The month long competition finally comes to a close on the 28th of August, with six finalists vying for the top prize of ₦1 million.
This year’s edition, which marks the third installment of the initiative, saw about 2000 applicants from 16 different countries compete for the winning Agritech pitch.
The Agritech EPIC Pitch, organized by Passion Incubators and FCMB, is designed to help accelerate the growth of Agritech Startups in Nigeria, and eventually in Africa. It focuses on investing in startups that improve the agricultural value chain within the sub-Saharan region. Some of the important sub-sectors the organizers are eyeing include:
- Agricultural Finance
- Agricultural Marketing
- Supply Chain
The screening of the applications was done by the FCMB’s Agric Desk and lasted three weeks. After a careful and transparent selection process, 10 participants scaled through to the semifinals where they had to pitch to the judges.
The semifinals lasted for two days and the applicants were tasked with convincing the judges about the merits of their business and why they deserved the top prize. They also received valuable feedback from the judges.
The six finalists that emerged from the semifinals are:
- AgroHive: an agritech startup focused on helping farmers connect with skilled agricultural staff. It’s positioned as Africa’s first HR startup; and already helps over 1000 agribusinesses find the talent they need to meet their objectives.
- Farmspeak Technology: a company dedicated to improving the agricultural yield of farmers by using IoT and AI. They build devices that help farmers optimize key parts of their processes including inventory and employee management, diagnosing diseases and reducing wastage.
- Tradebuza: a cloud-based web and mobile platform used for commodities sourcing and trade by agribusinesses that run out-grower schemes. Their platform boasts near real-time visibility, efficient and secure trade, and data management for all trading parties.
- ColdHubs: a startup aimed at helping farmers extend the shelf life of their produce by providing “plug-and-play” cold rooms. The cold rooms are 100% solar-powered and can be used by small-time farmers, retailers and wholesalers to preserve their perishable foods. Their innovation promises to extend the shelf life of the perishable goods to as long as 21 days.
- Beat Drone: a multi-sector drone provider that has successfully implemented drone usage in farm processes. Their innovations have been used for spraying fertilizers, mapping farms and performing crop health assessment at improved speeds.
- Farmz2u: an organization that helps farmers improve core operational processes and decision making by providing tailored agricultural solutions. They employ data analytics to provide the solutions and also help farmers market via system integrations.
The final of the Agritech EPIC Pitch competition is slated to hold on the 28th of August 2020. Like all the preceding rounds, it will be held online.
The finalists will once again be required to pitch to some top business minds in the industry. The judges expected at the event include:
- Kudzai Gumunyu, Divisional Head, Agric Business at FCMB;
- Kola Masha, Managing Director at Babban Gona;
- Yemi Keri, Co-founder at Rising Tide Africa and
- Rishi Raithatha, Insights Manager, AgriTech Programme at GSMA
After the pitch, the judges will determine the winning participant who will take away an equity-free grant of ₦1 million. The runner up will receive ₦500,000. All finalists will, however, enjoy the following benefits:
- 1-month free access to Hub One, a co-working space owned by FCMB and managed by Leadspace.
- Access to markets and investors
Alongside the Agritech EPIC Pitch, the organizers are hosting a conference themed "Redefining and repositioning Agricultural value chains during and post the COVID-19 era." The conference will bring together global experts to discuss and share insights on Agricultural value chains. Confirmed speakers are:
- Rufus Idris, Deputy Chief of Party at USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity
- Kemi Arosanyin - Director, Africa Trade Expansion Program, World Trade Center, Miami
- Mike Ogbalu - CEO, Verve International
- Olushola Obikanye - Head, Agric Business and Structured Trade & Commodity at FCMB
Members of the tech ecosystem are encouraged to participate as attendees at both events. Click here to register.