Groups Support Start-ups With Grant Seeds
The Enterprise Development Centre(EDC) of the Pan-Atlantic University and the Global Entrepreneurship Nigeria (GEN) in partnership with Mastercard Foundation has held the third series of Agrohack challenges for young Nigerian start-ups to aid innovative ideas, foster food security, the adaptation of technology, and increase the value chain in the agricultural sector.
The event was held at the Enterprise Development Centre, Lagos Business School, Ajah, Lagos with six teams compromising young and budding entrepreneurs pitching their innovative agri-business ideas to the panel of judges.
The grand prize of a million naira was won by Miraco Farms for their invention of a real-time infectious disease sensor and management platform for aquaculture that sucks in and treats water that might be infected with diseases that leads to a high mortality rate of fishes in the pond.
The team lead and co-founder, Muhsin Ibrahim, expressed his delight to clinch the grand prize as the national winner, while appreciating the training and mentorship given by the EDC trainers.
While the first runner-up, Cocoaly Juice, a nutritious and healthy drink startup represented by the team lead, Ahmed Adeagbo won N750,000 and the second runner-up, Coconoto represented by the team lead, Jacob Abiodun for their invention of the machine for de-husking and deshelling of coconut.
Speaking with one of the grand prize-winning mentors and trainers, Mr. Uche Egbuna explained that they have been able to work closely with the teams and help with the scaling of their ideas to create a business that would guarantee financial returns, cut the cost of production and guide them to be a successful brand.
He asserts that the Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) Agrohack challenge programme has been able to give startups a platform to access funds, provide more leverage in the market, create jobs, and link entrepreneurs to the right market and suppliers.
The Lagos Business School Agri-Business Programme director, Prof. Ikechukwu Kelikume described the challenge has moved knowledge-driven personality into the agribusiness sector while becoming a success as it has done in the past series of the competition.
Hence, engagement in the agro space and agro start-ups, he stressed, can help to upscale the agri-food sector, as some ideas at the session show there is a Value addition space the startups are tapping into.
“We saw this youth demonstrated that we are gradually moving into value-addition space where all these things that are placed into waste are been put into use, as Agri-business holds the key to unlocking the nation’s financial potentials”, says Prof. Kelikume