‘Scaling digital agriculture innovations through start-ups’ (SAIS) is a project implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It aims to scale digital innovations developed by African start-ups that enable their users in the agricultural or food sector to increase their income. As such it invites African startups for the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Program.
The GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme provides tailor-made company development measures aimed at improving your investment readiness and gaining access to investment and business opportunities.
Benefits of the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Program
- A six-month Investment Readiness Programme fully funded by GIZ-SAIS beginning in December 2019. The program is built around regular virtual coaching and training sessions with experienced company developers and growth managers.
- Access to additional service providers to optimize certain segments of your venture (e.g. legal, cash flow, marketing, coding, etc.).
- Three in-person meet-ups complete the program: a kick-off workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2019, followed by a mid-term check-in in the third or fourth month and a link-up event with investors and business partners will conclude the program.
- Throughout the duration of the program, the GIZ-SAIS team will facilitate contacts as well as interactions with potential investors and business partners using the global investor cloud services. Further follow-up growth measures in close dialogue with committed investors and business partners are possible for those start-ups that successfully complete the Investment Readiness Programme.
Eligibility for the Investment Readiness Program
Entrepreneurs can apply for the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Program if their business:
- is a start-up in Africa, a for-profit business with a team of at least two people,
- is offering scalable digital solutions with a clear positive impact on income in the agricultural and/or food sector (e.g. through savings, business opportunities, added value, etc.),
- and is in the post-seed stage (i.e. have launched a minimum viable product, have an existing customer base, have evidence of revenue).
The selection committee will select projects on the basis of an application that showcases:
- a convincing business model,
- a highly-motivated team that ideally reflects gender equality and diversity,
- and presents a digital product that is scalable, demonstrably functional, user-oriented, commercially viable. Also, it makes use of sustainable technical solutions while also, ideally, promoting gender equality in the agriculture and food sector.
How to apply for the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Program?
Entrepreneurs must apply online for the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Program via the VC4A website. Further, they must upload a short pitch video (max. 2 minutes) via an unlisted (i.e. hidden to the public) YouTube link. The video should clearly convey your vision, the problem you are addressing and how your product resolves it as well as the user experience. Please provide all requested information in order to ensure your inclusion in the selection process.
Based on the eligibility and selection criteria presented above, GIZ-SAIS will pre-select convincing start-ups for a virtual pitch:
- The virtual pitch event will occur in November 2019, during calendar week 47 (November 18-22, 2019).
- Invitations to the pitch event including your time slot will be sent out by November 11, 2019.
The most promising start-ups selected in the wake of the virtual pitch will travel to Nairobi, Kenya, on December 12-13, 2019 for the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme kick-off event.
Participants must submit their application for the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Program by 28 October 2019. Applications arriving after the deadline are ineligible.