Four Nigerian startups, ColdHub, Farmcrowdy, Social Lender and FoodLocker are among 16 companies that have qualified for IMPULSE, a startup acceleration programme developed by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P),Morocco.
They were announced among the list of startups selected following the call for applications launched last June. The other startups included AGROOP, DataFarm , eProd Solutions, Esoko, Hydro Barley, LONO, Moldiag, Safi Organics, SATGRIE, SAYeTECH, Social Lender, Strayos and TROTRO Tractor.
The startups represent nine different countries and three continents, with a strong African representation.
The acceleration programme is slated for between January 15, 2020 and April 08, with a Day Demo. IMPULSE is an international programme developed with the support of OCP Group and its subsidiary, OCP Africa, to fulfill three concurrent objectives: to reinforce OCP Group’s innovation capabilities in agritech, biotech, nanotech and mining tech; to support the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem, and to bring solutions to the smallholder farmers in Africa.
The startups were mostly units working on technologies in the agriculture space. ColdHub is helping farmers and market vendors become more profitable by eliminating food waste via 100 per cent solar-powered walk-in cold rooms.
Founded in July 2015 by young farmer and social entrepreneur, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, ColdHubs is producing cold rooms and selling them to smallholder farmers, retailers and wholesalers to store and preserve fresh fruits, vegetables and other perishable foods, extending their shelf life from two days to 21.
Farmcrowdy is Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform that empowers rural farmers by providing them with improved seeds, farm inputs, and training on modern farming techniques and provides a market for the sale of their farm produce.
Foodlocker aggregates the outputs of smallholder farmers and sells to large buyers. The acceleration programme will begin on January 15, 2020 and will end on April 08 with a Day Demo.
Impulse Director, Adnane Alaoui Soulimani said the accelerator is creating an ecosystem for startup innovation and success, saying Impulse aims to provide the continent’s agri-foodtech startup ecosystem with a unique value proposition that will ensure that Africa becomes a hub for the successful development of advanced agri-food technologies, and agri-food value chain and business model innovations.
The accelerator will run a range of activities tailored to the startup’ specific needs and introduce them to mentors and industry experts who will help them accelerate their business.
In addition to the accelerator programme, UM6P undertakes a range of other collaborative events and initiatives that together will help build the agri-foodtech ecosystem, including boot camps and seminars.