The Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC), funded by Mastercard Foundation and Kosmos Energy, has organized the first pitch session for 30 startup businesses working towards 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. These businesses covered production, processing, mechanization, storage and marketing amongst others in Ghana’s agricultural value chain.
The 30 business startups comprised of 15 selected businesses from the KIC AgriTech Challenge Classic program 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 Program as 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.
Venue of the event
The pitch event was organized at the KIC Incubation Hub in Accra.
The event had 5 universities representing their regions-University of Ghana for Greater Accra, University for 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 the faculty advisors of the universities and KIC’s Program 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, the Executive Director of Kosmos Innovation Center said: “We want to continue to empower 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 work of the startups and based on performance, some will be selected to move on to the next stage of the program where additional training and other startup service support will be provided for their business development.
The Ideation Team expressed their excitement at the innovative business ideas pitched by these young entrepreneurs and called for support for their businesses.
At the end of this first pitch, all the participating entrepreneurs had a minimum viable product in place.
The startups who would 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 programs, and coaching.
About the KOSMOS initiative
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 Center (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 program 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.
About Kosmos Innovation Centre:
The Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) invests in young entrepreneurs and small businesses who have big ideas and want to see their country grow. The KIC was established in Ghana in 2016 with programs focused on inspiring and empowering young entrepreneurs to drive change in their own country. Since its inception, the KIC has focused on innovation in agriculture – the country’s most important sector and largest employer. More than 1300 aspiring entrepreneurs have participated in KIC Ghana programs, resulting in the creation of promising startups that have gone on to secure seed funding, additional business training, and capital investment.
About Master Card Foundation and KIC Partnership: Mastercard Foundation and KIC announced the launch of a multi-year partnership to train the next generation of young leaders and entrepreneurs in Ghana’s agriculture sector in May 2022. Other key aspects of the partnership include the AgriTech Challenge Classic, AgriTech Challenge Pro, the KIC Incubation, Business Booster, and the Blue Skies Foundation School Farm Competition.
About AgriTech Challenge Pro: The KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro is an acceleration program 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 program was developed to create opportunities for teams that are already formed and looking to take their business to the next stage.
KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro takes an inclusive approach, offering its services to all agricultural business teams in accordance with KIC’s goal of developing talent and advancing innovation in Ghana.