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20 teams enter first-round pitch of the Kosmos innovation center 2019 Agritech Challenge

BY: graphic.com.gh
Joe Mensah, Vice President and Country Manager, Kosmos Energy
Joe Mensah, Vice President and Country Manager, Kosmos Energy

The first 20 teams to enter first-round pitch of the 2019 Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) Agritech Challenge are to present their work to a panel of judges.

The initiative is Kosmos Energy’s flagship investment programme, contributing to the creation of a health and diverse economy in the countries where it operates.

The company currently operates in Ghana, Mauritania and Senegal.

A statement issued by the company on May 23, this year, said the first pitch is one of the key milestones in the KIC AgriTech Challenge journey.

Below is the statement:

ACCRA, GHANA, May 23, 2019 – After five months of nurturing their new ideas, participants in the 2019 AgriTech Challenge will pitch their business plans to a panel of expert judges for the first time today. The young entrepreneurs have been coached through a series of business development courses and have taken part in in-depth market research tours in order to deepen their understanding of the challenges facing Ghana’s agricultural sector.

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At each stage, the “AgriTechies” have been encouraged to identify areas that would benefit from technology innovation and new ways of working. The business ideas on show today span, pest control, e-ag-extension, aggregation, urban/home gardening aquaculture, animal feed production, post-harvest loss, apiculture (bee keeping), food safety, irrigation post-harvest, poultry health, agri-finance, e-extension, bio waste processing, irrigation and cocoa post-harvest services. The first pitch is one of the key milestones in the KIC AgriTech Challenge journey. The business teams who survive this first pitch round will continue working on their plans, received more coaching and training, and will progress to the second pitch event in July 2019.

“The agricultural sector holds a lot of potential for entrepreneurs who are eager to build commercially competitive and sustainable businesses in Ghana. It’s clear from the great ideas on show today that our programme is enabling another group of young people to realise their dreams of becoming the business leaders of tomorrow,’ said Joe Mensah, Vice President and Country Manager, Kosmos Energy.

“We are inspired by the young women who have signed up to take part in this year’s programme and encourage more women to apply to join the KIC in future. There is a bright future for women in business and there is a lot of room for innovation and creative thinking in agriculture especially, from crop harvesting to trading floor, from food production and packaging to business automation and product marketing,’ Mensah continued.

More than 100 young entrepreneurs from all over Ghana entered the Challenge in January 2019. The programme started with leadership and discipline training and a 13-day field research tour in six regions in Ghana – Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern, Ashanti, Northern and Brong-Ahafo. They also participated in the AgriTech Exchange, a one-day interactive and informative brainstorming session where experts in agriculture, business, and technology shared their experiences and advice.

There are currently 5 companies in incubation at the KIC. These startups were funded in the 2018 AgriTech Challenge and continue to receive business support and training, plus temporary working space.

About the Kosmos Innovation Center

The Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) invests in young entrepreneurs and small businesses who have big ideas and want to see their country grow. Through customized programs, led by local experts and supported by partners, the KIC provides expert training, mentorship and seed funding to support innovation. It is Kosmos Energy’s flagship investment program, contributing to the creation of a health and diverse economy in the countries where it operates. The KIC is currently active in Ghana, Mauritania and Senegal.