International software company Microsoft and Pangea Trust – an innovation accelerator – has announced they are starting a start-up accelerator programme to harbour in a new appreciation for innovation within African start-ups. They will be working with Seed Builders; an innovation hub based in Abudja, Nigeria, and research and technology hub.
The programme will work to help with agri-food entrepreneurs with the access they need to begin building successful businesses across the West African country.
The program, which will be launched in the coming weeks, aims to identify and support 20 promising companies with disruptive innovation and technology-driven enterprises in the early stages. They believe this will solve problems in Nigeria’s food and agriculture sector. Various innovative modules will be used to identify the gaps faced by the start-ups during this program, and then appropriate support mechanisms. These will include training, business planning, mentorships, peer learning, and technical support will be deployed to help the participating agri-tech start-ups stay afloat. All of this would be done with the goal of establishing Nigeria’s sustainable economy ecosystem as a vehicle for job creation and poverty reduction.
The programme is aimed at Nigerian agribusinesses who are looking to learn essential skills, such as upscaling, expanding their markets, and attracting investors and partners from industry experts and investors. It will run over the course of seven weeks, and here the participants will utilise interactive workshops, business support systems, consultation, and mentoring sessions.
The programme will be structured to cover themes such as “go-to market”, “product development and design”, “sales and marketing” and “investment readiness”. This has the goal of equipping the entrepreneurial cohort with the knowledge and skills they need to engage with customers and investors. The companies will also get access to Microsoft platforms such as the Founder’sHub, and the top ten startups will be selected to participate in the Global Social Entrepreneurship Programme.
Below, lists the criteria for eligible applications:
- Post-revenue firms in agriculture and allied industries started by Nigerian women and youth.
- The company must already have a working product that is generating revenue.
- The founder of the start-up must be between the ages of 18 and 35 years old.
- All candidates must have a Nigerian-based firm that addresses food value-chain possibilities.
- They should also be running a registered agricultural venture that is currently profitable and in the growing stage.
- In addition, at least one co-founder must be working on the project full-time.
The application form can be found here, and the deadline is for 15 April, 2022 at 11:59pm.