurturing home-grown commercial and sustainable solutions to these difficult problems.”