Every year, Generation Africa hosts two innovation challenges: the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition and the Pitch AgriHack Competition. Outstanding young agripreneurs with innovative business models can win $50,000 and a share of US $45,000 grand prize, respectively, to scale up their enterprises.
Both competitions attract over 10,000 applications, and winners benefit from a myriad of opportunities– including mentorship, funding, entrepreneurial support, and the opportunity to join the Generation Africa Fellowship program, a 6-month tailored mentorship and coaching program for SMEs. There is also the opportunity to win a scholarship to pursue a Master’s in Business Creation from the University of Utah in the United States of America.
The master’s program is designed for exceptional entrepreneurs who intend to expand their startups. Founders attend entrepreneurship classes, participate in practicum labs, and receive individualized coaching. The program’s faculty and mentors are prominent academics and seasoned entrepreneurs who provide thorough insights into all stages of entrepreneurial process development. This opportunity is by selection only, only available to the top 12 agripreneurs from both Pitch AgriHack and GoGettaz competitions.
Recently, GoGettaz scholarship recipients Isaac Sesi, Founder of Sesi Technologies, and Jean Louwrens, Co-Founder of De Novo Food Labs, graduated from the program. During their studies, they learned about the role of entrepreneurs in solving problems that existing products and technology have not yet solved, which can promote social change and accelerate economic growth by creating new job opportunities as well as how to prudently use existing resources in the most effective way.
Spotlight on GoGettaz Scholarship Awardees
Isaac Sesi, Founder of Sesi Technologies in Ghana
Sesi Technologies is an agri-tech company, combating poverty and hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa with affordable technologies for farmers and businesses along the agricultural value chain. Their aim is to reduce post-harvest losses in grains while increasing agricultural yields.
If grains are stored at the incorrect moisture content, they are prone to aflatoxin contamination, a major contributor to post-harvest losses. To maintain the optimum moisture level, one approach for minimizing contamination is by properly checking the moisture content of grains before storage.
His innovation, the GrainMate moisture meter, helps farmers measure moisture content in grains, while GrainMate’s warehouse monitor assists farmers and aggregators in monitoring microclimate conditions in the warehouse during storage. His latest product, the ZeroFly hermetic storage bag, can keep grains safe for three years without any contamination.
Jean Louwrens, Co-Founder of De Novo Food Labs in South Africa
De Novo Foodlabs, a biotech start-up, is utilizing the power of microbial fermentation to manufacture innovative products with key nutrients that are otherwise impossible to obtain through traditional means. These promote better health for people and for the planet. Their proprietary precision fermentation platform enables the creation of high-quality and nutrient-rich ingredients from non-animal sources, contributing to a more sustainable and ethical food system.
One of its products, Lactoferrin, is a protein found in cow’s colostrum, or first milk, that has numerous health benefits. It possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, making it a good gut health promoter. Lactoferrin enhances the body’s ability to transport and absorb nutrients. Their other product, NanoFerrin, is an animal-free protein. Like Lactoferrin, it’s natural, more efficient, and better for humans, animals, and the environment.
Bonolo Monthe, Co-Founder of Maungo Craft in Botswana
Bonolo Monthe, co-founder of Maungo Craft in Botswana is the first recipient of the Generation Africa scholarship program. Maungo Craft is a social enterprise reintegrating neglected indigenous fruits back into the food system to manufacture preservatives, jam, sauces amongst others. Today, they are the first food company from Botswana selling on Amazon, a global e-commerce platform and they have also been featured by international media houses BBC and CNN.