Andela Announces $200M Investment Led by SoftBank

Andela, the global network for remote engineering talent, has announced $200 million in Series E financing. The financing round which was led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 now values the company at $1.5 billion.

Other participating investors include WhaleRock and existing investors including Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Spark Capital. Lydia Jett, Founding Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers and one of the most respected consumer technology investors in the world, will join Andela’s Board of Directors.

Andela helps companies build remote engineering teams by providing them with access to the best software engineers in the world. Launched in Africa in 2014, the Andela network today represents engineers from more than 80 countries and six continents. Through Andela, thousands of engineers have been placed with leading technology companies including Github, Cloudflare and ViacomCBS. 

“Andela has always been the high-quality option for those building remote engineering teams. Now that the world has come to embrace remote work, Andela has become the obvious choice for companies because we can find better talent, faster,” said Jeremy Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Andela. “If you are a talented engineer, Andela opens up a world of possibilities for you, no matter where you are based.”

With a successful placement rate of 96%, Andela has mastered the ability to evaluate the technical skills and soft skills of engineers to match them to the teams they’ll be most successful in. With the new capital, the company will invest in developing products to simplify global hiring and make engineers’ lives easier. In addition, Andela will continue to expand its talent offering beyond software development to include new verticals such as design and data after launching Salesforce development earlier this year.

“Hiring remote technical talent is one of the top challenges that companies face today. We believe Andela will become the preferred talent partner for the world’s best companies as remote and hybrid work arrangements become the norm,” said Lydia Jett, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We are delighted to support Jeremy and the Andela team in their mission to connect these companies with brilliant engineers, and in the process, unlock human potential at scale.”

A fully remote organization with more than 300 employees around the world, Andela is hiring top talent across the board, particularly in product, engineering, and growth. 

andela.com

Ecobank launches 2021 edition of its fintech challenge for African startups

The pan-African banking group, Ecobank group, is inviting African fintech entrepreneurs to join the 4th edition of the Ecobank Fintech Challenge.

The Fintech Challenge is in line with the Bank’s commitment to championing digitization by giving innovative African startups the opportunity to promote their fintech solutions. The startups can potentially partner with Ecobank to scale their solutions across Ecobank’s 33 African markets as well as its international operations in France.  

All selected Finalists will be inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship following the Finals and Awards ceremony slated for November 2021. The selected top three winners will receive cash prizes worth $15,000, $12,000 and $10,000 respectively. All Fellows will however qualify to explore the following opportunities with the bank:

  • Multinational product roll out: an opportunity to pursue integration with Ecobank and potentially launch products in parts of Ecobank’s Pan African 33-country ecosystem.
  • Service provider partnerships:  Ecobank may select start-ups as pan-African service partner within the bank’s ecosystem.
  • Access to Ecobank’s Pan-African Banking Sandbox: Fellows will be given access to Ecobank’s APIs to test and improve their products for the pan-African market.
  • Mentoring and networking support in the network of global and African partners of the Group.
  • Priority Access to Ecobank’s VC partners for funding exploration.


Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, reiterated Ecobank’s dedication to support innovation across the continent: “The global impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the dire necessity to digitize and transform banking operations. As a banking group, we are convinced now more than ever that innovation and technology are the future of banking and therefore reaffirm our continuous commitment to identify and support Africa’s brightest developers to promote their solutions and help improve our services through the Ecobank Fintech Challenge.”

The Challenge resulted in Ecobank successfully launching the Ecobank Investor App, originally developed by Finance Mobile, a startup from the 2017 Ecobank Fintech Fellows cohort. Following the successful rollout of the app in 9 Ecobank markets and currently launching in additional countries, Ecobank is working on finalizing other such partnerships with Fellows from the 2020 Fintech Challenge.

Tomisin Fashina, Operations and Technology Executive, Ecobank Group: “We are firm believers that Africa’s talent pool is enormous and requires specialized and targeted mentorships to fully crystallize and ready fintech startups for business engagements. Through the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, we are creating a learning experience through mentorship sessions with in-house, high-level technical teams and with our global partners to help shape and reshape the strategy and focus of African Fintechs.”

