The World Bank AgriTech Challenge, powered by Nest, is the region’s first open innovation programme focused on agribusiness. We’re calling everyone from trailblazing startups and industry veterans to visionary teams from universities to apply*. This is your opportunity to build an actionable solution that could transform agriculture in Kenya!
Facilitated by the World Bank and Nest, selected teams will work closely with one of the region’s leading agribusiness companies to conceptualize, co-develop and prototype a product to alleviate acute challenges in the Kenyan agribusiness value chain.
* Note: The programme is open only to Kenya-based teams
What World Bank is trying to solve
As one of the largest contributors to Kenya’s economy, there is tremendous opportunity to drive value creation and impact through innovation in agribusiness. The World Bank AgriTech Challenge aims to collaboratively prototype solutions that drive productivity, accountability and operational insight in the agribusiness value chain. Here are some of the pressing challenges we’d like to work together to solve:
- How can we digitize the way in which produce is tracked from farm to shelf?To a large extent, tracking of produce and shipment is done manually and on paper-based systems. Through this programme, we hope to leverage platforms that can digitize the tracking process across the value chain, centralize data & record keeping, and mitigate the risk of errors & tampering.
- How can we facilitate seamless communication between farmers and field technicians? Farmers (outgrowers) and the staff of large agribusiness companies communicate on an ad-hoc basis over phone calls and/or through SMS. Is there a way to streamline and structure the communication using tech based solutions to better manage the value chain and resolve operational issues?
- How can we digitally monitor farm productivity and wastage, and drive insights to enhance yield? Currently, the analysis of farm productivity relies on manually synthesizing fragmented information which slows down the process of making sourcing and packaging decisions. Can we develop a “real-time” solution that allows for efficient analytics of farm performance?
- How can we digitize the monitoring of product quality, packaging and shipment across the value chain?Demand from export markets is susceptible to short term fluctuation. Is there a way to deploy an efficient solution that can track age, quality and storage of produce to allow large agribusiness exporters to intelligently manage shipments and reduce waste.
About the Programme
The World Bank AgriTech Challenge is the first open innovation programme that bridges Kenyan techpreneurs with a vertically integrated agribusiness value chain. The 2-month long co-creation activity will include integration-focused workshops, one-on-one interactions with industry veterans, and structured product development. Each team will aim to develop a prototype or customize a solution in partnership with experienced operational professionals. These will be then presented to senior executives and investors at a Demo Day for potential commercial adoption and scale.
We’re looking for multidisciplinary teams that are passionate about AgriTech. You could be a startup, a promising SME, a team of agribusiness / logistics / supply chain technologists, or even a bunch of college students with a compelling idea and the ability to execute.
- Accelerated product development:A chance to work with a leading, established industry player to build, test and potentially scale your solution
- Resources: Access to the insights, internal infrastructure and operational excellence developed by the World Bank and one of the region’s most successful agribusiness corporates
- Mentorship: One-on-one guidance from agribusiness veterans, integration consultants and startup capacity building experts
- Intros to senior executives and investors: A platform to present a your solution to senior industry executives and quality investors
Have another idea? Suggest a challenge that needs solving in your application.
Applications close July 25, 2017. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so the sooner you submit the better!
The purpose of the SingularityU East Africa Global Impact Challenge is to foster moonshot innovations and startups that positively impact the lives of people living in East Africa, with an ability to scale and impact a billion people worldwide in 10 years.
The Prize of the Challenge is free attendance to the transformational Global Solutions Program at no cost.
This year, the GSP has two big changes:
(1) climate change is the overarching theme, and
(2) we have a new collaboration with XPRIZE.
We selected the climate change theme because it has consequences for every industry, geographic region, and way of life. Even if you don’t consider yourself a climate change authority or innovator, your skill set can probably help mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re already passionate about impact or working in the impact space, you can create a moonshot innovation to address this urgent global problem.
We will not require participants to innovate in the climate change space, and welcome people from all disciplines to apply, but this theme will inform the GSP curriculum. We are looking for applicants from ANY technology or science discipline because we know a challenge as huge as climate change can only be solved within the convergence of multiple disciplines and exponential technologies.
Our collaboration with XPRIZE will give you an extraordinary opportunity to tap into the wisdom and expertise of the best minds working in this field today and their established network of funders.
