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KIC AgriTech Challenge: 2 startups win $ 100,000 prize

Two business startups, AiScarecrow Technologies and ProSect Feed Limited have emerged winners of this year’s Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC)’s AgriTech Challenge which ended recently in Accra.

They were awarded with a total sum of $100,000 ($5000) each as seed capital for their businesses as well as one year incubation at the just-opened KIC Incubator where they would be assisted to grow their businesses.

AiScarecrow are producers of intelligent fully automated scarecrow that allows cereal farmers to effectively deal with pest birds from their farm lands while ProSect produces organic science-based protein substitute in feed formulation for the local poultry industry with a cost saving of over 20 percent for farmers.

In all, 11 business startups mainly focused on utilising technology to improve agriculture made it to the finals of the 10-month challenge which sought to assist in making agriculture attractive to the youth.

The other nine finalists have also received a one-year business support package at the incubator where they would receive coaching, monitoring and training to ensure they grow and scale.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in Accra yesterday, Chairman, KIC Mr Joe Mensah said, Kosmos was poised to getting the youth interested in agriculture using innovation and technology to optimise all aspects of agriculture from planting to cultivation.

The challenge over the four-year period he said  had 19 startups launched, 100S of innovations connected to transform Ghana’s agriculture sector, 500 participants with over 200 created jobs and over $300,000 seed capital provided to investors.

“We would share the templates with other companies to help develop the youth to become entrepreneurs and not graduates thinking about working for others but creating jobs,” he stated.

The discipline, work ethics and confidence acquired by the participants he said, would help them to become successful entrepreneurs.

Corporate Affairs Director of Kosmos Energy Ghana and KIC Director, Mr George Sarpong urged other companies to come on board and invest in the Ghanaian youth.

“Ghanaian youth are very talented and companies need to invest in young entrepreneurs and businesses to help them scale up and reach full potential,” he said.

KIC he said was committed to nurturing the next generation entrepreneurs in the agriculture value chain to ensure a real transformation in the area.

Guest speaker for the occasion, Mr Edmund Poku congratulated the winners and participants for their efforts and urged them to continue working hard to become successful.

He said young entrepreneurs must remain focused and determined amidst the challenges they would encounter in the pursuit of their dreams.

BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE

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