GIZ releases details of its 2024 tech startup investment program.

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The Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Startups (SAIS) is announcing its Investment Readiness Programme (IRP), a year-long initiative aimed at securing investments and fostering the growth of technology startups in the fields of Agriculture, Food, and Climate across the African continent.

The program is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It also benefits from co-funding provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to GIZ, its mission is to elevate incomes within the African agri-food sector by expanding the reach of established digital innovations.

These innovations span a wide array of sectors, encompassing Agribusiness, agroecology, Animal farming, Clean Technology, Energy, Crop farming, E-commerce, EdTech, Fintech, Food and beverage, Food production, and Logistics.

Who it is for
The program is tailored for technology startups operating within Africa, registered in the region, and actively engaged in delivering scalable, market-oriented solutions in agriculture, food, or climate change.

Furthermore, it extends its reach to individuals who have conceived technological solutions that contribute to the sustainability and profitability of the industry while concurrently empowering key stakeholders within the value chain.

Program details
In a document seen by Nairametrics, the program offers a range of valuable features, including personalized coaching sessions conducted by both local and international experts.

Additionally, participants will have access to a series of individualized online training modules, covering essential topics to enhance their startup’s development.

These topics include pitch training, growth strategy, data analytics and management, term sheet negotiation, valuation techniques, market analysis, and marketing and sales strategies.

Furthermore, a dedicated budget is allocated to cover essential areas such as legal advice, online marketing, digital product enhancement, design, coding, and travel expenses for attending conferences.

To foster integration into thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems, the program offers the opportunity to utilize local hub or office spaces, facilitating connections with peers, enhancing visibility, and providing access to key players within the local, regional, and international startup networks.

Participants will also gain access to an extensive investor and partner network, opening doors to potential investment opportunities and fruitful business partnerships on regional, national, and international levels.

Specialized support is additionally offered to female founders and women in leadership positions within startups, promoting networking, peer-to-peer learning, and increased visibility.

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

Here are the eligibility criteria for participation:

  • Your startup must be officially registered and operate within Africa.
  • You must provide a valid certificate of registration for your startup.
  • Your team should comprise at least two individuals who ideally work full-time for the startup.
  • The founding and management team should possess entrepreneurial and technical expertise relevant to your field of operation.
  • Your startup should offer a viable digital product or service that positively contributes to society.
  • Your product must have a favorable impact on sectors such as African AgTech or FoodTech, and may also include vertical sectors like ClimateTech, eCommerce, FinTech, Logistics, and EdTech, among others.
  • Your digital product must have been launched and in operation for a minimum of six months before submitting your application.
  • Startups must present evidence of traction, which may include a customer base and initial revenue generation.
  • Your startup should have a coherent and compelling business model, encompassing a well-defined problem statement, a clear digital solution, a distinct customer segment, and a transparent revenue stream.
  • Not Mandatory but Considered):
  • A female founder or if your team includes women in high management positions
  • Having a founding team member with an IT background
  • Prior experience with startups, either from you or your founding team members
  • If your product is designed to cater to a vulnerable customer group.

Apply here on or before October 20, 2023, by clicking on the “apply” button above. You can apply in English or French. The video pitch must be a maximum of 2 minutes with a pitch deck.