The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), funded by MasterCard Foundation and Kosmos Energy, has organised the first pitch session for 30 startup businesses working toward their business refinement for the market.
The pitch session held last week saw great businesses across the agricultural value chain pitch their ideas to experts for feedback and support. The businesses covered production, processing, mechanization, storage and marketing among others in Ghana’s agricultural value chain.
The 30 business startups comprised 15 selected businesses from the KIC AgriTech Challenge Classic programme held last year. The remaining 15 were shortlisted from applications received from the AgriTech Challenge Pro opening in 2022.
A review team known in the KIC programme as the Ideation Team, made up of seasoned agricultural and industry experts, were keen on the startups’ strategic plan and approach to scalability, impact, positive revenue generation and sustainability.
The pitch event was organised at the KIC Incubation Hub in Accra.
The event had 5 universities representing their regions – University of Ghana for Greater Accra; University of Development Studies for the Northern Region; University of Business Integration and Development Studies for Upper West; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for Ashanti Region; and University of Cape Coast for Central Region. The business startups, led by faculty advisors of the universities and KIC’s Programme Officers, have been supporting the startups with coaching and mentorship while KIC provides capacity building training since last year.
Inspiring the participants, Benjamin Gyan Kesse, Executive Director-Kosmos Innovation Centre said: “We want to continue empowering young people to be innovative and feel equipped enough to venture into agriculture with the mindset that they can thrive. This is one of our missions as a Foundation”.
The Ideation Team will review the startups’ work, and based on performance some will be selected to move on to the programme’s next stage – where additional training and other startup service support will be provided for their business development.
The Ideation Team expressed their excitement over innovative business ideas pitched by the young entrepreneurs, and called for support to their businesses.
At the end of this first pitch, all participating entrepreneurs had a minimum viable product in place.
The startups that do not make it to the next stage of the AgriTech Challenge Pro are eligible to join the Kosmos Innovation Centre Fellowship, which offers networking opportunities, capacity-building programmes and coaching.
This initiative further demonstrates KIC and MasterCard Foundation’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs in their business development journey.
Journey to the KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro
In October 2022, the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) announced fifteen (15) emerging startup businesses in the agri-tech solutions space as ultimate winners of the 2022 AgriTech Challenge Classic. The fifteen selected teams progressed to the next stage, which is the AgriTech Challenge Pro.
The KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro is an acceleration programme 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 programme was developed to create opportunities for teams already formed and looking to take their business to the next stage. KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro is inclusive, offering its services to all agricultural business teams.