Pitch AgriHack, the annual competition that awards young entrepreneurs in ICTs for agriculture (ICT4Ag) is open for applications.
Now in its fourth year, Pitch AgriHack is an initiative by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) that supports ICT4Ag entrepreneurs through capacity building and funding to accelerate youth employment and agricultural transformation.
In addition to cash prizes, finalists of the competition benefit from a financial management and investment readiness bootcamp, grants and access to investments, capacity building and promotional opportunities. Selected finalists will pitch their innovations to ICT4Ag and business experts at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Accra, 3-7 September.
Since the launch the AgriHack Talent initiative over 1 million farmers and agricultural stakeholders have been reached by the services provided by competition entrants. In 2018 there were 325 applicants from 36 countries. And, of 26 finalists, 14 were women-owned companies. Winners were awarded in the presence of four Heads of States and Governments.
“We are proud that Pitch AgriHack has become such an important part of the AGRF. More importantly we are proud to see how so many of our alumni have grown. Since the inception of the AgriHack talent initiative we have worked with more than 1,000 young digital innovators with around 100 entering the final stages of the competition. Many have gone on to win additional funding close to €2 million from various players and created jobs,” said Michael Hailu, Director of CTA.
Welcoming the partnership with CTA for 2019’s competition Karim Lofti Senhadji CEO of OCP Africa: “OCP firmly believes that the agricultural sector will play a vital role in enabling young people’s access to employment in Africa. As such, the group has integrated the promotion of youth agribusiness into its strategy. In this spirit, OCP also partners with organistions thriving to accelerate entrepreneurial initiatives in agriculture, especially those promoting women like CTA’s AgriHack.”
Up to €15,000 will be awarded to seven start-ups in different categories including three new special prize categories: data analytics services, public choice and the GreenTec Prize. Interested parties are encouraged to apply by the closing date of May 24, 2019. 50% of finalists are planned to be women and this year the competition is open to North Africa for the first time.
Pitch AgriHack is part of the CTA’s AgriHack Talent initiative which is designed to help develop business services offered by young ICT4Ag start-ups and to accelerate e-agriculture entrepreneurship for growth, job creation and improved livelihoods among African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) member states. It targets start-ups founded by entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years.
Other Pitch AgriHack 2019 partners include BongoHive, Silicon Caribe, Yeesal AgriHub, Agribusiness TV, IceAddis, African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Developmentand Africa Projects Development Centre.