Johannesburg-based venture development and investment company Founders Factory Africa (FFA) has partnered with Small Foundation, a Dublin-based philanthropic foundation that is focused on the rural and agricultural sector in sub-Saharan Africa, to create a programme aimed at uplifting 18 selected innovative African agritech startups.
Eighteen selected African agritech startups will take part in the prestigious businesses development programme
Conor Brosnan, CEO, and Chair of Small Foundation comments on the launch of the partnership and the importance of growing the agritech sector in Africa.
“This is a pivotal time to invest in the growing area of agritech in Africa, which has transformative potential for local livelihoods. We are excited to see FFA’s highly-skilled teamwork with immensely talented African entrepreneurs to deliver scaled solutions to some of the biggest challenges faced by the sector.”
The partnership and investment from Small Foundation will enable agritech startups to apply to take part in the Founders Factory Africa Venture Scale of Venture build portfolio.
Facilitated by FFA, the programme aims to empower agritech startups in Africa. The Small Foundation will reportedly work with FFA ventures to provide access to networks and investors for the selected agritech entrepreneurs.
The programme is targetting agritech startups that are driving innovation to address challenges faced within the entire agricultural value chain, have the ability to improve the delivery of a range of services to smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium-sized businesses within the agricultural sector.
With a hands-on approach, FFA’s Venture Scale programme will be conducted over six months and the Venture Build programme builds new businesses that are focused on addressing key issues in the agritech sector within Africa.
Roo Rogers, CEO of Founders Factory Africa explains that technology is critical to development and innovation.
“Technology can create and leverage new information, new tools, new ways of conceptualising, predicting, and working for a smarter, cleaner, and more productive future. The potential is massive and is ready to be supported. Together ourselves and Small Foundation will find and support agtech ventures that can be sustained, scaled and, ultimately, impact rural livelihoods.”
Interested applicants can apply online.
According to reports, FFA will invest $100 000 – $250 000 along with one-on-one technical support towards selected participants in the agritech innovation programme to help grow their venture. The support will be provided by FFA’s pool of talent and covers a range of integral components to a business including product development, UX/UI, tech and engineering, investment support, business development, and growth marketing.
A full-time team of digital and technical experts based in Johannesburg, Nigeria, Kenya, and London will assist the selected agritech startups to build and grow their enterprises.
In addition, participating agritech startups will have access to global capital, talent, and knowledge transfer through the Founders’ group that includes Founders Factory in the U.K, and a network of world class entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, and successful startups across Africa, Europe, the UK, and the US.