Pitch AgriHack 2018 has come and gone but the memories will also remain forever as young startups breaking grounds in the agricultural space were given the platform to pitch their businesses in front of potential investors and a distinguished judging panel as well as been awarded in the presidential summit.
African leaders present at the ceremony includes; H.E. Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda; H.E. William Samoei Arap Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya; H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President, Republic of Ghana; H.E. Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet, Prime Minister, Republic of Gabon.
The theme for the 2018’s competition was “Women entrepreneurs innovate for agricultural transformation in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific”. Of the 325 young AgriTech start-ups that applied, 26 (14 of which are led by women) were selected to take part in the final stage.
See the full list of winners below:
Category 1: Early stage (each receiving grants between €5,000 and €7,500):
- Illuminum Greenhouses Kenya, Kenya
- Fenou Packaging, Benin
- Develop Digitally, Jamaica
- Farmignite Company, Nigeria.
Category 2: Advanced (each receiving grants between €12,000 and €15,000):
- CowTribe Africa, Ghana
- Agro Innova, Ghana
- Ankora Global Services, Nigeria
- CLIN SARLU (e-agribusiness), Togo.
A special prize was also presented by Suguba Africa to Fenou Packaging from Benin as the best Francophone start-up led by a woman.
Addressing the winners, Michael Hailu, Director, CTA stated “These are entrepreneurs who have been inspired to make a difference - to help transform agriculture for future generations and to encourage young people to see the potential in farming and agribusiness. They are showing a pathway to enable the modernization of agriculture. They are shining a light on the hope that will greatly improve rural lives and make agriculture attractive and profitable to youth who are too often migrating to cities in search of better opportunities."
Edson Mpyisi, Chief Financial Economist and Coordinator ENABLE Youth at the African Development Bank also expressed how committed the AfDB is to working with youth and women to catalyse entrepreneursip, facilitating access to technologies and networks that will create a thriving agribusiness sector in Africa, increasing rural jobs and improving livelihoods. In his words, "We believe that Pitch Agrihack offers a value step-up for young entrepreneurs and we are a proud partner in the initiative.”
Fayelle Ouane, Managing Director, Suguba shared how proud they are to have to have offered investment readiness to the finalists and a few additional start-ups. "We were impressed by their energy and their innovative solutions that will help promote agriculture in ACP markets. We offered a prize to the best Francophone start-up led by a woman and look forward to continuing to work with the finalists and strengthening our relationship with CTA.”
The panel of judges comprised: Professor Ruth Oniang’o; former winner of the African Food Prize; Ethel Cofie; Founder of EDEL technology also named as one of the Top Five Women impacting IT in Africa; Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, Managing Director of the African Innovation Foundation; Chiji C Ojukwu, former Director of the Department of Agriculture and Agro-industry at the African Development Bank and Thomas Festerling; CFO and Managing Partner of GreenTec Capital Partners.
Pitch AgriHack 2018 is organised with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Suguba Africa. Other collaborators include Women in Tech Africa and Wennovation Hub.