The two winners of Kosmo innovation center (KIC) Agritech Challenge, a formal competition for young entrepreneurs that aim to use innovation to develop commercial solutions to problems faced in agriculture would be receiving $50,000 each from the company. The winners Tro Tro Tractor and Ghalani would receive the seed fund to boost their operations in addition to technical assistance to help smoothen their operations. Mentorship would be provided by Meltwater Entrepreneurial school of technology along with other technical assistance. According to Kosmos Energy vice president and country manager Joe Mensah said:
We are on to something big. This program encourages smart young entrepreneurs to look at agriculture differently. With the type of innovation fostered by the KIC, our young people can make it a more dynamic sector and attractive career path with plenty of opportunity.”
Accra-based TroTro Tractor Ltd, is a GPS based marketplace connecting farmers to tractor operators within their vicinity, enabling them to request, schedule, and pre-pay tractor services while Ghalani is creating farm management software that helps agricultural aggregators, who often have to manage relationships with thousands of small-holder farmers, to efficiently organize, manage and monitor these farmers to improve productivity and reduce risks.The company was founded by Amanze Ogbonna, a Nigerian and Tabby Nanzala Mayabi, a Kenyan who met at MEST.
In addition to the funding, both startups will work out of the MEST incubator facility with full access to the MEST community and resources, as well as access to hands on expert and technical support from the MEST team.
“We’re thrilled to be working with KOSMOS Energy on the Kosmos Innovation Center and agritech accelerator. This a mutually beneficial partnership whereby each party brings their respective strengths to the table,” said Katie Sarro, managing director at MEST.
“We’re proud at what we’ve accomplished thus far: we have identified opportunities where there are gaps within the agriculture sector, worked closely with KOSMOS on market research and validation, identified the strongest teams to solve these challenges, and we look forward to continuing to mentor and nurture these promising agritech startups through funding, incubation, and business and technical support.”