US$500k Kosmos cash empower entrepreneurs

Key officials of Kosmos Energy, with winners and participants of the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) 2018 AgriTech Challenge

In boosting the use of innovation and information communication technology (ICT), Kosmos Energy has supported some young agriculture entrepreneurs with business support package worth over US$ 500,000.

Kosmos Energy, announced the winners of the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) 2018 AgriTech Challenge, a business competition where young develop commercial solutions to challenges within the agriculture sector.

Winners of the 2018 AgriTech Challenge are: TechShelta; which provides technological support to greenhouse farmers in Ghana and beyond to help them optimize production. Their system enables farmers to control humidity in their greenhouses, and record and monitor their operations in real time.

The second company is Profish, which also provides, “Lojaanor” meaning ’Fish Market’ in the Ga language, a platform which facilitates the sale and delivery of fish to bulk purchasers, such as restaurants and fishmongers. Their technology also improves on existing storage and delivery systems.

These winners will continue to receive support and investment from Kosmos Energy.

Speaking at the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) 2018 AgriTech Challenge awards, the Vice President and country Manager for Kosmos Energy, Joe Mensah said,
“We are delighted to be driving innovation in Ghana’s agricultural sector,” adding, “the size of the opportunity to transform the sector is demonstrated by the ongoing popularity of the AgriTech Challenge with young people and by the scale of support the programme continues to receive from government, business partners and the local community.”

He stated that company’s aim is to be a long-term partner, deeply engaged in helping our host countries create a brighter future beyond oil and gas.

Mensah was optimistic that all the funded companies will bring growth and change to the agricultural industry, which is of vital importance to this country’s economy.

Each year, Kosmos Energy awards customized prize packages to two winning businesses this includes seed funding worth US$100,000 and a year of incubation to help ensure the businesses’ success.

This year’s challenge witnessed eight finalists undergo nine months of customized skills and capacity building, individual coaching and expert mentorship to help develop their innovative ideas.

For the past three months, all finalists have had additional technical training and in-kind support to further refine both their business plans and to develop and test working prototypes of their products. This additional support from Kosmos Energy to all finalists has enabled the teams to deliver a proof of concept and made the teams investment ready.

This year, the KlC programme attracted additional investment from two of its programme partners, DAl US$20,000 and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology with US$100,000.

This is meant to fund an additional three business teams, bringing the number of business teams receiving start-up and development investment funding at the end of the 2018 AgriTech Challenge to a total of five.

The three other finalists to receive support and funding are:

Soil Solutions; which provides a “do it yourself” test kit for commercial and smallholder farmers, to help them understand the exact nutrient makeup of their soil and apply the appropriate nutrient replantation method.

The next group to receive support is Kwidex, which through its innovation system, provides a crowdfunding platform to help small holder farmers access credit.

The third group on the support package is the Growth Factor. it provides “nvoicia”, a platform that enables agribusinesses to get their invoices paid in a timely fashion to improve their cash flow.

By Joshua W. Amlanu