The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), the humanitarian arm of Kosmos Energy, has kick-started a new initiative to build the capacity of start-ups in agricultural processing and its innovative technology space.
The programme, which is dubbed ‘AgriTech Challenge Pro Competition’, is an acceleration effort aimed at equipping existing start-ups with the right tools, funding and support to bring their business ideas or products to market and prepare them to scale up. The project is also targetted at creating more agriculture entrepreneurs in order to develop the country’s agric sector to be resilient and ensure food sufficiency.
For the past five months, the start-ups have received comprehensive practical training and been working on their business plans, with KIC staff supporting them with extra technical assistance, business coaching and mentorship.
As part of the training, the 25 startups selected for the competition conducted extensive market research journeys throughout Ghana and engaged industry stakeholders to collect data for informing their product development.
Chairman, KIC Board of Directors and Senior Vice President/Head of Ghana Business Unit-Kosmos Energy, Joe Mensah, stated that KIC will continue to invest in young entrepreneurs and small businesses, empower them to turn their ideas into viable self-sustaining businesses, and work alongside with them to help them scale up to reach their full potential.
“The Kosmos Innovation Centre continues to develop Ghana’s young entrepreneurs and challenge them to bring fresh thinking and innovation to the agricultural sector. With the new AgriTech Challenge Pro Competition, the KIC is expanding its offerings to more start-ups than ever before,” he said.
Executive Director, Kosmos Innovation Centre, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, emphasised that since the inception of Kosmos Innovation Center in 2016 more than 600 young leaders have been trained in business skills and entrepreneurship through participation in the AgriTech Challenge and other KIC programmes.
“Kosmos Innovation Centre continues adapting to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, offering a full life-cycle of support to help small and medium-sized businesses scale up and become sustainable,” he said.
He added that start-ups which do not qualify for the next stage of the AgriTech Challenge Pro Competition are eligible to join the KIC Fellowship – which offers networking opportunities, capacity building programmes and coaching services to entrepreneurs for free. ‘AgriTech Challenge Pro’ is an advancement of the ‘AgriTech Challenge’ that came to an end earlier this year.