Are you a Smart Agriculture startup founder? Do you have an innovation that has the potential to promote climate-smart agri-practices in Africa? Are you eager to scale in Senegal?
Then the GreenAPI: Smart Agriculture Program is looking for you!
The ‘GreenAPI: Smart Agriculture Program’ is jointly implemented by Make-IT in Africa and Orange Middle East & Africa. It aims to improve agricultural practices in Africa by creating wider and better access to smart agriculture services for smallholder farmers, companies, and other value chain actors.
Specifically, the ‘GreenAPI Program: Smart Agriculture’ leverages Digital Agricultural Platforms (DAPs) to bundle smart agricultural products and services and thereby allow smallholder farmers to access a full range of services with the potential to improve their productivity and livelihood through a one-stop shop.
Make-IT in Africa and Orange have recognized DAPs as a logical path to improve market access for Smart Agriculture startups and scale their innovations through integrating their products or services with platforms.
The GreenAPI: Smart Agriculture Program therefore facilitates business partnerships between Smart Agriculture startups and DAPs. The program empowers startups to integrate their products and services with DAPs by providing them with all the skills required to plan and implement the integration and offering them a unique opportunity to be matched with a DAP to design and pilot a joint service offering with a long-term viable business partnership as a result.
What we are looking for in applicants
The program will select up to 15 Smart Agriculture startups from Senegal and the ECOWAS region + Cameroon.
This unique program focuses on facilitating business partnerships between DAPs and Smart Agriculture startups and therefore, we look for growth-stage startups with exceptional profiles:
- They aim to maximize the impact on climate-smart agriculture and the livelihood of smallholder farmers in Africa. We therefore look for highly innovative digital products and services that increase the productivity and income of smallholder farmers, promote climate-smart agricultural practices, and improve resilience to climate change.
- They aim to create win-win business partnerships between DAPs and startups. We therefore look for tested and validated digital agricultural innovations that offer a unique value proposition to the DAPs and can demonstrate an established product-market fit.
- They aim to create value for smallholder farmers through bundling products and services. They, therefore, look for startups open and committed to integrating their digital product and services as 3rd party suppliers on the mLouma platform and who can demonstrate willingness and capacity to implement requirements for cooperation.
Focus areas of services the program is looking for are:
- Analysis of meteorological data: Digital solutions provide weather data, make predictions, and help farmers make decisions throughout the life cycle.
- Soil analysis: services that determine the amount of available plant nutrients in the soil, monitor soil quality, and help farmers in Irrigation management, fertilization optimization, or related.
- Financial access: companies that offer financing for smallholder farmers or through cooperatives to buy inputs, fertilizer, equipment, and/or agricultural microcredit systems, facilitating access to bank loans, etc.
- and/or Logistics management: companies that offer transportation services, cold storage, warehousing facilities, etc. for produce from smallholder farmers.
Criteria to be eligible for this program:
- Your company is for-profit and registered as an independent legal entity.
- Your business is operating in Senegal or in any Western African country (ECOWAS) and Cameroon, with plans for scaling operations into Senegal.
- The tech solution provided by your company addresses real pain points in the agricultural value chain.
- Your company has a minimum of at least 50K USD in revenue or external investment.
- Audited accounts of at least one year (2021 and/or 2022).
The power of collaboration: Bundling digital agricultural services through win-win business partnerships.
In this program, we believe in win-win business partnerships between Digital Agriculture Platforms (DAPs) and Smart Agriculture startups.
- DAPs offer you the unique opportunity to expand your customer base fast and cost-effectively.
- DAPs allow you to integrate your product or service with data and services from other providers enhancing your value proposition and business model.
- Offering your product or service via a digital platform does not only unlock new distribution channels but also new revenue streams for your company.
This program offers a potential collaboration with mLouma as DAP in Senegal.
“mLouma” is a web and mobile platform that enables farmers and agro-food industries to make the best decision to sell or buy agricultural products thanks to the market information that the platform makes available to them in real-time. The digital platform publishes real-time information on the price, location, and availability of farm products. Farmers and buyers can receive updates through the internet, SMS, or a call center. mLouma is active in 14 regions in Senegal and registered 69 farmer organizations and over 200,000 producers.
