SAIS project puts out call for startups for investment programme

GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness programme agriculture agritech foodtech startups

The ‘Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-ups’ (SAIS) project has called for startups to apply for its Investment Readiness Programme.

Applications for the programme are open until 31 August.

The German project aims to support Agritech and Foodtech startups in Africa by scaling up their digital products and services.

SAIS will identify and assess startups according to a specific catalogue of criteria.

It is comprised of three action areas and covers a five-year term from 2019 to 2023.

According to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the agency tasked with implementing the project, the agricultural and food sector has the potential to become the driving force for the continent’s economic development.

By increasing the opportunity to secure venture capital, industry startups have a chance to succeed beyond launching their first product. To achieve this, they require tailored company development measures, which the programme offers.

GIZ also noted the challenges startups face thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, some have found digital solutions to these challenges.

Bringo Fresh in Uganda and eMsika in Zambia, two startups supported by SAIS, are planning market expansion and developing online solutions for their clients despite the pandemic.

Who is eligible for the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme?

SAIS will consider applications from startups that offer a selection of different products and services. These include e-commerce for farmers, information and consulting services, fintech for farmers, farm supply chain management, and new technologies.

The project will commence with the startup selection process. SAIS will identify and assess startups according to a specific catalogue of criteria.

Eligible startups must be in the post-seed or second stage of funding.

They must have successfully established a business and introduced a digital innovation to market. They must also reflect a high scaling potential and positive outcome for their users.

Following the selection process, the startups will engage in the nine-month Investment Readiness Programme. They will receive advice on further business development and participate in pitch decks.

Finally, the startups will receive the opportunity to network with potential business partners and investors. To achieve this, SAIS has partnered with a network of local innovation hubs.

Startups that demonstrate elevated promise throughout the programme will be given the chance to join the SAIS Investment Masterclass.

Startups interested in applying for the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme can do so on the programme website.

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Featured image: no one cares via Unsplash

Sam Spiller, Staff Writer


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