BUK Set To Launch AgriHack Accelerator Program, Receives World Bank, AFD, Opolo Global Innovation Support

By Olushola Okunlade

To fuel entrepreneurship and innovation in the agricultural sector, the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) at Bayero University, Kano has announced commencing of the AgriHack Accelerator Program.

The Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Bayero University Kano launches AgriHack Accelerator Program in Nigeria with the support of World Bank, AFD, and Opolo Global Innovation.

The Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), a World Bank–supported Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) established to serve as a regional training hub for the West and Central Africa (WCA) sub-region. Bayero University, Kano (BUK) established the Centre in 2012 as part of its effort towards addressing the development challenges of the dryland areas of the sub-region.

Ọpọlọ Global is an innovation enabler, incubator, and accelerator with a focus on nurturing talents to become global innovators, solution developers, and entrepreneurs.

This dynamic initiative, propelled by the success of AgriHacking 1.0 in 2023, seeks to unearth and nurture innovative ideas within the agricultural value chain, with a deep focus on empowering young and women entrepreneurs. Through the CDA’s ACE-impact activities sponsored by the World Bank and AFD, the program is run in partnership with Opolo Global Innovation Limited, a pan-African incubator and accelerator focused on nurturing talents to become global innovators, solution developers, and entrepreneurs.

The AgriHack Accelerator Program reflects the CDA’s commitment to supporting young entrepreneurs with exceptional ideas and fostering innovation in the agricultural landscape in Africa. Specifically, AgriHack Accelerator will:

  • Provide mentees with essential skills for developing and managing successful agricultural businesses.
  • Foster a deeper understanding of the agricultural innovation landscape by connecting mentees with local and global mentors.
  • Assist agripreneurs in crafting robust business plans, pitching ideas effectively, and navigating financial aspects, including fundraising and financial schemes.
  • Instill knowledge about legal and intellectual property matters, team building, customer identification and segmentation, marketing strategies, and sales acceleration.
  • Cultivate a supportive and thriving community of agripreneurs, and provide networking opportunities that will aid their scaling.

Participants will gain full access to intensive and well-structured sessions featuring live business case scenarios including Funding of up to ₦2 million grant support and access to seasoned mentors in the industry.

Criteria for Participants and Startups:

  • Graduates and undergraduates of BUK and other tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
  • Age requirement: 18 – 45 on the day of submission.
  • Residency in Nigeria with a valid Nigerian identity.
  • Innovative ideas for business enterprise development.
  • Females are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • No criminal record related to corruption, tax evasion, financial impropriety, felony, or other offenses.
  • Commitment to participating in a network of CDA AgriHacking Challenge.
  • Agreement with the provided Terms & Conditions.

Other Eligibility Criteria

  • Ideas/start-ups that have received seed funding from any other incubator are not eligible for seed funds.
  • Funding for capital expenditure may not be encouraged.
  • Minimum 3 months of incubation (mandatory) with RITEH-CDA after the pitching exercise.

Evaluation Committee

  • Centre for Entrepreneurship, Research and Training, Bayero University Kano.
  • Directorate of Research, Innovation and Partnership, Bayero University Kano (TT office).
  • Centre for Dryland Agriculture (Deputy Director Outreach and Publication)
  • Abuja Technology Village Free Zone Company Abuja
  • Agricultural Innovation Platform, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India.
  • Opolo Global Innovation Limited.
  • Luis Mira da Silva, University of Lisbon/World Bank Consultant

Start Date:  January 22nd, 2024.









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