The 2014 Agribusiness for Innovation Incubator

Are you an entrepreneur and/or an innovator with a mature Agribusiness idea?

Agribusiness for Innovation Incubator programme, based in Nairobi, is developed for those entrepreneurs and their start-ups who have already come up with an idea, have validated this idea and want to evolve and take the next step towards a successful business.  Turning a matured idea into an innovative product or service is not as straight forward as it may sound, and requires careful testing of key aspects of the solution as well as piloting in real markets and with the right segments to achieve proper validation.

The programme invites 12 Agribusiness start–ups with mature ideas to work together with facilitators, mentors and like mined entrepreneurs in the same environment for 16 weeks.

The sessions and workshops are designed to assist the start-up teams analyse the real need for input and feedback from the market, customers and key stakeholders, and design their tests and pilots accordingly. It is a resident experiential programme, filled with working days where specific topics will be discussed every week.

After 4 weeks the teams present their plans for piloting and testing to a panel of business angles and their fellow peers. This panel decides which 5 start-ups will be receiving the pre-committed funding of 5,000 USD for each team, to commence the testing and piloting.

The successful teams will then continue the programme for another 10 weeks executing their pilot/test with the guidance of facilitators, advisers and mentors – while continuously sharing their experiences with each other.

The activities conclude with a presentation to potential investors, key stakeholders and the social enterprise community at large what their tests and pilots revealed, and what the next steps are for their business venture.

We are looking for innovations targeting the following verticals:

Business ideas that increase income generation for farmers

  • As suppliers to their value chain (out-grower components)
  • As agents/distributors of their products/services
  • As employees (seasonal or part-time)

Agro-processing businesses

  • Where value addition locally/regionally is increased/improved
  • Where uptake from local/regional farmers is increased or done at better unit prices

Technology innovations

  • That improve farmers access to information, inputs, services and markets
  • That improve farming efficiency and output

Improved services and products (farm inputs) for farmers

  • Training & education
  • Financial solutions (credit, insurance, mobile transactions)
  • Improved quality or affordability, e.g. to agronomic

Business ideas that improve the logistical infrastructure towards farmers

  • For improved efficiencies in distribution of farm inputs and products
  • For easier uptake by markets of farm outputs

Adoption of “modern” farming practices & products

  • Organic products
  • Fair-trade schemes

Irrigation technologies & solutions

Innovations that improve food security

  • Encouraging use of new crops or new applications of traditional crops

Business ideas that focus on improved nutrition and a healthy food culture

Eligibility:

As an entrepreneur/innovator we would like you to have:

  • A mature idea that you have already thought through.
  • The determination to solve the biggest challenges facing agriculture in East Africa
  • Achieved customer validation and proof of concept  from your targeted audience
  • Want to build a sound product/service and pilot it thereafter
  • You have team members/ or intend to have. We prefer start-ups that are more than one person
  • You and your team members must be working full time on this venture
  • You are a registered for profit company or intend to be

Application Process

Fill out the application form here.

After receiving the applications we will have Skype and in person interviews at a selection conference to determine the 12 Agribusinesses.

Key Dates

Activities Start End
Receiving Applications December 4 2013 January 26 2014 at Midnight
Selection Process January 27 2014 February 3 2014
Programme Sessions February 17 2014 March 17 2014
Pilot Pitch Planning March 18 2014 March 31 2014
Pilot Fest April 11 2014 April 11 2014
Pitch Execution April 14 2014 May 23 2014

 

Benefits

  1. The entrepreneurs and their start-ups will gain a lot of experience not only from the workshops designed by the facilitators but also from the mentors that will be assigned to them
  2. Peer to peer learning , sharing and networking amongst the entrepreneurs themselves in the cohort, as well as those experienced ones whom they will have interactions with in the various activities that will be organised by The GrowthHub.
  3. Opportunity to receive a capital investment of 5,000 USD for your start-up to build a prototype and also test your product /service. Furthermore an opportunity to present your product/service to The GrowthHub partners, investors and supporters.
  4. Access to successful entrepreneurs and speakers who will share their own experiences and networks, who will be attending all the workshops.
  5. Access to free co-working space for the full duration of the programme, where you will meet other like-minded entrepreneurs and direct access to The GrowthHub team.
  6. Dedicated support from The GrowthHub team of experts from Kenya, Denmark and US who will continually help you build your product/service and eventually start-up into a business.
  7. Brand awareness that will be as a result of the different community events, press, outreach and PR efforts that The GrowthHub will be pursuing.
  8. 16 weeks of a lifetime opportunity to actually concentrate and work in an environment with like-minded people building their ventures. Sharing success, frustrations, sleepless nights but also lots of learning and laughter.

If you fit the above criteria or know of anyone who fits these criteria and would be interested in participating in this programme, please ask them to APPLY HERE and you/they can also contact us on agribusiness@thegrowthhub.com for more information.

Please note that you will be unable to send in your application in person and hence you need to ensure that you get access to the Internet. In case of difficulties submitting the application, you may send us an email at the following address: agribusiness@thegrowthhub.com