CTA has launched ‘Pitch AgriHack 2018’ a competition to support young agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) build viable businesses and boost innovation for a more sustainable agricultural sector. Winning innovations will be awarded up to €15,000, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.
The theme for this year’s competition is “Women entrepreneurs innovate for agricultural transformation in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific”.
Pitch AgriHack 2018 is organised with the support of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and financial assistance from the Korea Trust Fund under the Korea-Africa Cooperation Programme (KOAFEC). Additional collaborators include the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Women in Tech Africa, Wennovation Huband Suguba Africa. Pitch AgriHack 2018 will shepherd selected start-ups through a boot camp process preparing them to pitch their innovations to potential investors. Selected finalists, 50 percent of whom will be women, will be given an opportunity to pitch to political and business leaders, at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2018).
Michael Hailu, Director, CTA: “Pitch AgriHack seeks to equip a dynamic workforce to drive innovation. Innovative applications of ICT are critical to the transformation of agriculture. And ICT is also an attractive entry point for youth in agriculture. To ensure that these young people, especially women, reach their full potential it is imperative that we equip them with the skills and opportunities needed to progress a sustainable and productive agri-food sector.”
Welcoming the launch of PitchAgriHack 2018, Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, AGRA Vice President Policy and Partnerships said: “Agriculture is Africa’s best bet for jobs creation for millions of our youth. PitchAgriHack is a great example of initiatives that are buying into these young people’s ideas and businesses. That’s all they need. A bit of capital and support to take off.”
Since the launch of CTA’s AgriHack Talent Initiative, at least 500,000 farmers and agricultural stakeholders have been reached by services provided through the use of applications developed in the process. Start-ups, mostly information and communications technologies (ICT) based innovations, have raised more than two million Euros from other investors and partners.
Pitch AgriHack is part of the AgriHack Talent initiative of CTA and aims at accelerating e-agriculture entrepreneurship for improved livelihoods in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Co-designed with young innovators and partners from ACP countries, it has included:
• Competitions to develop ICT applications for agriculture (hackathons)
• Capacity building, mentorship and incubation opportunities
• Promotional and networking opportunities
• Facilitation of access to grants and investments to scale-up services offered
Pitch AgriHack 2018 is open to men and women entrepreneurs leading e-agri start-ups and platforms (websites, apps, etc.) offering digital services to the agricultural sector.