Application & Assessment
- The challenge is open to residents and citizens in East Africa Countries
- You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
- Must be fluent in written and spoken English
- Able to participate for the entire GSP17 program
- Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges on 24th March 2017
- Degree of solution’s relevance to the theme of the challenge
- The regional relevance in solving the challenge in East Africa
- Feasibility, Viability and Coherence of implementing the idea
- Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
- Applicant’s leadership experience and quality, profile, achievements, and potential
Save the Dates
- Applications Open- 13th February 2017
- Applications Close – 13th March 2017
- Pitch Day Event – 23rd March 2017
- Summary of accomplishments
- An abstract of the project idea
- A video URL of the project idea
- The idea should leverage exponential technology.
What is the Idea Foundation Seed Stage Program?
The Idea Foundation Seed Stage Accelerator Program is a platform to develop and grow innovative business ideas through training, mentorship and coaching and financial support. The program is implemented by @iBizAfrica in Collaboration with IDEA Foundation. There are two intakes in a year, in April and August. The program targets innovators and leaders seeking to solve problems that affect the society in Kenya through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Who is eligible to apply?
The program is open to qualifying students and alumni of Strathmore University. We target teams comprised of individuals with competent skill sets to make the business a success. The team should include at least a visionary (CEO), Business Lead (CFO), Marketing Lead and Technical (CTO) Lead.
Why should you apply?
The program is is a great platform to accelerate the development, growth and success of startup business ideas. In the past Through this program @iBIzAfrica and IDEA Foundation have help many companies to develop, grow and succeed. These include: Purpink Gifts, Valuraha Group and Buymore LTD.
What Benefits will YOU get?:
- Develop and sharpen business skills.
- Receive mentorship and coaching from successful entrepreneurs and experts.
- Upon Successful completion, receive a certificate of completion and an opportunity to receive seed funding of upto KES. 500,000. The funding is a low interest rate .(subsidized and below market rate) repayable upon the business becoming successful or convertible to a grant. We do not take equity.
- Work-space at and access to office facilities at @iBizAfrica
What is the program Duration?
The program is 3 months long between April and June. Key Dates are as follows:
- Call for Applications-Feb 16
- Selection-March 25
- Training Starts-April 1st
- Training Ends –April 15th
- Incubation starts –April 18th
- Selection Committee Approval for Funding-June 10th
- Incubation Ends-June 17th
- Submission of Applications for Funding-June 17th
Register here to be considered for the Program!
WINNERS: Team Convifarm with Dr. Victor Kyalo (PS, Ministry of Information and Communications)
Six fervent teams of university students across the country, took part in an exciting 1 year incubation programme courtesy of a strong collaboration between Strathmore University and University of Waterloo. The six who were shortlisted from a group of 45 teams comprised of; Mkulima, Kilimo Watch, Convifarm, Greenup_africa, eVet, and Agribora. Greenup_africa won 2nd place while Convifarm bagged the winning price.
The challenge aimed at producing solutions that would address agricultural issues in Sub-Saharan Africa using mobile and social networking technologies. Mobile technologies are transforming sub-Saharan Africa through providing individuals in the region with previously unimaginable access to information and, as a result, significantly impacting the economies of the region. This has opened opportunities to develop and improve social and economic systems in ways that can truly impact the ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ in Africa. Agriculture was chosen due to the mainstay of at least 80% of the Kenyan population and therefore has a direct impact on the bottom of the pyramid masses.
“The University of Waterloo is rich on entrepreneurship, it is the one reason we were happy to join hands with them. While we chose agriculture because it is one of the businesses that provides a large revenue to the country,” Dr. Sevilla, Director at @ILabAfrica Research Centre and @IBiz Incubation Centre, explained while giving his welcoming remarks.
The business incubation was facilitated by the use of a Virtual Technology Platform – a CONRAD University of Waterloo initiative and the first of its kind to be used in Africa. The platform aims at enhancing opportunities for entrepreneurs with novel ideas to benefit from training and funding that will launch sustainable enterprises. The program also aligns to the running policy of the Jubilee government on entrepreneurs’ empowerment. This programme was also officially launched during the awarding ceremony.
Dr. Victor Kyalo – representing CS Ministry of Information and Communications, while giving the key note address lauded the students for engaging in a virtual incubation initiative that is different. He also stressed out the fact that there are numerous opportunities for information capital to be exploited in the country and such a step is commendable.
