A programme for African Tech Startups in Agriculture, Food and Climate

Are you running a tech startup and want to transform the agriculture and food tech industry in Africa? Do you have a tech solution that makes the industry more sustainable and profitable while at the same time empowering value chain actors? Do you want support on raising investment, reaching more customers and having a significant impact?

Then this unique (and free!) investment readiness programme is for you! Apply before October 20th, 2023.

What we offer

The SAIS Investment Readiness Programme (IRP) offers you a yearlong, tailor-made support programme to raise investments and scale up your business! Precondition is that your tech startup registered in Africa, works in Africa, and offers scalable, market-based solutions for agriculture, food or climate change. The Programme is available in English and French.

Sessions of personalized coaching with local and international experts. These are tailored to your specific needs to develop and implement strategies for rapid growth.

Access to individual online trainings
structured around several key themes to develop your startup further, e.g., pitch training, growth strategy, data analytics & management, term sheet, valuation, market analysis, marketing & sales.

Access to additional services.
 To optimize certain key areas of your business we hold a specific budget that can cover, e. g. legal advice, online marketing, digital product optimization, design, coding and travel costs to conferences.

Integrating you into ecosystems. We offer you the opportunity of using a local hub or office space, connect you with peers and support you in increasing your visibility and facilitate contacts with major players in the local, regional and international startup ecosystems.

Access to our investor and partner network. By being part of our programme, you will be given the opportunity to meet the right people on regional, national, and international level to scale your business, either through potential investments or business partnerships.

Add-on: Programme for Female Leaders. In addition to the above-mentioned,we offer special support for female founders and women in leading positions of the startups through networking and peer to peer learning as well as increased visibility.

Who we are

We are a Pan-African programme for African tech startups from the agriculture, food sector and climate sectors (within, specifically including the livestock sector, that want to scale their business). The Investment Readiness Programmes (IRP) aims to improve investor readiness, so that the startups supported can raise more capital to reach more customers and achieve greater impact.

The IRP is offered by “Scaling digital Agriculture Innovations through Startup (SAIS)”, 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 is co-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Our overall goal at SAIS is to increase incomes in the African agri-food sector through scaling proven digital innovations.

For 2024, up to 20 startups will be selected to participate in our one yearlong Programme. Since 2019, SAIS has accelerated more than 46 outstanding FoodTech and AgTech startups:

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the SAIS Investment Readiness Programme, you must meet the following conditions:

Legal Form

You must be registered and operate in Africa.
You must provide a certificate of registration.

Team (founders)

You must have a team of at least two people who work ideally full time for the startup.
Your founding and management team should have entrepreneurial and technical experience in their area of operation.

Digital product/service

You must have a viable digital product or service that positively impacts society.
Your product must have a positive impact on the African AgTech or FoodTech sector, we specifically welcome applications from the livestock sector (vertical sectors that have an influence can be accepted like ClimateTech, eCommerce, FinTech, Logistics, EdTech, others).

Market access and traction

You must have launched your digital product at least six months before you submit your application to us.
Your startups must provide evidence of traction (customer base, first revenue).

Business model

Your startup should have an understandable and convincing business model.
This includes a clear statement of the problem, clear digital solution, clear customer segment, and clear revenue stream.

Add-ons (but not musts)
  • You are a female founder, or your team has women in high management positions.
  • You or one of your founding team members has an IT background.
  • You and your founding team members have previous startup experience.
  • Your product targets a vulnerable group of customers.

Program timeline

  • Mid of January to March – Define Development Plans

You will be paired with a navigator who serves as your main point of contact from the SAIS team. They will guide you through the various opportunities available in the programme. From January to March, we will focus on getting to know you. This will involve online interactions and, when possible, in-person meetings at your location. During this period, we will collaborate to outline a development plan for the coming months. Additionally, we will conduct joint online sessions to onboard you to the platforms we use throughout the SAIS IRP 2024.

  • February – Kick-off at SAIStival 2024

Let’s get together! We annually organize a joint event called the SAIStival which takes place back-to-back with an industry event. We bring all new startups and alumni in one place; we believe that exchange among peers is very important. At the event, called “SAIStival” you will get the chance to connect with like-minded people, experts, partners, investors and the whole SAIS team. The travel costs will be covered by GIZ. We are very much looking forward to this event!

  • March to September – Reaching Your Goals

During this period, you will fully concentrate on reaching the goals that you set with your navigators in the development plans. For that you will continuously work with the mentors, experts and partners of SAIS. During this time, you will already have the access to the investor and business partner network.

  • September – Midterm Check-In

We will get together again and reflect your progress and set milestones for the upcoming and last period of the programme.

  • September to February 2025 – Investor Meetings

After successfully working on your first set of goals from the development plans, we continue to work on the set milestones and start taking you on short trips to fairs, exhibitions and conferences to meet investors. Your navigator will help you to find the best fit for your startup and support you in making the right connections. It all ends in the SAIStival of 2025.

Instructions and tips for the SAIS IRP Application

  1. Please apply online on or before October 20th, 2023, by clicking on the “apply” button. You can apply in English or in French!
  2. Start early with the process and pay attention to your video pitch (max. 2 minutes) and pitch deck.
  3. Please provide all the information requested to avoid your exclusion during the pre-selection process.
  4. We will provide Q&A sessions. The dates will be published on our LinkedIn Page.
  5. Good Luck – We are looking forward to receiving your application!

SAIS IRP Selection Process Timeline

GIZ internal preselection process:October to November 17th, 2023
Interviews with the preselected startups:         November 20th – December 15th, 2023
First information if you might be selected:December 2023
Final confirmation:January 2024
Onboarding:aJanuary 2024
Selection process timeline for SAIS Investment Readiness Programme 2024

By Arnold

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *