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Business News of Thursday, 20 February 2020

Source: OCP Africa

Three Ghanaian Agritech start-ups to participate in Impulse Acceleration Program


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Sixteen (16) startups, drawn from Africa, USA, Portugal, Brazil have been selected to partake in Mohammed VI Polytechnic University’s (UM6) Impulse Acceleration Program in Morocco, Switzerland and the USA.

The program, which begun on January 13, 2020, has three Ghanaian Agritech start-ups, Esoko, SAYeTECH and Trotro Tractor, selected among 350 applications received after the Impulse African roadshow that made a stop in Accra last August.

The program proposes a wide variety of startups with innovative products and services that have the potential to reinforce OCP Group’s capabilities to contribute to global food security cause. The second and third bootcamps of the program are ongoing in Benguerir and Lausanne.

They consist of masterclasses, demo days, a challenge with the coding school 1337, several meetings with corporates and venture capitalists as well as engagement opportunities with OCP Group and its subsidiary OCP Africa.

Commenting on the program, Adnane Alaoui Soulimani, Impulse Program Director, explained that the three-month start-up training program for Agritech, Biotech and Mining Tech startups includes best-in-class business curriculums, value-added mentoring opportunities and intensive connections with ecosystem players in Morocco, Switzerland and the USA.

According to him, the Impulse program seeks to reinforce OCP Group’s innovation capabilities, bring innovative solutions to the smallholder farmers in Africa and, to support the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems in Morocco and the rest of the African continent.

Speaking on the benefits of the program, Daniel Assare Kyei, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Esoko Limited, stated, “Esoko is excited to be selected among top-notch Agritech companies across Africa to participate in the Impulse Acceleration program.

As a company devoted to pioneering innovations in the agricultural value chains, our participation in this highly relevant acceleration program has opened before us immense opportunities to even bring more innovative digital services to Ghana and Africa’s smallholder farmers. The program has given us access to a global network of experienced mentors and relevant investors.

Our participation in this program has given us the rare opportunity to discuss partnering with OCP Africa to roll out an ambitious program that will support young Africans to become Agripreneurs, an initiative set to transform the face of smallholder Agriculture in Africa, he added.

On their part, Kamal Yakub from Trotro Tractor, said, “We are excited to be part of the Impulse Accelerator because of their approach. The alignment of their objectives to that of the selected startups makes it easy to find synergy for growth especially at this stage of our journey.

The selection of speakers, facilitators and mentors from various sectors with focus on innovation and excellence in business makes it more exciting and fun. On this journey, we are everyday meeting amazing entrepreneurs in the same value chain ready and willing to support our growth and expansion on the continent. ”

“At SAYeTECH, we design smart machines for African agriculture focusing on the pain points of the smallholder farmer. The OCP’s Impulse Accelerator is providing us mentorship with a valuable and far-reaching network of investors and collaborators to tap into to develop improved solutions for Africa’s smallholder farmers,” Theodore Ohene-Botchway, Chief Technical Officer of Sayetech stated.

The Impulse Accelerated Program call for applications ended on October 1st last year with over 350 applications received from more than 40 countries. These numbers are unprecedented for a program of this nature and demonstrate a true need to support entrepreneurs in the continent.

After a careful and robust multi-criterion selection process, the top applications were selected based on a meritocratic only approach and they have been enrolled into a world class accelerator programme.

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