Accra (Ghana) and Frankfurt (Germany), September 2019. GreenTec Capital was very happy to be present and support the annual African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) held in Accra, Ghana last week. The 2019 edition of the forum was supported by both GreenTec Capital Partners, as well as, the GreenTec Capital Africa Foundation (GCAF). As a part of the GCAF’s mission to support the African start-up ecosystem, the foundation offered a two-day investor readiness workshop for AGRF start-up attendees. The workshop was led by senior GreenTec Capital team members Peter Grouev and Aboubaker Benslimane. In parallel, GreenTec CFO Thomas Festerling reprised his role as a judge at the Pitch AgriHack start-up competition.
Since the first AGRF was held in Ghana in 2010 under the leadership of H.E. President Mills, the Forum has annually brought together Heads of State, Ministers, business leaders, development partner leadership, researchers, thought leaders, farmer organization representatives, youth entrepreneurs, and other critical stakeholders to focus on the actions and policies needed to move the continental agenda forward. Under the leadership of H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, the 2019 AGRF was attended by more than 2,000 delegates and high-level dignitaries, including current and former Heads of State and Government; Agriculture and Finance Ministers; Central Bank Governors; eminent leaders of global and regional development institutions; top industry captains from the national, regional, and global private sector; mobile network operators; tech leaders and agri-preneurs; as well as lead representatives of farmer organizations and key non-governmental implementing partners.
With the AGRF attracting the who’s who of African agriculture, both at the institutional and corporate level as well as at the start-up level, it provided the ideal forum for the GCAF to offer an investor-readiness seminar to the attending start-ups. As funding is a critical part of any start-ups journey, the investor readiness training was well attended. The two-day workshop presented an in-depth overview what investors are seeking in an investment opportunity and how to prepare their companies for the fundraising trail. The workshop was well attended by eager and motivated start-ups, with many interesting discussions arising. The team was very pleased with the workshop’s turnout and duly impressed with some of the start-ups that attended.
Peter Grouev, GreenTec’s Head of Risk Management said “I was very glad to see the range and diversity of startups pitching their solutions to address problems across the entire agriculture value change in Africa. Talented and young entrepreneurs with strong technology skills, like the ones we saw across the 22 startups part-taking in the competitions, are the driver behind the high hopes of the Green Revolution taking place in agriculture in Africa.”
In addition to the investor-readiness workshop, the GCAF also supported the AGRF by offering a $5,000 “GreenTec” prize for the Pitch AgriHack start-up competition. The 2019 Pitch AgriHack competition happened at the closing plenary session of the AGRF. The competition drew 22 finalists from seven countries to the forum, 11 of which are women-led. The finalists chosen from a pool of competing for a range of prizes, including the GreenTec Prize. Of the 22 entrants, 7 entrepreneurs took home prizes, 4 of which were women entrepreneurs. The winners from the early stage start-up pool were Profish, Ghana (€7,500), and Savanna Circuit Tech, Kenya (€5,000). From the mature stage start-ups Jaguza Tech, Uganda (€15,000); and Arinifu Technologies, Kenya (€12,500) were selected as winners. Trackball Global Technologies Nigeria won the public choice award (€5,000). The Data Analytics Award went to Foodlocker Limited, Nigeria (€10,000) and the GreenTec award was given to TechShelta Company Ltd. of Ghana (€5,000).
Michael Hailu, Director of CTA: “It’s a rewarding legacy for CTA, which has pioneered support for digital entrepreneurship among young people in the agricultural sector. Through Pitch AgriHack we have discovered self-taught youngsters, who are full of ideas and determination, and who are providing answers to some of Africa’s persistent challenges.”
The competition at Pitch AgriHack was liveli and included an impressive range of innovative applications which included software to track the production of milk from farm-to-market; a mobile-based web application to improve productivity; low cost handheld devices to detect animal diseases; an online-based food processing and delivery service; cloud-based livestock management system; using Internet of Things (IoT) devices to connect farmers to agronomists; and an application designed to provide to logistics and market services. GreenTec was duly impressed with the Pitch AgriHack’s finalists and look forward to supporting the event in the future.