Hivos in collaboration with Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) will be hosting Disrupt!, a competitive ideathon event that brings together entrepreneurs within the agriculture/seed sector, from 4thto 6thJuly 2018. During the 3-day ideathon several individuals or teams will be supported by mentors and experts to bring their business idea to the next level. At the end of the event they have to pitch their idea/business model to a jury and audience of impact investors. The best ideas will leave with a follow up meeting with an investor.
The firstDisrupt! Ideathonwas held in February 2017 in Kenya. Eight entrepreneurs from Kenya and Tanzania with scalable initiatives received support from Hivos and KCIC. The event hopes to address incessant lack of diverse, high quality and preferred seeds in East Africa. The formal seed system is only able to deliver a small percentage of the required seeds for the main cash crops. The so called informal seed system that delivers majority of the seeds in the market is more or less left by itself without much support, despite its importance for the seed sector. It is farmers, traders and local entrepreneurs and community seed banks who are part of the informal system.
The event will befacilitated by an experienced ideathon trainer Hugo Verkuijl (Hivos, the Netherlands) together with a facilitator from KCIC at Strathmore Business School where the Climate Innovation Centre is located.
Those invited to participate areteams or individuals with a market-based initiative in the agriculture/seed sector, with a social impact goal and who are interested to bring their project idea or start-up to the next level. Mentors with excellent inside knowledge in the seed sector will be invited to guide the social entrepreneurs and strengthen their value proposition. A Jurycomprising of investors and experts has been constituted to assess the viable ideas.
Social enterprises include community seed banks with a business arm; producer groups multiplying seeds; farmer -breeders, (Open source) seed networks with a revenue model for service provisions, Technology (ICT) based enterprises, ethical seed companies and Private breeders. The expected outcome of the event is to have at least 3 new business ideas identified and taken to the next level through KCIC support.
Hivos is an international organization that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. Hivos is currently exploring the potential of an ‘open source seed systems’ approach that promotes innovation in and accessibility to seeds. They work in East Africa with vulnerable smallholder farmers living in areas prone to climate change.
Kenya Climate Innovation Centre provides holistic, country-driven support to accelerate the development, deployment and transfer of locally relevant climate and clean energy technologies.The KCIC provides incubation, capacity building services and financing to Kenyan entrepreneurs and new ventures that are developing innovative solutions in energy, water and agribusiness to address climate change challenges. The Kenya CIC is an initiative supported by the World Bank’s infoDev and is the first in a global network of CICs being launched by infoDev’s Climate Technology Program (CTP). The Kenya CIC is funded by the United Kingdom’s UKaid and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
By Michelle Mung’ata