What they offer to successful applicants
Access to global partners and assets
Make-IT in Africa and Orange join forces to implement the GreenAPI: Smart Agriculture Program and together offer a unique opportunity to benefit from the know-how, assets, and networks they both bring to the table.
- Make-IT in Africa believes in the catalytic power of African innovation and digital technologies for green and inclusive development. In close collaboration with digital visionaries like startups, innovation enablers, and political partners, we empower African innovation ecosystems. Together, we aim to strengthen an environment in which the full potential of African digital innovation can unfold.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements this project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). For further information visit our website: www.make-it.africa
- Orange is a major telecommunications network operator and digital service provider with a presence in 18 African countries. Orange does not only provide wide mobile telecommunication and financial services but has also built a reputation in accelerating and investing in early-stage startups through the Orange Digital Centers and Orange Digital Ventures.
Hands-on skills and capacity development on platform integration
The program offers all selected startups unique knowledge and skills delivered through a comprehensive capacity development program to build startups’ readiness to form business partnerships with digital platform operators. The training and coaching program will focus on the three core elements of partnership development:
- Identifying and assessing appropriate business models: This module will focus on creating a joint value proposition and a mutually beneficial business model resulting from the integration of the individual digital agricultural solution onto a digital platform.
- Building the required technical infrastructure and setting: This module will focus on the use and design of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as key for interoperability between systems.
- Assessing the legal terms and conditions of the partnership: This module will review essential legal requirements for a business partnership and introduce key legal formats and terms and conditions of business partnerships.
The training program will be delivered through hands-on, virtual training sessions and complemented by individual coaching from the program technical experts to ensure the transmitted knowledge is effectively implemented. As part of this, Orange experts will offer support and access to its telco and cloud services.
Matchmaking and partnership formation with mLouma in Senegal
Following the capacity development, the program provides the special opportunity to be matched with a DAP in Senegal, namely mLouma, to design and explore a joint product offering. During a pitch event 3 out of the Smart Agriculture startups will be selected to design a value proposition of a joint product offering in a Design Workshop before the DAP selects 1 startup to develop and pilot an integrated solution with.
The DAP and the selected startup will be jointly supported through a structured engagement process to bring the joint value proposition from idea to the market, maximizing impact for smallholder farmers while developing a business model that mutually benefits both business partners. Throughout the process, the partners will be advised by technical experts and supported with assets and resources from Orange to implement the pilot in the field.
- Team and commitment to the program (20%): The capacity of the leadership and complementarity of the team as well as the organizational structure will be assessed on supporting and improving the delivery and quality of the product. The motivation and capacity to build and sustain partnerships will be reviewed as well.
- The commercial value of the business model (20%): The business model shall be assessed against a clear value proposition and level of innovation, a clearly defined target customer profile, and viable revenue streams. The complementarity of the business model and the adaptability of the revenue model should also be factored in.
- Scaling strategy (15%): Here the company’s objectives and strategy are assessed as well as their scaling plans. Particular attention shall be put on a strategic approach to make-or-buy-or-partner decisions, e.g., which services and products are to be developed in-house, which ones can be acquired, and which ones will be covered by partners. The company should be able to demonstrate the real business case for scaling through building business partnerships by integrating their services with digital agricultural platform providers.
- Traction (15%): The applicant must demonstrate clear signs of traction in terms of the number of users as well as revenue streams. If any outside funding has been raised before, it’s a plus.
- Technical infrastructure (15%): The product infrastructure and design shall be assessed for functionality and user experience. Preferably there is a video with a demo of the solution or at least a link to a website provided where the product or service is clearly explained
- Legal compliance (15%): The company’s compliance with existing business regulations, specifically regarding data and technical infrastructure, will be assessed. To assess possible vulnerabilities through partnerships, the protection of intellectual property and key assets will be reviewed thoroughly.
Deadline: October 16, 2023
Click HERE To Apply