The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown measures have had a huge negative impact on food production and accessibility, leading to poverty and hunger particularly in developing countries.
According to a report, over 100 million people in Africa are facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity with the situation expected to worsen in the coming months especially between June and August 2021.
In light of this, the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program is calling for innovative solutions that will increase economic value to farmers, from seed to sale, thereby accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goals 1 & 2: no poverty and zero hunger.
The Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program is a series of multi-year, multimillion-dollar prize competitions for technological solutions that speed up the attainment of UN SDGs in Africa.
A joint initiative of the Milken Institute, a U.S-based non-profit think tank, and the Motsepe Foundation, a South African organization that is committed to eradicating poverty and improving the quality of lives in Africa and beyond, the inaugural Agritech Prize seeks African and global entrepreneurs who can innovate and deploy 4IR technologies to solve some of Africa and the world’s most pressing challenges.
The competition is structured in two phases:
- Design round: In this round, teams submit their design and business model. An independent panel of expert judges will select up to 25 teams to receive $10,000 each and advance in the competition.
- Finalist round: Selected teams build their prototypes and conduct field tests on small and medium-sized farms in Africa.
Winning teams will boost net economic value to small and medium-sized farms as they:
- Develop innovative technology solutions for any stage of the food system, from seed to sale
- Design a viable business model
- Increase farm productivity and/or decrease post-harvest loss
In addition to the chance to win cash prizes, the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program provides a rich set of opportunities for entrepreneurs.
- $1 million grand prize, with $1 million in additional prizes for the winning team
- Access to an online community where participants will receive resources, online training, team matchmaking among other benefits.
- Teams will receive a 12-week experiential learning program powered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development Idea to Market curriculum. Upon completion of the program, teams will be awarded a Stanford Center for Professional Development Certificate of Completion
- Mentoring from industry experts.
- Pitch and feedback sessions.
- Opportunity to join the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program alumni network where winning teams can access investors, data analysis, and networking opportunities.
Entries close on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Registration is free and open to all. Click here to register.
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