The “Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Startups” (SAIS) program is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) GmbH (German technical cooperation) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The overall aim of the program is to support the scaling up of digital solutions created by African startups.
Each year, up to five startups will be selected to participate in the nine-month Investment Readiness Program (IRP) funded by BMZ.
Startups will be selected based using seven performance indicators, assessing the level of their investment readiness;
Indicator 1: Improved managerial skills of the founding team, clearly stated and defined roles and responsibilities within the management.
Indicator 2: Updated database and availability of necessary documents for effective ‘due diligence’ (e.g. annual balance sheet, pitch deck, accounting report, forecasts, bank statements, and strategy Release).
Indicator 3: Established digital start-up user base monitoring system that provides reliable data.
Indicator 4: A market analysis and study of the startup’s competitiveness in the national market.
Indicator 5: Available catalog of measures and strategy for marketing and sales.
Indicator 6: Customer-focused digital product that is ready to market (e.g. guaranteed data security, product adaptation to target market, adaptation to national regulations where applicable).
Indicator 7: Improved customer acquisition rate.
The program offers services ranging from online training, weekly personalized coaching and mentoring sessions, integration into local hub and access to premium services.
SAIS Program structure
March 2022: Meeting for the launch of the program in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. If the Covid-19 pandemic is still rampant, the meeting may be held online.
March 2022 – December 2022: Individual support and coaching for startups.
August 2022: Mid evaluation meeting in Germany, as well as study trip to Paris, France.
December 2022: Meeting between successful startups and investors and also closure of the Program.
January 2023: Masterclass for the 2 outstanding startups in the program.
Who can apply to the SAIS program?
Applicants must meet the following conditions:
- The startup must operate and be registered in at least one of the following countries: Benin, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Burundi, Congo Brazzaville, Djibouti, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Madagascar, Morocco, Central African Republic, Niger, Mauritania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Rwanda, Chad, Tunisia, Togo.
- A certificate of registration will be requested
The startup must have a team of at least two people who are highly motivated and experienced in technical and entrepreneurial area
- The startup must possess viable digital product which has a positive impact on the incomes of its users
- The said digital product must be aligned with any of the digital technologies listed below
Market access and traction
Digital product of startup must have been launched at least six months before the application period and also provide evidence of good traction (based on earliest incomes and customers).
Business model must be highly convincing and easily understandable, stating clearly, the problem, digital solution, customer segment, revenue stream.
You can apply to the program if your innovation is in one of the following categories or technologies.
Internet of things, search engine, application (mobile), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual/augmented reality, blockchain, 3D printer, digital learning software (online training system, robotics, MOOC platform, database, open educational resources), information management system, geographic information system (GIS)/mapping, monitoring and control system, web platform, SMS services, social media, data analysis system.
Strengthening the IT skills and digital expertise of actors in the agricultural value chain (e-skills), precision agriculture, online training (e-learning), market access, digital payment, access to finance, management of agricultural value chains, e-commerce, logistics and transport, food delivery, plant and crop health, animal health, soil fertility.
How to apply for the SAIS program
1. Click here and send in your application before January 31, 2022.
2. Upload a short introductory video using the application form provided (video should be 2 minutes maximum) through an unlisted YouTube link (i.e. hidden from the public).
The video should clearly describe the problem and how your digital product is helping to solve it.
Structure your video as follows: The problem you are solving, the digital technology being applied, number of customers, with instances of positive impact on their revenues, growth expectations and prospects of the SAIS program.
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