The winning team Convifarm, comprised of two students – Norman Muga from Strathmore University pursuing a course in Bachelor of Business Information Technology (BBIT) and Mburu Njunge from Kenyatta University pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BSCs) in dry land agriculture and enterprise development. Convifarm was created to bring convenience to farmers through mobile agriculture in accessing information and services across diverse enterprises along the agricultural value chain.
The team wins a fully paid trip to Waterloo, Ontario Canada where they get an opportunity of observing the Waterloo eco-system of venture creation, and to meet individuals and groups that can further assist in developing their idea.
The second team Greenup_africa comprised of three students – Peter Okwara from University of Nairobi (UoN), Samuel Kamau from Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology (JKUAT) and Hiral Shah from USIU. Greenup_africa connects farmers to farmers and eventually farmers to buyers. It helps farmers reduce the production process by cutting the middlemen and brokers. The team hopes to scale this application to the counties, helping the grassroots farmers to have control on whatever they produce by stabilizing the market and stabilizing the prices.
2nd Place: Team Greenup_Africa with Dr. Sevilla(Director @iLabAfrica) and Mr. Gathogo(SEDC Lectrurer)
The team win the option of participating in the Enterprise Development Program offered by the Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC) worth Kshs 480,000. Team members will have the chance of meeting seasoned entrepreneurs and trainers enabling the team to practically implement their business model and grow their enterprise. The team was also given the opportunity to engage the county government administration through Ms Anna Othoro who represented the office, on potential funding options for their application.
We thank all the teams for taking part in this competition and all stakeholders for the support that they offered.
The GIST Tech-I Competition is focused on young science and technology innovators who have an idea or startup. If this describes you, then apply today! Or if you know someone whose idea or young company deserves the world’s attention, please forward them this message.
22nd January 2016.
Expert reviewers will select up to 100 applicants to advance to the semi-finals, during which their pitch videos will be featured online and voted on by the public. These votes will help to select thirty finalists who will present their ventures to a global audience at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley, California. During this internationally prestigious event, these amazing up-and-coming innovators will receive intensive skills training, mentorship, and networking access to global leaders in their fields. Winners of GIST Tech-I will receive seed capital prizes and all finalists will receive up to three months of mentoring following the finals.
Mobile Technology Challenge and Virtual Incubation Program
The University of Waterloo, Canada, and Strathmore University, Kenya, are collaborating to support technology incubation programs in Kenya focused on the use of mobile and social media technologies to find solutions to socio-economic problems affecting large numbers of the population.
Mobile technologies are transforming sub-Saharan Africa. They are providing individuals in the region with previously unimaginable access to information and, as a result, significantly impacting the economies of the region. This has opened opportunities to develop and improve social and economic systems in ways that can truly impact the ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ in Africa.
The two Universities have conducted an agricultural mobile application challenge that is meant to address challenges that farmers encounter in the agricultural sector. Agriculture was chosen since this is the mainstay of at least 80% of the Kenyan population and therefore has a direct impact on the bottom of the pyramid masses.
The challenge kicked off in January of this year with a total of 45 teams applying. 28 were shortlisted in the first round. In the second round 10 were further shortlisted and then a final selection of six teams. These top six teams have undergone a vigorous incubation program that was conducted by the Strathmore University team and the University of Waterloo, Conrad Business School, Virtual Incubation Program team.
The business incubation was facilitated by use of a virtual technology platform. This is the first of its kind in Africa and it will further enhance opportunities for entrepreneurs with novel ideas to benefit from training and funding to launch sustainable enterprises. The Virtual Incubation Program aligns to the running policy of the Jubilee government on entrepreneurs’ empowerment.
There will be a ceremony to launch the virtual incubation program. During this ceremony the six finalist teams will be acknowledged. The teams represent various universities from the entire country, namely,
Masinde Muliro University, Egerton University, Nairobi University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, United States International University Africa and Strathmore University. The prizes for the first two teams will be:
- The first prize is a fully paid one-week fellowship at the University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada
- Second prize is a fully paid admittance to the 6-months Strathmore Enterprise Development Program run by the Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC).
The ceremony is scheduled for Friday 22nd January 2016 and will take place @iBizAfrica, Strathmore University, 5th Floor Student Center.