The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) AgriTech Challenge is set to begin as more than 120 young entrepreneurs have been selected for the 2018 edition.

The challenge, builds the capacity of young entrepreneurs as they are required to use information and communications technology (ICT) to develop innovative commercial solutions, to tackle challenges within the agricultural sector.

At the ceremony to announce the selected persons for the third edition of the challenge, the Vice-President and Country Manager of Kosmos Energy, Mr Joe Mensah, said more than 200 applicants were shortlisted and interviewed before settling on the final 121.

“It is also expected that between 25 and 30 business groups will be formed to compete for the ultimate prize, which includes seed funding and technical assistance,” he explained.

He said compared to last year, the interest and participation in the AgriTech Challenge was better this year.

According to him, this year will also mark the introduction of the KIC fellowship/alumni programme to create a community of all past KIC participants and partners.

The objective, the country manager explained, was to create an ecosystem of change agents and thought leadership focused on agriculture and innovation.

The project will last the next seven months and will see the fledgling entrepreneurs through a range of activities, including capacity-building sessions and market research tours.

The participants, will be grouped in teams to create and fine-tune business ideas.

They will be required to pitch and defend their business plans before a panel of judges composed of experts from diverse sectors such as agribusiness, ICT, academia and finance.

As in past challenges, the participants will embark on a series of market research tours in selected parts of the country.

This will help deepen their understanding of the agricultural value chain and agribusiness operations.

However it has been revealed that, the two businesses with the best business based on ICT and innovation model will receive $50,000 each in seed funding and technical assistance from the KIC.

They will also receive mentorship from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), to build their ideas into viable businesses.