The Ecobank Fintech Challenge was designed in partnership with the advisory firm Konfidants and is supported by several partners across Africa and globally including ACCION, Catalyst Fund, Nedbank VC and Cellulant. Applications will close on 20 September 2021.

Applications have opened for entries from all startups and developers in any of Africa’s 54 countries and global Africa-centered fintechs. More information on the competition, benefits, and how to apply is available here.

www.ecobank.com

ClimateLaunchpad Competition – Rwanda Edition

Dear fellow (aspiring) entrepreneur,

Impact Hub Kigali launched the Rwanda edition for the global ClimateLaunchpad competition. The program aims to support green business ideas and turn them into sustainable businesses. 

We are looking for innovations in the themes of Adaptation and Resilience, Circular Economies, Urban solutions, Clean Energy, and Food Systems. 

The selected participants will be trained online through a Mini-course and boot camp, followed by coaching sessions to prepare them for the National Finals. The top 3 teams will move on to the regional finals with a real chance to pitch at the Global Grand Final. 

Who they are looking for: 

  • Anyone with an idea and has not started a business yet, or a startup that has been operational for less than 12 months, and has no substantial revenue, and has not had grants or investments above EUR 200,000. (This includes all funding like research grants, government loans, angel or VC investments et cetera, but it excludes PhD salary for instance)
  • Have not yet sold products, solutions or prototypes on commercial terms; 

Applications deadline: July 18th 

Benefits: 

  • Turn your green idea into a sustainable business
  • New acquired entrepreneurial skills & Knowledge 
  • Networking with Stakeholders in the clean tech sector 
  • Compete at the National, Regional & Global level
  • Cash prizes at the global level 
  • Exposure of your idea/solution to the global stage 
  • Create a long lasting impact on climate change 

Where to apply: https://bit.ly/CLP21_application_form

For more information: https://climatelaunchpad.org/faq/

African projects among 30 new AI for Social Good projects to be supported by Google

Working in partnership with Google.org and Google’s University Relations program, their goal is to help academics and nonprofits develop AI techniques that can improve people’s lives — especially in underserved communities that haven’t yet benefited from advances in AI. They reported on the impact of six such projects in 2020. And today, Google is sharing 30 new projects that will receive funding and support as part of their AI for Social Good program. 

During the application process, Googlers arranged workshops involving more than 150 teams to discuss potential projects. Following the workshop meetings, project teams made up of NGOs and academics submitted proposals which Google experts reviewed. The result is a promising range of projects spanning seventeen countries across Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa — including India, Uganda, Nigeria, Japan and Australia— focused on agriculture, conservation and public health. 

In agriculture, this includes research to help farmer collectives with market intelligence and use data to improve crop and irrigation planning for smallholder farmers. In public health, we are backing projects that will enable targeted public health interventions, and will help community health workers to forecast health risks in countries such as Kenya, India and Uganda. We’re also supporting research to better forecast the need for critical resources like vaccines and care, including in Nigeria. And in conservation, we’re supporting research to help understand animal population changes, such as the effect of poaching on elephants, and gorillas. Other projects will help reduce conservation conflict and poaching, including human-elephant conflict in Kenya.

Each project team will receive funding, technical contributions from Google and access to computational resources. Academics in this program will be recognized as “Impact Scholars” for their contributions towards advancing research for social good.  

Google have seen the impact these kinds of projects can make. One of the nonprofit leaders supported by the program last year, ARMMAN founder Dr. Aparna Hegde, has received AI research support from IIT Madras and Google Research to improve maternal and child health outcomes in India. The team is building a predictive model to prevent expectant mothers dropping out of supportive telehealth outreach programs. Results so far show AI could enable ARMMAN to increase the number of women engaged through the program by 50%, and they have received a second Google.org grant to enable them to build on this progress. Dr. Hegde says the program is “already showing encouraging results — and I am confident that this partnership will bring immense benefits in the future.”

Congratulations to all the recipients of this round’s support. Google is looking forward to continuing to nurture the AI for Social Good community, bringing together experts from diverse backgrounds with the common goal of advancing AI to improve lives around the world.

www.blog.google

The UN Food Systems Best Small Business competition: SMEs and startups time to shine

Listening to the diverse voices of small businesses – from cafes to farmer cooperatives, digital start-ups, and veterinary surgeries – is a key component of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit process to identify bold, new solutions for improving food systems.

