Ghanaian Agritech Startup Crowned Seedstars World Winner, Earns $500,000 Investment

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Ghanaian agritech startup
Ghanaian agritech startup Agrocenta was crowned Seedstars World winner. Photo – Ventureburn

Ghanaian agritech startup Agrocenta has emerged as the winner of the 2018 Seedstars World competition in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Agrocenta was eventually chosen as the winner from the 65 tech startup finalists from around the world, earning a $500,000 investment from Seedstars as a result, according to Techmoran.

Seedstars brings together the best tech startup talent from around the world, with a special focus on emerging economies. Competitions take place within each of these countries, with the eventual winner given the chance to pitch to global investors at the Seedstars World competition, providing these early-stage companies with invaluable exposure.

Seedstars World, which describes itself as the world’s biggest startup competition in emerging markets, saw the Ghanaian startup chosen as the best among many impressive ideas and innovative businesses.

AgroCenta was the Ghanaian winner in their local Seedstars Accra competition. The startup has developed a solution which empowers smallholder farmers through innovative technology, reports Ghanaweb.

They have done this by connecting smallholder farmers to an online market while creating a transportation and logistics solution that enables these farmers to sell their products and deliver them seamlessly.

First prize for Ghanaian agritech startup

Pierre-Alain Masson, co-founder at Seedstars, explained why the Ghanaian agritech startup was selected as the winner from a large pool of contestants.

“Agrocenta won this prize because of the disruption they are creating in the farming industry. It’s very important that investors know that talent is everywhere and that the way startups and tech entrepreneurs in emerging markets are addressing the underlying social challenges in their home countries, be it agriculture or access to finance, basic education, healthcare or energy supply is a tremendous business trend and opportunity,” Masson said, according to Techfinancials.

The agritech firm was one of four African tech startups selected among the 12 finalists from the original group of companies representing the African continent.

The three others were GiftedMom from Cameroon, Medsaf from Nigeria, and South Africa’s EMGuidance.

E-health startup GiftedMom is a medical support platform that develops last-mile mobile health solutions geared at increasing maternal engagement in emerging markets through an artificial intelligence-based remote medical platform, according to Seedstars.

Seedstars Lagos winner Medsaf is an e-health startup focused on making the process of buying and selling medication in Nigeria’s complex health system easier and more efficient. Medsaf also provides value added services to hospitals and pharmacies such as medications, inventory management applications, and tech-enabled logistics.

South African medical tech startup Essential Medical Guidance, known simply as EMGuidance, provides a mobile app allowing doctors and medical professionals to source treatment protocols for chronic conditions and information on medication that differs from region to region.

The app therefore gives invaluable information regarding specific dosages, as well as which medicines are available and registered by the respective local medical council in a particular part of the world.

Other African tech startups recognized

A number of other African tech startups were recognized for their efforts with prizes during the Seedstars event.

SolarFreeze, a Kenyan startup that has developed solar-powered cold storage units for smallholder farmers and businesses in sub-Saharan Africa, won the Enel Africa Energy prize along with $50,000, according to Ventureburn.

The Merck healthcare prize was won by South African medical content aggregation service EMGuidance, and Nigerian startup Edves, which developed a platform for schools to share educational materials with learners and for parents to make payments to schools, won the Transforming Education prize.

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