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Business News of Monday, 25 June 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Kosmos Innovation Centre 'Agritechies' gear up for second business pitch

Young entrepreneurs participating in the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) Agritech Challenge are leaving no stone unturned as they gear up for the second competitive pitching event.

Fourteen teams will be presenting refined business ideas to a panel of judges drawn from the agribusiness sector and academia on June 28.

The challenge is seeking innovative and technology-based business concepts that can be transformed into agribusiness start-ups.

The 14 groups competing in the second round were selected from 23 teams for their compelling proposals after the first pitching event in May.

Growth Factor, one of the groups participating in the challenge, has made it to the next round.

Itumeleng Moagi (middle) leads the Growth Factor team who have proceeded to the second round

"We can't say we were expecting it because all the teams worked very hard. We are very excited and relieved because we get to live another day," said Itumeleng Moagi, a member of Growth Factor.

What Growth Factor seeks to do is to facilitate quick payments to SMEs and suppliers in the agriculture sector for services they have provided.

"Especially for those that provide goods or services to large corporations, they are usually paid much later, maybe 30 or even 90 days after they deliver. So we're helping them get paid quicker," Moagi added.

Growth Factor, together with 13 other teams, will be expected to showcase how viable its business concept is for a place in the final round.

Members of Farm Cure present their business idea on pest control during the first pitch event

Director of the Kosmos Innovation Centre George Sarpong said participants were getting ready for the pitching event, which promises to be very competitive.

"They are currently in training mode and completing their research. They are doing practice pitching and readying themselves."

The Kosmos Innovation Centre Agritech Challenge, which is in its third year, aims to unearth innovative business ideas that seek to resolve problems in the agriculture value chain.

Some business concepts presented by young entrepreneurs this year include farm management, access to information, transportation and storage, produce quality and standards as well as soil quality and pest control.

Only the most promising agribusiness ideas will proceed to the final stage of the competition.

The winners will get seed funding of $50,000 from Kosmos Innovation Centre and its partners to start their enterprise.

So far, the challenge has established six agribusiness start-ups.