Small businesses around the world that help provide healthy food that is good for the environment, good for their communities and create jobs for people locally are being invited to share ideas and suggestions for how their countries and economies can maximize their positive impact.

To help showcase the most inspirational small businesses from all regions of the globe in the coming months up to the Summit, which will be held in New York in September 2021, we are inviting any small agri-food business with an interesting story to tell to take part in the The UN Food Systems Summit competition ‘Best Small Business: Good Food for All’.

There are currently a number of competitions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – this is in itself not unique. But every single application will play its role as we listen to what you have to say as we uncover your story in how your business and employees are leading the charge for more sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems, and how you can be supported to scale up your trades sustainably.

We will be selecting not just 5 or 10 finalists but 50 winners from around the world. Why? So we can portray the rich diversity of agri-food businesses that contribute to a dynamic global food system. We want to hear your story, your journey as a business, the successes you are proud of and the challenges you have overcome. The last year, 2020, has been a particularly difficult year for many businesses in the agri-food sector as they have had to adapt and pivot their approach in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whilst a number of businesses have sadly succumbed during this challenging period of movement and transport restrictions, closures and changes in consumer demands, many have shown great resilience. A resilient global food system for 2030 is what the United Nations Food Systems Summit is striving for. Covid-19 will not be the only challenge to be overcome. We already have a pandemic of obesity in many regions of the world. And our changing climate will provide added pressures for all. So what do you do that is inspirational? How do you see the future of food and the role you play in providing a healthy, nutritious global population?

By being selected as one of the 50 winners, you will be receive worldwide media attention as we spotlight your business. The announcements of the competition finalists will be made at the Pre-Summit in late July, where SMEs will be playing a key role in what is being called the ‘People’s Summit’. Between July and September’s Summit, where governments will gather, we will continue to maintain the momentum of print and social media coverage of each of the 50 finalists.

Each winner will receive a US$2,000 cash prize and you will be awarded with a badge to show that you have been chosen as one of the top 50 UN 2021 Good Food for All Best Small Businesses, which can be used in marketing and promotional materials.

So if I don’t win – why should I apply? Well, step 1 of the competition is a short survey of just a few questions. These responses will be part of a report, which will be drafted and presented at the Pre-Summit in July. The final report will be shared at the Summit in September. We want to listen to the voice of SMEs so that they can be heard. What can we all do and what needs to be done to better support SMEs from across the world to transform food systems for a better tomorrow.

Will you apply? Let us choose you and let the world know why you are making a difference! Let us share your voice, your story and, together, let’s show what Good Food for All for 2030 is really all about.

Apply here!

www.un.org

Legatum Center launches inaugural Legatum Foundry Fellowship for entrepreneurs in Africa

Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship launches inaugural Legatum Foundry Fellowship for entrepreneurs in Africa. 

The Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship at MIT has launched the Foundry Fellowship, a first-of-its-kind leadership program for accomplished entrepreneurs who are considering their role in shaping the future of the African innovation ecosystems in which they work and live.

At an inflection point in their entrepreneurial journeys, Fellows will learn from MIT faculty, connect with investors, and expand their network of peer innovators. The Fellowship is open to entrepreneurs working and living in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda. 

Building on the MIT ethos of Mens et Manus (Mind and Hand), the Foundry is a place where entrepreneurs come together to reflect on their achievements and shape their futures as leaders in business, investing, and governance. The program includes an interactive online curriculum followed by a three-week immersive session that brings the cohort together to explore innovation-driven ecosystems.  

The Foundry Fellowship presents a unique opportunity to bring MIT resources and knowledge to these critical innovation ecosystems and, importantly, also offers MIT an opportunity to learn from successful leaders and their innovative solutions. 

Professor Fiona Murray, Faculty Director, Legatum Center: “This is a moment for the Fellows to reflect on [their entrepreneurial] journey that also allows us to learn from them. They can use this experience as a stepping-off point as they move to the next stage of ecosystem-wide leadership.” 

