Kosmos Energy announced today the winners of the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) AgriTech Challenge, a formal competition that invites young entrepreneurs to use innovation and information communication technology (ICT) to develop commercial solutions to challenges within the agricultural sector.
After nine months of competition, six business teams emerged with viable concepts worth supporting for development. Kosmos Energy will provide US$50,000 in seed funding to two of these businesses, as well as sponsor them through a twelve-month incubation period at the Meltwater School of Technology (MEST) where they will learn how to turn their ideas into profitable businesses. The KIC selected teams are:
AgroInnova, with its product ‘AKOKOTAKRA’, is an enterprise mobile and web-based management system that enables poultry farmers to record, monitor, and track their operations in real time. With this innovative and comprehensive tool, poultry farm managers will have their farms at their fingertips for more effective and efficient operations. Their product will help poultry farmers in Ghana monitor and grow their businesses.
QualiTrace has developed a product to authenticate, track, and trace crop protection products used by farmers to increase their yields. Using a mobile validation system, the product aims to ensure that farmers and consumers in Ghana can identify genuine farm inputs and quality food produce. This tool will also help to thwart counterfeiting agricultural inputs in Ghana, a problem that accounts for the loss of about $1.5 trillion globally on annual basis.
In addition to the winners of the AgriTech Challenge, four other promising business teams who competed will be funded or supported by KIC partners:
Unlimited, which provides simple livestock management software, called AniTrack, that identifies and tracks the health status of individual livestock through RFID technology, is being funded by the Meltwater School of Technology and Entrepreneurship (MEST)
Complete Farmer, which provides agribusiness solutions services for an identified niche market of individuals through a practical, personalised and customised farming experience, is being funded by the Premium Bank of Ghana, with incubation sponsored by Kosmos
Agroseal, which is a logistics and transportation service company providing a platform which connects aggregators of fruits and vegetables to large scale farmers for timely truck service, is partnering with AgroCenta – which uses an online platform that connects smallholder farmers directly to a wider online market to sell their commodities. Agrocenta found success when they participated in KIC’s market research, skills training and capacity building program.
Rent-a-farm, which provides an agricultural land rental marketplace for renters who want to access arable land, is partnering CompleteFarmer to complement the company’s agribusiness solutions services.
The winners were selected from the more than 400 young entrepreneurs who applied to be a part of the 2017 AgriTech Challenge, out of which 200 were shortlisted and interviewed, with a final 106 forming 25 businesses (teams) to compete for the ultimate prize.
Commenting on the successful program, Kosmos Energy vice president and country manager Joe Mensah said: “The second AgriTech Challenge succeeded beyond our expectations, with all six finalist business teams receiving funding or other support from the Kosmos Innovation Center and its partners. The quality of the teams, their entrepreneurial spirit, and the potential of their business ideas is testament to the work everyone at the Kosmos Innovation Center has done in its short history. We look forward to similar success in the future with the AgriTech Challenge and our new acceleration program, which is aimed at helping established small and mid-sized businesses reach the next stage of growth.” eate and apply commercial solutions to development challenges, starting with agriculture. To learn more, visit the KIC website: www.kosmosinnovationcenter.com