The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) has awarded two startup businesses which emerged winners of the 2020 edition of its AgriTech Challenge US$100,000 to invest into development and upscale their business plan.

On top of the US$50,000 seed funds to each of the two winners, the two businesses also stand to benefit from four years of continuous business training, mentorship and incubation at the KIC, to ensure fine-tuning of business ideas and proper utilisation of the seed funds.

The two winners of the AgriTech Challenge are OASAL Group – a start-up that produces affordable ethanol from cashew apples, enabling farmers to earn additional income; and Fruitflour, which is into production and packaging of nutritious, ready-to-serve baby-food from fruit and vegetables, beat keen competition from eight other participants in the final pitch.

The OASAL Group also won a US$1,000 Team Spirit Award sponsored by Trotro Tractor, for being the most dedicated and all-inclusive membership team.

Notwithstanding, the other eight promising teams that did not win seed funding are also eligible to continue benefitting from coaching and technical assistance offered by the Kosmos Innovation Centre.

Senior Vice President and Head of the Ghana Business Unit for Kosmos Energy and Chairman of the KIC Board of Directors, Joe Mensah, indicated that participants involved in the 2020 AgriTech Challenge deeply impressed the judges (Ideation Team) with their determination to succeed despite challenges posed by the pandemic.

“I would like to congratulate the winners, OASAL Group and Fruitflour, and wish them future success. But I want them to know that this is the beginning of the most difficult aspect of their entrepreneurship career, and not a time to rest and make merry. Commitment is a virtue that you should be willing to have and live by. Through commitment comes courage and confidence, and once you have the confidence in yourself and what you do, then you know you have arrived and are ready to succeed,” he said.

Director of the Kosmos Innovation Centre, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, emphasised that Kosmos Innovation Centre will continue to support young entrepreneurs who are interested in transforming Ghana’s agriculture sector.

In line with this objective, KIC has introduced an advanced form of its entrepreneurship challenge dubbed AgriTech Challenge Pro – which is an acceleration programme aimed at equipping existing early-stage teams or AgriTech startups with the right tools, funding and support to bring their business ideas or products to the market and prepare them to scale up.

In support of this advanced programme, Cargill Ghana Limited – a multinational cocoa-sourcing and processing company – is providing technical support to the 2021 KIC AgriTech Challenge Pro exercise and has donated US$100,000 to the programme.

By Start8