Two apps from Kenya, one from Senegal, and one from Ghana are the winners of this summer’s mAgri Challenge—a competition designed to identify entrepreneurs developing innovative mobile apps for agriculture and agribusiness in Africa, and to provide them with resources to grow their businesses.
The four winners, along with sixteen of the best startups from infoDev’s business incubator network, will be invited to November’s Mobile Startup Camp. The Camp is designed to accelerate the growth of early-stage entrepreneurs. A five-day program of lectures and hands on workshops will provide participants with an opportunity to refine their product strategies, business models and marketing pitches, sharpen their negotiating skills and network with investors and peers.
It will also include a Demo Day – a pitching competition before a panel of industry experts and angel investors.
The six runners up will receive feedback on their applications from infoDev staff. We thank all applicants for taking the time to submit their pitches and look forward to following their progress!
infoDev received over 30 high-quality applications from a dozen African countries, making the final choices difficult.
“We were looking for prototype-stage startups in a niche market, and were surprised to receive so many applications of high quality,” says Maja Andjelkovic, Mobile Innovation Specialist at infoDev. “These entrepreneurs are showing not only the potential impact mobile agri applications can have in Africa and around the world, but also the considerable talent behind innovation driven startups on the continent.”
Members of the jury representing leading private sector players in the mobile industry were also impressed by the entries.
Ernest Akinola, West Africa Government Relations for Blackberry and Managing Partner of Right Instinct said “The winners demonstrated robust and well thought through concepts, but many more entries showed niche applications for specific needs within the agri sector. I wish the best of luck to all of the founders who entered.”
Echoing Akinola’s remarks, Arjun Thomas, Global Product Manager for Nokia Life said, “The competition unearthed very interesting applications. As these startups grow, adapting the business case to ensure steady and versatile revenue generation streams will be critical to their success.”
Jenny Åkerbäck, Department for Global Cooperation, Sida, adds that “Sweden is pleased to support African entrepreneurs who are working to bring mobile innovations to the agriculture sector on their continent and around the world.”
We would like to congratulate all of the applicants, including the four winners and six runners-up below.
- Farmerline, Ghana: uses voice and SMS to collect data, share new farming techniques, and better link smallholder farmers to other actors along the agricultural value chain. Its survey tool allows agricultural workers and NGOs to conduct immediate surveys with thousands of farmers at a fraction of the cost of traditional techniques.
- Intellect Tech, Kenya: helps farmers and insurance firms track compensation claims in real-time. The platform improves transparency and facilitates faster processing of farmers’ insurance claims.
- mLouma, Senegal: connects farmers to food purchasers by displaying real-time market prices and localizations. The service will improve the efficiency of the agriculture supply chain, helping farmers to get a better price for their produce.
- Price Calculate, Kenya: aids agricultural producers to calculate the competitive price at which they can offer their products. The app educates producers on the market structures between them and their final consumer (local or international), helping them make more informed price decisions.
- Akili Et, Kenya: facilitates the tracking of produce and better links up the stored value along the entire agriculture value chain.
- Farming Instructor, Tanzania and Uganda: provides online and offline agricultural information to farmers and their communities.
- M-Shamba, Kenya: provides useful information on both crops and livestock to farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain.
- Mobile Agribiz, DRC: uses web and mobile technologies to improve access to agriculture information and market accessibility for small farmers.
- Poultry Guide, Uganda: provides poultry farmers with information and market linkages to improve their productivity and profits.
- Text to Change mAgri, Kenya and Burkina Faso: provides best practice information on planting, harvesting, and pest and disease management to farmers.