The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), a non-profit investor in young entrepreneurs and small businesses, has held its first pitch in the 2021 AgriTech Challenge Pro Competition for 25 start-ups.
The AgriTech Challenge Pro Competition is an acceleration programme aimed at equipping existing start-ups with the right tools, funding, and support to bring their business ideas or products to market and prepare them to scale.
The twenty-five start-ups pitched their business concepts to a panel of judges comprising Ghanaian business leaders and sector experts.
For the past five months, the start-ups have been working on their business plans with Kosmos Innovation Center staff supporting them with technical assistance, business coaching and mentorship.
As part of the training, the 25 start-ups conducted extensive market research journeys throughout Ghana and engaged industry stakeholders to collect data to inform their product development.
Mr Stanley Amamu, Programmes Coordinator, Kosmos Innovation Centre, in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the start-ups were involved in various aspects of the agriculture industry, including 10 in multiple sectors of the agricultural value chain, four in cereals, three in poultry, three in fruits and vegetables, two in tree crops, two in livestock and one in legumes.
The statement said: “A panel of judges is currently reviewing the performance of the start-ups after the pitch and those start-ups who qualify will advance to the next stage of the competition, which comes with additional training and the opportunity to secure seed funding.”
It said start-ups who did not qualify for the next stage of the AgriTech Challenge Pro Competition were eligible to join the Kosmos Innovation Center Fellowship, which offered networking opportunities, capacity building programs and coaching.
Mr Joe Mensah, Chairman of the Kosmos Innovation Centre’s Board of Directors, said the Kosmos Innovation Centre continued to develop Ghana’s young entrepreneurs and challenge them to bring fresh thinking and innovation to the agricultural sector.
Mr Mensah, also the Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Kosmos Energy, said with the new AgriTech Challenge Pro Competition, the KIC was expanding its offerings to more start-ups than before.
Mr Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Executive Director, Kosmos Innovation Center, said the centre continued to adapt to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, offering a full life cycle of support to help small and medium-sized businesses scale up and become sustainable.