Pitch AgriHack 2021 digital agriculture competition for agritech startups (US$45,000 Prize)

Pitch AgriHack 2021 is sponsored by the global development organization Heifer International. The competition will identify and amplify efforts by young innovators to build resilience beyond COVID-19 through digital agriculture products and services. These innovations should be scalable and generate measurable impact in Africa’s food systems. Winners will receive funding and continued support to scale up their innovations to transform the agriculture sector.

This seventh edition of Pitch AgriHack invites African businesses to pitch their approach to driving technological innovation in the agriculture sector. Generation Africa, a thematic platform of the AGRF will host the competition, which is sponsored by global development organization Heifer International.

The competition provides cash prizes to innovators driving increased use of technology and job creation across the agricultural sector in Africa.

The open competition portion of Pitch AgriHack 2021 will support companies that are driving innovation in agriculture across three categories with prizes totaling US$45,000:

  • Early-stage,
  • Mature/Growth-stage,
  • Women-led

Requirements

Pitch AgriHack supports technological innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture across Africa. It targets young entrepreneurs of 18 to 40 years.

Eligibility Criteria:

Candidates are early-stage, growth-stage, or women-led AgTech companies with innovative solutions impacting smallholder farmers at scale.

Applicants should have:

  • A clear and defined description on how their solution is impacting small holder farmers
  • Strong organizational and operational structure

The applicant applying must:

  • be aged 18-40 on the day of submission to the 2021 Pitch AgriHack Competition
  • hold nationality (with official ID) from any of the 54 nations of the African Union
  • be the founder/co-founder of the enterprise represented in the competition and play an active role in its operations and leadership
  • have no criminal record related to corruption, tax evasion, financial impropriety, felony or other offences
  • Not be a previous Pitch AgriHack finalist or winner
  • must submit the application form in English
  • must agree with the Terms & Conditions

Early Stage Category

The Venture must have:

  • The ability to scale and impact a large number of smallholder farmers
  • An identifiable technological innovation that addresses the following problems for smallholder farmers:
  • Smallholder farmer productivity
  • Smallholder farmer income
  • Labour intensiveness of operations
  • Resilience
  • Access to information for smallholder farmers
  • Strong competitive advantage

Growth Stage Category

The Venture must have:

  • The ability to scale and impact a large number of smallholder farmers
  • Recorded evidence of demonstrated impact on smallholder farmers’ revenue
  • An identifiable technological innovation that addresses the following problems for smallholder farmers:
  • Smallholder farmer productivity
  • Smallholder farmer income
  • Labour intensiveness of operations
  • Resilience
  • Access to information for smallholder farmers
  • Strong competitive advantage

Benefits

A fourth invite-only category, known as the AYuTe Africa Challenge, sponsored by Heifer International, will award up to US$1.5 million in grants to scalable ventures that are already generating measurable impact for Africa’s smallholder farmers.

Six winners will be selected from the open-application categories and two winners from the invite-only AYuTe Africa Challenge category. The winners will be announced at the AGRF Summit which takes place September 6-10 in Nairobi.

Top contestants will receive a one-day boot camp in preparation for their final pitches, with winners receiving continued support as they develop and grow their enterprises.

Business profiles of the finalists will also be published in a Deal Book for circulation at the AGRF and online, while individual profiles will be made public on the genafrica.org platform and reviewed for relevance to their investor community.

Selection Criteria:

There will be a screening process to determine the top 12 startups which will be invited to attend pitch training sessions for the online virtual final pitching contest. Half of the selected startups will be women-owned startups (one official co-founder must be female). The selection is mainly based on the quality of the information submitted in the application. Additional information may be requested by the organizers.

Online Screening Criteria

  • How real is the need?
  • What problem does the solution solve?
  • How unique is the solution?
  • Does the team demonstrate an ability to execute?
  • What is the market opportunity?

Technical Assessment Criteria

  • Early Stage Category:
    • Scalability
    • Feasibility / proof of concept
    • Technical viability of the solution
  • Mature Stage Category:
    • Smallholder farmers reached
    • Profitability

Final Pitch Criteria

  • Impact on Smallholder Farmers
  • Technological Innovation
  • Business Model
  • Team
  • Scalability
  • Use-of-funds

How to Apply:
If you are interested in applying for this opportunity, kindly follow this link below to apply

Click here to apply for the Pitch AgriHack 2021

Application Deadline: August 16th 2021

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