Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), a business development incubator in Ghana, recently held a final pitch for the 2020 AgriTech Challenge Competition for 10 business startups who were shortlisted from a total of twenty three business teams who pitched their business ideas for the 2020 Agritech Challenge Competition at the KIC Business Incubation Hub in Accra.
The contestants, over the past 15 months, gained from series of business nurturing and growth activities including over 30 training workshops, a group market research tour, and team market research activities.
Senior Vice President and Head of Ghana Business Unit for Kosmos Energy, Joe Mensah, said despite all the challenges brought by Covid-19,the KIC business startups have been resilient and determined in working on their various products. According to him, the teams have developed competitive products that are capable of transforming Africa's agricultural sector. Mr Joe Mensah added that the Agritech Challenge was a way of creating jobs for the teeming youth who graduate from Ghana's tertiary institutions every year. He noted that the KIC in a bid to scale up its activities in grooming and mentoring the youth in agribusiness is partnering with other organisations for sponsorship.
Director of the Kosmos Innovation Center, Benjamin Kesse-Gyan, said the goal of KIC is to create businesses led by young people and also support small and medium sized enterprises to scale up and become sustainable. "These business startups have been resourced enough to run their businesses as expected and I believe they will do well in the AgriTech space" he said.
Business Development Lead for Oasal group, one of the contesting KIC startups, Amma Serwaa Frimpong in an interview with Agriculture in Africa Media said their product focuses on the production of ethanol from the use of the juice from cashew apples which are usually left to rot after the removal of the cashew nut. Their solution is expected to help reduce the importation of ethanol by the alcoholic beverage and the pharmaceutical industries. She added that the product will help farmers earn residual income from the sale of their cashew waste whiles also helping to cut down on greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere by cashew apples when left to rot. Amma Serwaa Frimpong stated that KIC has shaped their ideas into viable and potentially profitable businesses.
Farmasyst, a product by another team is seeking to launch a web platform that connects farmers and investors to enable farmers access timely credit ploughing, certified agro-inputs, and reliable market to scale up production and also provide a system that enhance monitoring to ensure payback of the investments. Team Lead for Farmasyst, Wisdom Zotor, said his team last year conducted a pilot test on 38 farmers who cultivated a total of 80 acres of land.
The rest of the startups are Bolstaar, Faakolore, Fruit Flour, Dairy Depot, Feed Haven, Kiayayo, Kaltivo and Kuanijom. 2 out of the 10 startups will be selected to receive a seed funding amount of US$50,000 each and a one year full incubation with monitoring and coaching at the KIC hub.
The Kosmos Innovation Center is a non-profit organisation that invests and supports young entrepreneurs and small businesses with viable ideas in the agriculture value chain. Some of the startups that have graduated from the program since its inception in 2016 continue to serve Ghanaian farmers with innovative services. In all, KIC has raised and incubated over 16 startups in Ghana.
News Source: Agriculture in Africa media | Email: email@example.com