David Schmittlein, John C Head III Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management:   “As a school dedicated to the development of principled, innovative leaders who improve the world, MIT Sloan looks forward to welcoming the Legatum Foundry Fellows to Cambridge and to the MIT community.”

Through this collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, the Foundry Fellowship will deepen the impact of leaders who are solving complex problems, creating jobs, and bringing essential services to millions through innovation-driven business models. 

With the world’s fastest growing youth population, Africa is home to 4 of the world’s top 5 fastest-growing economies, has the fastest urbanization rate in the world, and has a rapidly expanding middle class predicted to increase business and consumer spending. Innovation and entrepreneurial solutions are a critical component to continued growth and prosperous people and societies across the continent.

Africa’s entrepreneurs are building businesses that offer lessons in inclusion, sustainability, and value creation that extend far beyond the continent. As a global network of entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders, the Legatum Center’s Foundry offers a platform for leaders to share their stories and consider new ways to extend their impact in their local ecosystems and around the world. 

Dina Sherif, Executive Director, Legatum Center: “To propel Africa forward and remain competitive globally, we need innovation-led entrepreneurship and robust African entrepreneurial ecosystems. The Foundry Fellowship supports African entrepreneurs to transition to entrepreneurial leaders who work with various stakeholders to strengthen and improve their ecosystems.” 

The Foundry Fellowship is a competitive program for outstanding entrepreneurial leaders working in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda. The Legatum Center will accept nominations from May 3 – May 20, 2021.

A nomination is not required to apply; entrepreneurs are invited to submit an application directly. All nominees and applicants must submit a completed application by 11:59 PM EDT on June 10, 2021 to be considered for the program. 

Nomination and application information is available at legatum.mit.edu/foundry-fellowship/. An initial cohort of 15 Fellows will be selected for this fully-funded program.  

www.legatum.mit.edu

UN launches hunt for startups and enterprises changing the face of food systems

The UN Food Systems Summit has announced a competition to identify the best small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the world who are transforming food systems for a better tomorrow.

The Summit has launched a unique contest, named “Best Small Business: Good Food for All”, which will surface and name 50 small and medium-sized businesses worldwide whose work best exemplifies the Summit’s aim of delivering all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing healthy, sustainable food and livelihoods for all.

The competition recognises those playing a key role in “building back better” from the pandemic while calling attention to the challenges they have been battling to overcome. The pandemic has disproportionately affected smaller businesses across the globe, especially those led by women. For example, the revenues of European SMEs alone saw reductions by as much as 70 per cent, according to one survey, while the World Bank estimates that businesses in developing countries were especially hard hit, with revenues down 70 per cent at the peak of the crisis, compared to only 45 per cent in OECD countries.

The Summit will celebrate those playing their part to transform through innovation the way small businesses produce, consume and dispose of food, offering lessons for building greater economic resilience and sustainability.

“All around the world, leaders need to pay attention to the ‘hidden’ contribution of the smaller businesses that are nourishing communities, creating jobs and regenerating nature,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the 2021 Food Systems Summit.

“These everyday businesses and their employees are the vanguard of efforts to strengthen our food systems and the small business competition aims to celebrate these efforts and to showcase their inspirational stories. In line with the Summit that is open to people everywhere and leaving no one behind, we encourage such enterprises to raise their voices and help us understand what support they need in order to flourish.”

The competition will provide an opportunity for the Summit to showcase the best small businesses at the Pre-Summit to be held in Rome in July 2021.

Listening to the diverse voices of small businesses – from veterinary surgeries to cafes, producer cooperatives and digital start-ups – is a key component of the Summit process to identify bold, new solutions for improving food systems.

The competition will uncover not only the small businesses leading the charge for more sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems but also ways in which they can be supported to scale up their trades sustainably.

Enterprises around the world that help provide healthy food to their communities and create jobs for local people are invited to apply and share ideas and suggestions for how their countries and economies can maximize their positive impact.

Each submission will help inform global leaders with the priorities and resources these businesses need to thrive, and all applicants will be invited to future Food Systems Summit events.

