Kosmos Innovation Center held its final pitch for the 2019 AgriTech Challenge last Thursday, September 19, 2019 at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences auditorium. Eleven business teams vying for the ultimate seed-funding of USD 50,000 in addition to an all-expenses paid 12-month incubation package took part in the pitch event.
Looking back at the past nine months, this year’s Kosmos Innovation Center AgriTech Challenge has progressed steadily from when the eleven teams and others first pitched in May 2019. The teams had improved and refined their business plans in preparation for the final round. They have benefited from a series of market research tours across regions in Ghana  and attended the AgriTech Exchange Workshop, an interactive forum with representatives of agricultural business, where they learn more about challenges faced by their potential future customers. Each team has also benefitted from one-on-one coaching and mentorship sessions. They have also been given guidance to help them develop a strong product, most likely to win customers.
Kosmos Energy’s flagship corporate social investment program, the Kosmos Innovation Center, has made significant progress since its launch in 2016. Over the past three years, the program has championed youth entrepreneurship and the application of technology and innovation in the agricultural space.
To date, the program has successfully trained over 400 entrepreneurs and invested over USD 300,000 in seed funding.  It has  also created 14 new startup companies, all operating within key areas of agricultural value chain, with the aim of creating efficiency and improving farmers’ productivity.
The number of applications received for taking part in the program have grown to an average of 119% and the 14 businesses created have in turn raised over USD 1,000,000 in seed-funding from private and donor funders and together have created over 200 jobs.
Mr. Joe Mensah, Vice President and Country Manager of Kosmos Energy said “the Kosmos Innovation Center program provides young people with world class training and mentorship. For investors looking for locally bred, but internationally competitive teams set to drive jobs and prosperity in Ghana, you need to look no further than KIC graduates. We take this opportunity to encourage support from these Ghanaian  startups who are poised to improve the agricultural industry and the lives of people in Ghana”.