ColdHubs won the grand prize of ₦1 million ($2600) in the hotly contested FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch.
The competition, which drew over 1,140 participants from 16 countries, came to a close on the 28th of August, 2020, with six startups competing in the final. This year’s edition of the Agritech EPIC Pitch was the third installment and received the highest number of applications. It was also the first to be held exclusively online due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions on movement.
Organized by First City Monument Bank (FCMB) in conjunction with Passion Incubator, the event is designed to build and accelerate the growth of Agritech Startups in Nigeria as well as the African continent. According to the Managing director of FCMB, Mr Adam Nuhu, the overall objective of the annual conference is to build investible, sustainable, and scalable agritech businesses that can contribute to the nation’s GDP.
The final demo lasted around 2 hours where the finalists' pre-recorded pitches were played and they had to answer questions from the judges who used a point-based system to award scores.
The eventual winner of the EPIC Pitch, ColdHubs, is an Agritech startup based in Owerri, Nigeria that provides 100% solar-powered walk-in cold rooms, christened “coldhubs” in markets and farm clusters for small scale farmers. Their innovation targets the problem of post-harvest loss (PHL), which is responsible for the loss of between 30% - 50% of the food produced in Africa.
Through the use of coldhubs, small stakeholders can extend the shelf life of their produce from 2 days to 21 days, thereby combating one of the greatest threats to food security in the country.
As a reward for coming tops, ColdHubs received an ₦1 million cash prize, access to the Hub One workspace, and networks for collaboration and innovation.
AgroHive, another Nigerian startup that helps connect agri-businesses with essential staff, came in second in the Agritech EPIC pitch. By virtue of their position, they were awarded ₦500,000.
The event also featured a conference themed “Redefining and repositioning Agricultural value chains during and post the COVID-19 era.” The conference featured global experts on who discussed and shared insight on the future of innovation in the agricultural value chain. You can find it here.