The World Bank
Agritech Challenge
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Frequently Asked Questions

General Overview

  • What types of solutions will the World Bank AgriTech Challenge focus on?
    • We are looking for agribusiness, supply chain and/or logistics-focused teams (startups, experts, aspiring innovators, SMEs and even university students) that are excited about building creative, technology-enabled solutions around pressing challenges in the agriculture value chain.
    • Specifically, the programme aims to facilitate actionable solutions to the four targeted areas of focus. The selected applicants will have the opportunity to work with one of Africa's largest agribusiness companies to conceptualize, prototype and test their solution. The Demo Day will give teams a chance to set their prototype on the path to potential commercialization.
    • Alternatively, if you are building an innovative agribusiness solution that doesn't fit in with the challenges we've described - please apply and tell us about it!
  • How will the final cohort be chosen? What is the criteria?
    • Teams will be chosen based on commercial & tech viability of the proposed solution, overall application quality & articulation, team profile and multidisciplinary expertise, as well as strategic fit with the programme objectives. We are particularly interested in innovators solving for the four challenges outlined in our challenge prompt.
    • All applications will go through multiple rounds of screening involving review of the online application, in-person interactions and a 10-minute pitch followed by Q&A (in-person or over Skype).
  • What are the key objectives of the programme?
    • The programme aims to foster a culture of open innovation and actionable partnerships between startups and corporates in Kenya.
    • The selected teams will participate in a 2-month long programme aimed at co-creating solution around critical pain points in the agribusiness value chain. The teams will partner with one of Africa's leading agribusiness companies, and be supported throughout by representatives from Nest and the World Bank.
    • The goal of the initiative will be to generate prototypes that are then considered for commercial deployment and partnership.
  • What if my company is not an expert at developing agritech solutions?
    • We're not looking for experts, just creative innovators with visionary attitudes, inspiring ideas and multidisciplinary teams. You'll get insights into the agribusiness industry, and gain access to leading agribusiness experts via our corporate partner. We just want your team to focus on creating your solution collaboratively, to bring passion to the problems you are solving, and to be adaptable throughout the process.
  • What size and profile of teams will likely be selected for the programme?
    • Teams can range from innovative university students with an executable idea, to startups / SMEs that already have an existing product or prototype.
    • Inclusion of product / development / tech specialists in the team will be a big plus, since the programme will involve co-development of a solution in partnership with the corporate.
    • The programme is open only to teams based in Kenya.

Application Process

  • How does the application process work?
    • Interested startups can apply online here. The online application includes a few simple questions about your team and your idea. You'll have the opportunity to include a pitch deck (optional) that describes your business.
    • Applications will be reviewed by World Bank and Nest teams and one-on-one interactions will be arranged with selected teams.
  • How does the selection process work?
    • As part of the selection process, startups can expect that the World Bank and Nest may reach out to ask for further information, and potentially invite shortlisted teams to a one-on-one session with business units of the agribusiness company. The purpose of these sessions will be to introduce teams to the business, assess solution application and share preliminary feedback. Due to limited availability, one-on-one engagement sessions can only be arranged for shortlisted applications. Subsequent to these pre-engagement meetings, we will conduct a pitch day o select final teas for the programme. Pitch day will involve a 10 minute presentation and 5 minute Q&A.
  • How detailed does my idea need to be in the application?
    • In the online application, we ask applicants to describe their business, the problem they are tackling, the team, progress to date, and their interest in the programme. We recommend you keep each response under 500 words, if possible. Focus on the key elements of your proposed solution(s), the practical use cases and the ability of your team to execute on the same.
  • Do I need to send in a business plan?
  • Is my age a factor in your selection process?
    • Not at all!
  • When is the deadline to apply and what's the overall timeline?
    • The online applications will close July 21, 2017. If you're a finalist, a pre-engagement meeting is expected to be conducted during the week of July 24-28. This will be followed by a pitch day, and you will be notified of your acceptance by the end of July.

Logistics

  • What is the duration of the programme and the expected time commitment?
    • The co-creation phase will last approximately two months. Selected teams with start with remote engagement in early August.
    • In person involvement is expected to commence on 21 August with a bootcamp week which will require full time commitmentfrom all members of the selected teams for a period of 4-5 days.
    • Thereafter we expect teams to engage with the agribusiness company 2-3 days each week until the end of the programme in early October. These sessions will focus on building and refining your solutions, and discussing potential collaboration with the management team.
  • Will the World Bank and Nest cover my costs during the programme?
    • The participating teams will need to cover their own travel costs to the programme location(s) which will be in Nairobi.
    • Costs and logistical arrangement for site visit and discovery sessions in the field will be arranged for as part of the programme.
  • What will a typical day be like for a World Bank Agritech Innovation Accelerator Participant?
    • There are no typical days for teams during the accelerator. Teams will be engaging with problem statement stakeholders, meeting with mentors and advisors, going through the Nest bootcamps and workshops, and creating awesome solutions.

For further queries please write to our team at minhaj@nest.vc