Ghana’s Kosmos Innovation Center Wins 2018 P3 Impact Award

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society, Concordia and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships is pleased to announce during the 2018 Concordia Summit in New York City today, the winner of the fifth annual P3 Impact Award: Kosmos Innovation Center.

The annual P3 Impact Awards recognize leading cross-sector collaborations that feature public, private, nonprofit, or non-governmental organizations addressing societal challenges.

A public-private partnership (P3), Kosmos Innovation Center harnesses the power of technology-savvy youth to bring innovation into priority development sectors by providing business training, mentorship, and other resources for young Ghanaian entrepreneurs. Kosmos Innovation Center is a partnership between DAI Global, Kosmos Energy, and Ghana’s Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. The partnership has trained 270 youth and launched seven new startups, investing in Ghanaian youth employment and entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector.

Kosmos Innovation Center and four award finalists were featured in a special edition P3 Impact Award article series within the Darden School’s thought-leadership publication, Darden Ideas to Action. The series features leading practices and actionable insights from the winner and finalists. It will also continue to be used to develop teaching cases and other materials to share and advance best practices with other public-private partnerships around the world. In addition, Kosmos Innovation Center partnership representatives will receive a full scholarship to attend a week-long Darden Executive Education course.

The 2018 award finalists included: DREAMS Partnership, Griha Pravesh, Lake Kivu Coffee Alliance, and MIP Futuro.

Now in its third year, KIC’s incubation program provides an annual cohort of around 100 Ghanaian youth with business training, mentorship and market research tours. The program helps them to form teams and develop prototypes and after nine months pitch to receive $50,000 in seed funding and spend the next year in the MEST incubator to build their concepts into fully fledged businesses.

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Applicants enter the program as individuals without business concepts, but they leave as members of a team with a prototyped product. Since its launch in March 2016, KIC has trained 270 youth and launched seven new startups. The partners have invested $250,000 in seed funding and leveraged an additional $450,000 in seed funding and growth capital investment from external funders. The number of applicants increased from 100 the first year to 576 the third year.

Some of the startups to receive funding include: Trotro Tractor, a mobile platform that connects farmers in need of mechanized equipment to local tractor operators; AgroInnova, an enterprise management system for poultry farmers to record, monitor and track operations in real time; QualiTrace, an anti-counterfeiting solution that helps farmers authenticate agrochemicals at point-of-sale and AgroCenta, a web platform that connects small-holder farmers to markets and transport services.

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