Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Startups (SAIS) is a programme run by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project looks to support African startups in the agriculture and food sector which are on the verge of scaling their digital innovations.

Up to 18 startups are annually selected to participate in the 9-month Investment Readiness Programme supported by BMZ – the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Startups gain from improved business models, access to investors and business partners, and enhanced impact.

The programme is guided by 7 output indicators when gauging the investor readiness of select startups. These are the competencies of the founding team, the integrity of the data room, digitized system monitoring the startups’ user base, market research and competitive analysis available in their national market and target expansion market, sales and marketing strategy and catalog, a market-ready and consumer-driven digitally innovative product, and improved customer growth.

Benefits and application criteria 

Participating startups get weekly advisory and coaching sessions, hub integration, access to GIZ-SAIS’ network, extended services for female entrepreneurs, and meet-up events. To apply, your startup must be rapid-scalable and employ digital solutions in the agriculture or food sectors. To qualify, the startup must be legally registered in an African country and must have a certificate of incorporation, a team of not less than two who are highly motivated to work full-time. Must have a viable digital product with clear positive outcomes for user products.

Innovation categories on focus are precision farming, IoT, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, digital learning software, robotics, MOOC platforms, blockchain, database, information management systems, GIS, monitoring, control systems, GIS, web platforms, SMS services, big data analysis systems, and social media.



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