Further details about the competition and application process can be viewed here

Contact: Katie Taft katie.taft@un.org

About the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, on World Food Day last October as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs by 2030. The aim of the Summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the SDGs through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty and inequality. More information about the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and a list of Advisory Committee and Scientific Group members can be found online.

www.un.org

Mastercard announces a fresh investment in Rwandan female-focused eCommerce platform Kasha

Mastercard has today announced a new investment in Rwandan female-focused eCommerce platform Kasha. The companies say they will continue their shared efforts to ensure women across emerging markets have essential access to health and personal care products along with the information required to support everyday hygiene needs.

Combining online and offline capabilities, Kasha’s platform allows women across rural and urban locations to make confidential personal care orders. By utilizing the full product catalogue available online, or by placing orders using basic mobile handsets, women can search, order and pay for hygiene products that are discretely delivered to them by local micro-entrepreneurs, thus also helping local store owners grow their business. 

Mastercard’s investment is the next step on a journey the organizations have been on since Kasha joined Mastercard StartPath in 2019. Since joining the award-winning start-up engagement program, Mastercard has worked with Kasha to integrate digital payment acceptance across its eCommerce platform, and most recently the partners joined forces to deliver virus, hygiene and protection products to families across Kenya in efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Kasha’s goal is to ensure women in emerging markets get the products, information, and services they need for their health, self-care, and well-being,” said, Joanna Bichsel, Kasha’s Founder and CEO “I am thrilled that we are continuing our collaboration with Mastercard and that we not only have a committed investor with shared values, but also an innovative partner as we continue to take Kasha’s development and growth to the next level.”

Mastercard’s activities with Kasha directly support the company’s pledge to bring 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025, with a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions to help them grow their business. 

“Mastercard works with governments, businesses, and entrepreneurs to help them achieve their ambitions and is committed to applying its resources to drive sustainable and inclusive growth.” said, Raghav Prasad, Division President, Sub Saharan Africa, Mastercard. “Through our activities with Kasha we are leveraging Mastercard’s innovations, expertise, and partnerships to help drive the empowerment of women and small businesses. This partnership is a major step in our journey to support the fundamental needs of women and drive growth across African communities.”

Mastercard’s investment will help Kasha expand its current platform offering, reaching more women, communities, and small businesses than before and build’s on Mastercard’s efforts to bolster support for micro-entrepreneur and women-owned small business in Africa through the Mastercard Track Micro Credit Program, known in Kenya as “Jaza Duka” (fill up your store in Swahili).   By leveraging Mastercard and Kasha’s combined capabilities, in collaboration with global consumer goods and banking partners, the partners aim to positively impact historically underserved communities across Africa and beyond.

www.kasha.co

MTN Rwanda Launches “Level Up Your Biz” to Support Youth-led Businesses.

MTN Rwanda is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Inkomoko Entrepreneur Development to support Rwandan youth-led businesses on their entrepreneurship journey with the Level Up Your Biz programme.

This 10-month programme will offer seed capital, valuable training and mentorship opportunities to eligible young entrepreneurs.

Speaking about this initiative, MTN Rwanda’s Chief Consumer and Digital Officer, Yaw Ankoma Agyapong said, “We set up Yolo as a platform to help the youth of Rwanda unleash their potential and drive them to achieve greatness. We are keen on investing in developing youth and want to make sure they are well-equipped to sustain their businesses, in line with MTN’s drive to contribute to the growth of SMEs thus promoting Rwanda’s growth.”

MTN’s partnership with Inkomoko aims to empower and provide youth-led businesses with the right practical knowledge and skills, that will strengthen their innovative capabilities amidst an evolving digital world.

Through a competitive application process, 6 youth-led SMEs/start-ups will be selected to receive:

  • A free 5-month accelerator from Inkomoko, including training, assessment, and consulting.
  • 3 out of the 6 businesses will compete to be selected to receive monetary funding support from MTN.
  • Webinars with industry experts to help boost their businesses.
  • Communication essentials and advertising platforms from MTN

Only participants whose business plans fulfil the criteria below of viability and sustainability will be selected for the programme.

  • The applicant must be Rwandan.
  • Must be a business owner aged 18-30.
  • Must have digital presence or use e-commerce.
  • Must have annual revenue of less than Rwf 200,000,000.
  • The company must have proof of registration with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for at least 1 year.
  • Priority will be given to youth-led businesses that are making a social/environmental impact.

