Nineteen start-ups participating in the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) AgriTech Challenge presented their business plans to a panel of experts for the first at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) conference centre in the University of Ghana, Legon, last Thursday. The first pitch is an important milestone in the programme as it validates the viability of the business ideas put forward.
Over the past four months, seventy-five entrepreneurs have been working on exciting business ideas that seek to solve some of the key challenges in the agricultural value chain. The young entrepreneurs pitched a range of business ideas, with solutions focusing on a mix of agric-financing; smart storage systems; agronomy and operational support; livestock management and health monitoring systems; input supplies and acquisitions; and aquaculture. Teams were evaluated on the clarity of their challenge proposition and their proposed solution. Successful teams will now advance to the second pitch in June.
The panel of judges is made up of experts drawn from academia, finance and banking, ICT, the Ministry of Agriculture, and other relevant fields in the agribusiness value chain. Members of the panel are also mentors in the programme, coaching and supporting the young entrepreneurs as they develop and refine their business plans.
Joe Mensah, Kosmos Energy’s Vice President, Country Manager, and Chairman of the Kosmos Innovation Center said: “The Kosmos Innovation Center is our way of investing in Ghana’s future beyond oil and gas. We’re excited to see these ambitious start-ups continue to their journey, developing enterprising business ideas that can change the face of agriculture in Ghana for the better..”
This is the third KIC AgriTech Challenge and it grows in popularity every year. Between 2016 and 2018, applications have gone up by 476 percent.