Innovation accelerator Impact Lab launches Agritech Launchpad for innovative entrepreneurship

MOROCCO – Impact Lab, an African innovation accelerator, officially launched Launchpad Agritech, an acceleration program dedicated to the promotion of innovative entrepreneurship in the Moroccan agro-industry.

With this initiative, Impact Lab aims to accelerate the marketing of Moroccan Agritech startups, but also to encourage the future generation of Moroccan Agritech entrepreneurs.

“We are convinced that Morocco has the potential to position itself as a major innovation hub in the agro-industrial sector in Africa.

“However, the ecosystem of Agritech startups in Morocco is still weak, and innovation opportunities in the sector are little known,” said Salma Kabbaj, co-founder of Impact Lab.

For several weeks now, Impact Lab has set up a web platform — impactlab.africa/agritech — to raise awareness among aspiring entrepreneurs of innovation opportunities in the agro-industrial value chain.

This platform brings together blogs, podcasts, and videos created in collaboration with industry experts and visionary entrepreneurs from around the world.

The Agritech Launchpad will equip high-potential Agritech entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed.

“We are convinced that Morocco has the potential to position itself as a major innovation hub in the agro-industrial sector in Africa.”

Salma Kabbaj – Co-founder of Impact Lab

According to reports by Afrikan Heroes, the program will select 10 Moroccan startups that have developed prototypes of solutions impacting the agro-industrial sector.

They will then be supported for six weeks to accelerate their solution: training, coaching, putting experts and potential partners in touch and more.

These startups will be able to access Innov Invest funding from the Central Guarantee Fund (CCG) of up to 700,000 DH (US$79,540) per accelerated startup.

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As a reminder, Impact Lab has accelerated the development of more than 170 startups in North and West Africa since 2014 and has supported more than twenty large business partners and public institutions in their innovation dynamics.

This structure dedicated to innovation and support for startups operates through two offices in Casablanca and Tunis, as well as programs deployed in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Benin.

Meanwhile, the Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation have partnered to launch a US$2 million agri-tech aimed at supporting innovative solutions in the farming space.

The agri-tech prize is part of the wider Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize programme, 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.

The programme will include multiple technology prize competitions in the areas of energy, education, and health, but will begin with agriculture.

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, the competition will select up to 25 teams to each receive US$10,000 to develop small-scale prototypes over the ensuing six months.

In the final round, teams will demonstrate their entries in field tests, and judges will award a US$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. Teams have until December 8 to register and submit designs and business models.

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