Sara Leedom, Inkomoko’s Chief Operating Officer also commented on this partnership by saying, “‘Levelling up’ means taking on the next challenge. We at Inkomoko see youth entrepreneurs in Rwanda take on the challenge of being more digital, using eCommerce, and embracing innovation. Inkomoko is excited for our partnership with MTN to help young entrepreneurs embrace the challenge and grow even further. Level Up Your Biz is an opportunity for digitally connected entrepreneurs to gain more management skills from Inkomoko and digital tools from MTN.

Level Up Your Biz is in line with MTN’s digital ambition as it focuses on capacity building for businesses that use digital platforms to innovate and provide local solutions that address a market need in Rwanda.

Our mission is to lead digital for a brighter Rwanda where everyone is connected to the digital world.  By supporting these young entrepreneurs, we see ourselves as partners on their digitization journey as they realise their entrepreneurial dreams,” concluded Agyapong.


For any enquiries about the Level Up Your Biz programme, email info@inkomoko.com.

mtn.co.rw

Milken Institute and Motsepe Foundation launch $2 million AgriTech competition for African entrepreneurs

The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation have launched the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program, a multi-year initiative to focus global innovators and entrepreneurs on developing technological solutions that accelerate progress towards implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a spotlight on the African continent.

This program will include multiple technology prize competitions in the areas of agriculture, energy, education, and health.

Dr. Patrice Motsepe, Founder and Chairman, Motsepe Foundation: “Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies have the power to solve complicated socio-economic and human problems. In the hands of entrepreneurs, these technologies can turn Africa into a global economic powerhouse and transform the world. Precious and I are thrilled to partner with Mike Milken and the Milken Institute to launch this prize that encourages African and global entrepreneurs to innovate and use 4IR technologies to address some of Africa and the world’s most pressing challenges and improve the living conditions and standards of living of people globally.”

Registration is open for the first of these free-to-enter prizes. The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech is a $2 million global competition for innovative solutions to increase economic value to farmers, from seed to sale.

Mike Milken, Chairman, Milken Institute: “My good friends Patrice and Precious Motsepe have long been valued partners of the Milken Institute, especially in addressing global health issues. The Motsepe Foundation’s leadership has been highly effective in Africa and inspiring to people around the world. I’m delighted that we will again join forces to encourage long-term technological innovation and enhance the human capital of farmers so they can play a greater role in sustaining a more-dynamic regional economy.”

Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-founder and CEO, Motsepe Foundation: “This prize competition will tap into global entrepreneurial and technological potential, including among women and the growing youth population across the African continent and worldwide. We’re confident that the competition will attract a diverse group of participants across the world who want to engage with a broad network of resources to action their innovative ideas.”

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech was developed through rigorous and inclusive consultations with more than 50 experts from a variety of disciplines, representing academia, industry and government, to define the competition guidelines and evaluation metrics. Field testing will take place in Africa and solutions should have the potential to be applied globally.

Dr. Emily Musil Church, senior director, Milken Institute’s Center for Global Market Development: “Prize competitions encourage innovation, diversify the talent pool, and inspire new voices from budding entrepreneurs to seasoned engineers. We are pleased to introduce this approach to advancing the SDGs that will harness the power of technology to solve global challenges and create true systems of change.”

How to Enter

Teams have until December 8, 2021 to register and submit designs and business models.

An independent panel of expert judges will select up to 25 teams to each receive $10,000 to develop small-scale prototypes over the ensuing six months. In the final round, teams will demonstrate their entries in field tests which will be evaluated by their ability to:

Increase net economic value to the farmer

Increase productivity at harvest and/or decrease post-harvest loss

Reduce costs for farmers

Provide a viable and sustainable business model

Be implemented by small and medium-sized farms

Develop or integrate innovative technologies

The judges will award a $1 million Grand Prize, with additional prize money distributed among Second and Third Place winners, a prize for the most creative use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and a People’s Choice Prize.

Registration is free, and in addition to the prize money, teams will benefit from access to networking, training, and other resources.

www.milkenmotsepeprize.org

www.milkeninstitute.org