Young and female entrepreneurs, win Pitch AgriHack 2018, grow your start-up!

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with the African Green Revolution Forum(AGRA), Women in Tech AfricaWennovation Hub (Nigeria) and Suguba (regional), is launching Pitch AgriHack 2018. The theme for this year’s edition is “Women entrepreneurs innovate for agricultural transformation in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific”.

The competition is open to both male and female founders and co-founders of e-agri start-ups, and, more specifically, to companies owners of platforms (websites, apps, devices using software, etc.) offering digital services to the agricultural sector. Applicants need to be nationals and residents of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries signatories of the Cotonou Agreement (see list in the rules). 50% of finalists will be women founders or co-founders of start-ups; discussions at the final will include issues around strengthening engagement of young women in agricultural technology innovations. Applicants must be aged between 18 to 35 years old. The finale will be held during the 2018 edition of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF 2018), organised by AGRA and other partners, in Rwanda in Septembre 2018.

Pitch AgriHack will:

  • provide a business training boot camp to selected start-ups
  • conduct a pitching competition
  • offer grants and facilitate access to investments, capacity building and promotional opportunities.

Two categories are available:

  • Early stage platform

This is for e-agriculture applications and platforms that have already been developed but that may still need software or business model improvements. Participants must be able to demonstrate the business potential and functional features of their applications or platforms.

  • Advanced platform

This category is for e-agriculture applications and platforms that are already in operation and generating revenues.

Special prizes will be awarded in each of the two categories to woman-owned or co-owned businesses.

The platforms can be websites or apps, and they must offer digital services to the agricultural sector. They can also be hardware associated with software and both will be described.

Prizes and other benefits

Up to nine winning companies (including up to five women-led companies) will receive from CTAAfDB and partners involved a cash prize of up to €15,000 (per start-up), as well as promotional support, additional capacity building and networking opportunities. Some may eventually also benefit from investments from other partners. For more information on prizes, check this page on the Pitch AgriHack blog.

Application process

Start-ups will provide details on problems addressed, the technical solution proposed, key metrics, customer segments targeted, unique value proposition compared with the competition, cost structure, revenue streams and other business strategy inputs. They will also demonstrate that they are incorporated or that they will close the process a month before the final.

To register, check the page Get Involved

Selection process

Applications will be screened by teams of business experts and investors.

Key Dates

  • Deadline for registration: 21 May 2018
  • Announcement of finalist start-ups: by 15 July 2018
  • Boot camp and pitching events (final): 03 to 07 September 2018 at AGRF 2018.

About Pitch AgriHack

Pitch AgriHack is part of the AgriHack Talent initiative of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (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) when there is a need;
  • A start-up competition (called Pitch AgriHack) targeting young companies already offering e-agriculture services;
  • Capacity building, mentorship and incubation opportunities;
  • Promotional and networking opportunities;
  • Facilitation of access to grants and investments to scale-up services offered.

The ultimate objective is to contribute to the transformation of the agricultural sector and promotion of youth employment. It is expected that eventually, best start-ups involved will offer effective services to hundreds of thousands of farmers and agricultural stakeholders ACP countries. The programme is being implemented in collaboration with key national and international institutions, multinational private sector bodies, investors, incubators.

CTA is funded by the European Union (in the framework of the ACP-EU cooperation). The AfDB is leveraging support to the activity via funds provided by the Korean Government via the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC)) facility.

Other partners involved in the organisation of the competition include Jokkolabs (international network), Impact Hub Bamako (Mali), Impact Dakar (Senegal), BongoHive (Zambia).

For more details and to partner with the programme, send a mail to [email protected]