Kosmos Energy announces teams taking part in second-round pitch of AgriTech Challenge

Francis Obirikorang, CEO AgroCenter and ideation team member gives feedback after pitch

Kosmos Energy announced today the names of 16 business teams successfully advancing on to the second stage of the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) 2019 AgriTech Challenge, at the University of Ghana’s Biological Sciences auditorium.

The 16 businesses were selected from an initial 21 business teams who had participated in the first-round of pitches in May 2019.

The KIC AgriTech Challenge is a business competition launched to encourage young entrepreneurs to use innovation and information communication technology (ICT) to develop lasting commercial solutions to challenges faced in Ghana’s agriculture sector.

Following the first pitch round, the 16 shortlisted businesses given a six-week period to embark on further market research. During this time the business teams worked to validate their minimum viable product (MVP) development and execution plan, conduct competitor analysis, and test their proposed revenue model and product-market fit. Each of these aspects will be critically assessed by the panel of judges during the second-round pitch event.

The 16 successful businesses taking part in the second-round pitch of the KIC 2019 AgriTech Challenge, include:

  1. Farmklass, working on a low-cost, automated, solar powered drip-based irrigation system which uses soil moisture sensors to detect and predict water requirements of each plant.
  2. Athena, providing e-extension services through a farm management tool that services multiple farmers at the same time.
  3. FishConnect, developing commercial fish nursery for the growth of post hormonal treated fries.
  4. Cocoa Aboye, creating a one-stop cocoa service center for farmers to provide post-harvest processing using state of the art technology.
  5. AiScarecrow, providing farmers with an effective, low-cost and fully automated solution that scares birds from their farm lands.
  6. UGreen Technologies, introducing hydroponic technology to encourage urban farming.
  7. Agroplast, producing a biodegradable plastic from agricultural produce or wastes that has starch.
  8. Calidad, using artificial intelligence to identify and capture images of farm birds and detect abnormalities.
  9. TheremoStore, providing effective storage conditions for fruits and vegetables to reduce food spoilage and increase shelf life.
  10. Coologi, providing a mobile and Web-based online platform to connect farmers and aggregators to cold transport operators, as well as monitor and track all storage activities in real time.
  11. ClimaTek, processing and transforming coconut waste into a useful by-product using husk-fiber separator machine.
  12. Coconut Connect, creating a supply chain through a central aggregation point, to pre- process coconut to meet the tailored need of different end users.
  13. Eat Fresh, developing an organic, edible coating that preserves fruits and vegetables for long periods
  14. UFeed, using innovative organic science-based protein substitute in feed production for the local poultry industry.
  15. Sylkroad, mobile and web-based platform that maps out beekeepers and interact with them, providing tailored weather information and linkages to premium buyers.
  16. Abapa Express, providing an automated pest monitoring system that monitors all kinds of insects and trap them.

From the 16, only the most innovative teams will move on to the third and final pitch event in

September of this year. Each team will be expected to present their final business plans, focusing on business scalability, marketing and customer acquisition. In advance of this, they will continue to receive coaching and business-related training aimed at making their businesses attractive to future investors.

Joe Mensah, Vice President and Country Manager, Kosmos Energy, said: “We are seeing a new trend emerge amongst the businesses in this year’s competition. For the first time a number of the businesses are combining mechanical and technological solutions, to help improve farming practices and mitigate post-harvest losses. These are critical areas to ensure sustainability in food production and storage for the long term. We are delighted to be seeing more impressive and ambitious business solutions as the program progresses each year. The KIC attracts exceptionally bright minds and entrepreneurial business talent; we need to harness and develop them beyond agriculture to other critical sectors of the economy.”

Powered by Kosmos Energy, the KIC continues to grow in strength and scale each year offering robust, tailor-made capacity building programs and mentorship opportunities to young entrepreneurs. To date, the young entrepreneurs have received over 16 capacity building and business development courses including, financial management principles for entrepreneurs, minimum viable product marketing workshop as well as ‘Team Effectiveness: Leadership and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)Training’.