Participants in 2019 AgriTech Challenge presents new ideas

Young entrepreneurs competing in the 2019 AgriTech Challenge present their new business ideas to expert judges for the first time.

After five months of nurturing their new ideas, participants in the 2019 AgriTech Challenge pitched their business plans to a panel of expert judges for the first time yesterday. 

The young entrepreneurs have been coached through a series of business development courses and have taken part in in-depth market research tours in order to deepen their understanding of the challenges facing Ghana’s agricultural sector. 

At each stage, the “AgriTechies” have been encouraged to identify areas that would benefit from technology innovation and new ways of working. 

The business ideas on show, span, pest control, e-ag-extension, aggregation, urban/home gardening aquaculture, animal feed production, post-harvest loss, apiculture (bee keeping), food safety, irrigation post-harvest, poultry health, agri-finance, e-extension, bio waste processing, irrigation and cocoa post-harvest services. 

The first pitch is one of the key milestones in the KIC AgriTech Challenge journey. The business teams who survive this first pitch round will continue working on their plans, receive more coaching and training, and will progress to the second pitch event in July 2019.  

“The agricultural sector holds a lot of potential for entrepreneurs who are eager to build commercially competitive and sustainable businesses in Ghana. It’s clear from the great ideas on show today that our programme is enabling another group of young people to realise their dreams of becoming the business leaders of tomorrow,’ Joe Mensah, Vice President and Country Manager, Kosmos Energy said. 

“We are inspired by the young women who have signed up to take part in this year’s programme and encourage more women to apply to join the KIC in future. There is a bright future for women in business and there is a lot of room for innovation and creative thinking in agriculture especially, from crop harvesting to trading floor, from food production and packaging to business automation and product marketing, ’  he said. 

More than 100 young entrepreneurs from all over Ghana entered the Challenge in January 2019. 

The programme started with leadership and discipline training and a 13-day field research tour in six regions in Ghana – Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern, Ashanti, Northern and Brong-Ahafo.  

They also participated in the AgriTech Exchange, a one-day interactive and informative brainstorming session where experts in agriculture, business, and technology shared their experiences and advice.

There are currently 5 companies in incubation at the KIC. These startups were funded in the 2018 AgriTech Challenge and continue to receive business support and training, plus temporary working space.  

The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) invests in young entrepreneurs and small businesses who have big ideas and want to see their country grow.

By Times Reporter

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