Ten dynamic and innovative agric-tech start-ups have been selected to partake in the Agritech Investment Readiness Accelerator Program following a four-phase rigorous and competitive selection process.
The program is being hosted by Innohub in partnership with the Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative, ‘Make-IT in Africa’, (implemented by Deutsche für Gesellschaft Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Wangara Green Ventures, ABSA Bank Plc and Accra Angels Network.
The selected agribusinesses will be taken through a structured eight-week accelerator program and work closely with experienced technical business coaches to help them to become investor ready.
The accelerator will help assess the maturity level of start-ups, as well as evaluate and increase their investment attractiveness. Each start-up will also be supported logistically with a laptop as well as licence to a globally used platform that supports them to build their investment case.
The participating start-ups are AB Precision Solutions, which provides precision agricultural solutions to farmers as a service, including the deployment of drones to improve yields and reduce post-harvest losses; and AF Map Works, which uses GIS software such as ArcGIS, ERDAS, and Global Mapper for data analysis mainly rainfall or temperatures for a designated location to build up geographic maps indicating the changes in vegetation and weather condition in a certain period of time.
The rest are Agro Innova, which does research to identify challenges faced by smallholder farmers in Ghana and develops farmer-centred innovation solutions which can easily be adopted by these farmers; AIScarecrow; Agro Kings; Commodity Network; Eazz Foods; and Grow for Me.
The remaining firms are SAYeTECH, which combines the advantages of IoT and Artificial Intelligence with robust hardware, ideally suited for smallholder farms in Africa and WamiAgro, which offers input supply in the form of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides.
The program will use the blended learning approach with a focus on providing participating agribusinesses with the support to meet three clear fundamentals; strategise to assess their investment readiness and define their investment ask as well as target the kind of capital and investors suited to each unique venture; and cultivating investor relationships and agreeing on deal terms that matter.
Many start-ups appear to have strong growth potential but will inevitably reach a point where future growth requires external funding. A great fraction of these start-ups is unable to raise money from investors because they are not investor ready and lack the capacity to appeal to investors.
The start-ups are currently leveraging the use of technology to augment their business operations and models to help address everyday problems in agriculture including manufacturing, crop farming, farm machinery, food production, pesticides, mapping, marketing and public relations.
They will also be given a one-year post acceleration capital raise and coaching support.