The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) has voted $500,000 to support eight finalists of its 2018 AgriTech Challenge initiative.
The investment includes US$50,000 each for the top two startups that were created out of the agribusiness competition.
The companies are Profish, also known in a local Ga language as “Lojaanor” (Fish Market), a technology platform which facilitates the sale and delivery of fish to bulk purchasers such as restaurants and fishmongers, and TechShelta which provides technological support to greenhouse farmers in Ghana and beyond to help them optimise production.
While the system developed by TechShelta enables farmers to control humidity automatically in a greenhouse and record and monitor their operations in real time, Profish’s solution helps improve on existing storage and delivery systems.
The third and fourth place startups would also get seed funding of $10,000 each to enable them to operationalize their business ideas.
The Vice-President and Country Manager of Kosmos Energy, Mr Joe Mensah, said although Kosmos was providing seed funds to the top four winners, all the finalists were winners because of partners that had come on board to support.
The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a partner of the programme, is providing incubation support to the companies to the tune of $100,000, with another partner providing $20,000 each for two of the teams.
Kosmos is also providing additional support to the three other teams to go through the MEST incubation required for them to start full-blown business operations. This means that all the eight finalists will go through the business incubation.
Mr Mensah said Kosmos, a trailblazer in the country’s oil and gas sector, had to step out of its comfort and operational zone to support other sectors such as agricultural entrepreneurship because “the country’s success will translate into that of the company”.
Kosmos, he said, was still investing in the oil field, having drilled new wells since the country’s maritime boundary dispute was settled.
“We’ll continue to focus on our main business of exploration and this shows that we are here to stay. But the legacy we want to leave in the country and all the countries we operate in is the KIC,” Mr Mensah added.
A seasoned investment banker, Ms Abena Amoah, said “without innovating, we cannot leapfrog to the transformation we all desire”.
She, therefore, commended Kosmos Energy for coming up with the KIC which in three years had shown the massive impact a small group of empowered and entrepreneurial young
Ghanaians could make.
“The KIC and prior awardees such as TroTro Tractor continue to attract international attention, including winning the top prize at the P3 Impact Award last September in New York. The transformation we seek is upon us. Innovate!” she stated.
The Head of Marketing of Profish, Ms Caroline Emefa Pomeyie, said the Ideation Team (the panel of experts) of the KIC pushed them to the wire.
As a result, she said the team put in their best efforts which proved viable during the test of their minimum viable product, a stage in the competition where ideas are put into practice.
The AgriTech Challenge is a social investment programme of Kosmos Energy. The competition encourages young university graduates with varied backgrounds to apply information and communications technology (ICT) to solve some challenges in the agricultural value chain.
Source: Graphic Online