Kosmos Innovation Center announces winners of 2020 AgriTech Challenge
The Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) announced today the winners of the 2020 AgriTech Challenge, a business competition aimed at developing the next generation of young entrepreneurs in Ghana’s agriculture sector. This year’s winners are:
- OASAL Group – a new start-up that produces affordable ethanol from cashew apples, enabling farmers to earn additional income
- Fruitflour – a new start-up that produces and packages nutritious ready-to-serve baby food from fruits and vegetables
The winners of the 2020 AgriTech Challenge will receive US$50,000 in seed funding, as well as up to four years of business training, mentorship, and incubation at the Kosmos Innovation Center Hub located in Dworwulu. At the incubation center, OASAL Group and Fruitflour will learn how to turn their ideas into viable businesses. Promising teams that did not win seed funding are eligible to continue benefitting from coaching offered by the Kosmos Innovation Center.
Mr. Joe Mensah, Senior Vice President and Head of the Ghana Business Unit for Kosmos Energy and Chairman of the Kosmos Innovation Center’s Board of Directors, said: “The participants involved in the 2020 AgriTech Challenge deeply impressed me with their determination to succeed despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. The quality of the teams, their entrepreneurial spirit, and the potential of their business ideas are all testament to the work of everyone at the Kosmos Innovation Center. I would like to congratulate the winners OASAL Group and Fruitflour and wish them future success.”
The 2020 AgriTech Challenge began in December 2019 with 150 young entrepreneurs selected from more than 1,000 applicants. The AgriTech Challenge identifies young people who are interested in starting a business and provides them with a system of training, workshops and
support. The program uses coaching and market research tours across Ghana to encourage participants to take a fresh look at the agriculture value chain and identify new areas of business opportunity. The goal is to show them what’s possible, personally and professionally, if they’re willing to put in the effort.
Business training and mentorship are delivered at key stages in the AgriTech Challenge program and as part of a life-cycle of development and support. Individual competitors establish teams and participate in a series of pitch and elimination events, during which they present their ideas to a panel of judges. Seed funding is offered to the final high-potential teams who go on to enter the dedicated incubator program. The AgriTech Challenge has identified, nurtured, and funded some of the most promising youth-driven start-ups in Ghana today.
Mr. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Director of the Kosmos Innovation Center, said: “Kosmos Innovation Center will continue to support young entrepreneurs who are interested in transforming Ghana’s agriculture sector. The newly introduced AgriTech Challenge Pro is currently accepting applications.”
The KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro is an acceleration program aimed at equipping existing early-stage teams or AgriTech startups with the right tools, funding and support to bring their business ideas or products to market and prepare them to scale. The program was developed to create opportunity for teams that are already formed and looking to take their business to the next stage. KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro takes an inclusive approach, offering its services to all agricultural business teams in accordance with KIC’s goal of developing talent and advancing innovation in Ghana.
Cargill Ghana is providing technical support to the 2021 KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro and has donated US$100,000 to the program.