World Bank

The World Bank Agritech Challenge

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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!

Apply Now 


Sign Up Today For the Biggest Global Challenge On Energy Efficiency in Nairobi, Kenya

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This March, @iBizAfrica in collaboration with the World Bank and *iHub Nairobi have brought to you the Negawatt Weekend. Negawatt Weekend is part of the Negawatt Challenge, a global competition to empower communities to innovate around local energy issues. Using a multi-phase open innovation methodology, this initiative aims to transform cities into more sustainable and energy efficient places.

What is the Negawatt Weekend?

Negawatt Weekend is a two days hackathon where you will experience what it’s like to create and launch a startup idea to solve local energy efficiency challenges. Participants will form teams and compete with one another to address specific challenge statements about local energy efficiency issues. Together, team members will come up with potential solutions that they refine and pitch in front of a jury.

Who can sign up for the challenge?

Anyone interested in innovating around local energy issues. We are looking for innovators, techies, entrepreneurs, marketers and experts in the area of energy who can come together and form a winning team. To lean if you are Eligible for the Challenge, read our eligibility requirements.

Why Attend Negawatt Weekend?

  • You will Create

In just two days you will create and launch a startup idea that addresses an energy efficiency problem in Kenya! You will join a team and come together to work in a limited time frame that will help you to focus on building, measuring and learning, unlike a typical brainstorming. By the end of Negawatt Weekend you will have created a prototype solution to an energy efficiency challenge.

  • You will Learn

Negawatt weekend will give you an opportunity to meet new people who have a common interest in developing ground breaking innovation and starup ideas. It will be an opportunity to network and learn from the best innovative brains in the country.

 What Next after the Negawatt Weekend?

  • You will Advance

The teams with the most promising ideas will be eligible to move on to the next phase (the Negawatt Boootcamp) as semi-finalists, where they will be given the tools to further develop and prototype their proposed solutions.

This will be a one of a kind opportunity to bring your energy efficiency idea into life. The semi-final stage is a 1 month bootcamp period where:

  • You will get free incubation for your startup at @iBizAfrica.
  • You will be mentored by experts and successful entrepreneurs.
  • You will receive tailored training to help you build a robust product and business.

What you need to know

Dates: 21st – 22nd March 2015

Venue: Strathmore University Auditorium and @iBizAfrica Incubation Centre

Time:   Saturday 21st March:  8:00 am to overnight

             Sunday 22nd March: 8:00 am to 6:30 pm


Don’t be left out. Join the biggest global challenge on Energy Efficiency today! Sign up for the Negawatt Weekend Challenge and remember to share with friends and ask them to sign up!

 Let’s keep the conversation going: Follow @iBizAfrica , @iHub ,  #negawatt