Third Year of Kosmos Innovation Center 2018 AgriTech Challenge Takes Off with an ice-breaker event at the University of Ghana Law School
February 12, 2018 – New AgriTech Challenge participants enrolled in the third season of the AgriTech Challenge 2018 The new participants met their fellow ‘AgriTechies’ at an ice-breaker event on 22 January. It was also an opportunity for the them to meet Kosmos Energy and the KIC program executives, and partners – Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, (MEST), The Premium Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Addressing the AgriTechies Joe Mensah, Kosmos Energy’s Vice President and Country Manager, said: “This is our third round of the AgriTech Challenge and we are very excited about it! Your presence here today is an indication that the interest and participation in the AgriTech Challenge is growing. He urged them to think differently, share ideas, create partnerships, acknowledge challenges but be persistent.”
Guest speaker at the event, Prof. Tagoe, Provost, College of Education/Dean School of Continuing and Distance Education was accompanied by Prof. Kwapong, Lecturer, Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana. Tagoe emphasized youth participation in nation building and in job creation, especially through innovation in the agribusiness value chain.
Other KIC partner representatives addressed the group on a series of topics to help them understand what it takes to succeed as entrepreneurs. Kwasi Tumi, Managing Director of Premium Bank presented on attracting investor attention; Ayesha Bedwei, PwC Tax Partner and West Africa Corporate Responsibility Leader, on tailored finance capacity building workshops and Todd Holcombe, Faculty Head of MEST delivered on the outcome of incubation.
This year, Kosmos will introduce the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) fellowship/alumni program. This will be a KIC community of all past participants and partners. The objective is to create a hub of change agents and thought leadership focused on agriculture and innovation.
More than 500 young people applied to be part of this year’s challenge. Two hundred were shortlisted and interviewed, and a final one hundred twenty-one selected. It is expected that 25 to 30 businesses (groups) will be formed to compete for the ultimate prize, which includes seed funding and technical assistance.
For the next seven months, the new entrepreneurs will participate in a range of activities, including capacity building sessions and market research tours, before pitching and defending their business plans in front of a panel of judges comprised of senior experts from diverse sectors, such as agribusiness, ICT, academia and finance. As in past challenges, the AgriTechies will embark on a series of market research tours, in ten regions of Ghana to deepen their understanding of the agriculture value chain and agribusiness operations.
Another key component is the AgriTech Exchange, which comes of later this month in February, will again bring together experts from agriculture, agribusiness, finance, ICT, and academia to identify the key challenges in the agriculture value chain. The entrepreneurs will attempt to find solutions to sector challenges identified at the AgriTech Exchange.
2018 is another opportunity for Kosmos Energy to create a couple more businesses driven by Ghana’s young people through the challenge issued by the Kosmos Innovation Center. We are pleased to be a partner in building Ghana’s future.