Pitch AgriHack! is a new component of the AgriHack Talent program of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA). It involves:
- training sessions that will strengthen capacity of the young entrepreneurs
- a pitching competition for participating start-ups and entrepreneurs
- opportunities to consolidate, pilot or upscale their platforms and services through grants or additional incubation or acceleration
The ultimate objectives are to help develop business services offered by youth-led e-agriculture start-ups and contribute to accelerating the adoption of innovations for stronger productivity by the agrifood sector in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
It will complement CTA’s activities supporting entrepreneurship in the e-agriculture sector, notably the hackathons of AgriHack Talent program, the Apps4Ag learning opportunities, Plug and Play events, and the various support to ICT for agriculture projects.
Pitch AgriHack will thus provide support to young ICT4Ag teams and start-ups which are struggling to implement successful and effective business models. It will provide follow-up opportunities to the increasing numbers of innovators involved in hackathons or coding competitions organised throughout the ACP regions, but who do not have the opportunity to progress on their prototypes at the end of these events. It also responds to the need of existing start-ups which have already benefited from incubation, but still need acceleration support to achieve success in service implementation and generate profit. These teams and start-ups will gain stronger capacity and increased opportunities to improve the technical quality of their product, to accelerate customer validation and development, business model replicability and scalability which will help them consolidate or gain market traction and attract new funding. They will also benefit from key partners’ institutional ecosystems and opportunities.
For products which are not designed to be commercialised, the activity will offer support for technical fine-tuning and consolidating the effectiveness of its model of adoption and delivery.
After the pilot edition in 2016, it is expected that, with mobilisation of additional resources, about 500 start-ups and teams (close to 1500 young e-agriculture entrepreneurs) would have eventually been supported and many of them will be offering effective services to hundred of thousands of farmers and other agri-food stakeholders in many countries.
The apps and prototypes being submitted for the competition must be existing already; thus, they need to have working functionalities. Products developed in the framework of hackathons organised by various institutions, including CTA’s AgriHack Talent hackathons, are eligible.
Teams and start-ups that will be joining the programme will initially be identified through nomination by incubators/accelerators and other partners, and through direct registration. Among identified teams, 20 to 30 will be selected to participate in the pitching and bootcamp events for each edition. They will be selected by a team composed of representatives of ICT hubs, business angels, investors and/or professional organisations supporting ICT4Ag or agriculture entrepreneurs.
NB: Applications that have won previous AgriHack Talent hackathons (national or regional phase) AND have already benefited from a CTA grant or contract (apart from their cash prize won) are not eligible to be part of this pilot 2016 edition.
Categories of Pitch AgriHack
Two categories are available:
- Early stage platform
This is for e-agriculture applications and platforms that have already been developed but still need software or business model improvements. Participants must be able to demonstrate the business potential and functional features of their applications or platforms.
- Advanced platform
This category is for e-agriculture applications and platforms that are already in operation and generating revenues.
2016 Pitch AgriHack Key Dates
- Deadline for nomination and registration: 25 September 2016
- Announcement of selected finalists: Week of 22 October 2016
- Dates of the physical event: 22 to 24 November 2016
Venue of the bootcamp and pitching event: Nairobi, Kenya
To apply or nominate a start-up or team: go to Get Involved
The AgriHack Talent Programme is implemented in the overall framework of the Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the information Society (ARDYIS) project of CTA.