OCP Africa and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), to start impulse start-up acceleration program to build linkages between corporations and start-ups using Agritech solutions in Ethiopia.
The program aims to help unlock Ethiopia’s agricultural potential, according to the press statement from the company. “Following the success of the Impulse program in Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, OCP Africa is making a last stop in Ethiopia, to convene with key stakeholders from the agriculture, entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems,” the statement said.
The Impulse program is a 12-week acceleration program dedicated to innovative startups in the fields of Agritech, Biotech, Mining tech and Materials Science & Nano Engineering. Working in partnership with OCP Group, UM6P, Mass Challenge and their ecosystems, Impulse uses an impact-focused model to help entrepreneurs take their startups to the next level.
“The agricultural transformation in Ethiopia represents a unique opportunity for Agritech start-ups,” said Mr. Mehdi Filani, OCP Ethiopia Country Director. “We believe the Impulse start-up acceleration program can add value to develop Ethiopia’s agriculture sector, through innovative technologies,” he said.
The Impulse program targets start-ups operating in fields related to the value chain of OCP Group and UM6P’s research agenda to help Africa’s agriculture sector increase its productivity in a sustainable manner.
Representatives from the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), Ethiopia Entrepreneurs Association, Cepheus Growth Capital Partners, Omega Farms, OCP and UM6P, were among the panelists and keynote speakers at the event held at the Sheraton Addis hotel.
They discussed the necessity to develop entrepreneurship and innovative ecosystems in Africa and the impact digital technology could have on the agricultural sector in Ethiopia.
Mr. Adnane Alaoui Soulimani, Impulse Program Director, expressed his enthusiasm about the opportunity to present the Impulse Accelerator to Ethiopian entrepreneurs. “Impulse can play a significant role in the acceleration of innovative technologies that are transforming agri-businesses and smallholder farming techniques in Ethiopia, a country where over eighty percent of the population is engaged in agriculture,” he said.
Panellists also discussed the different ways acceleration programs such as Impulse could transform African agriculture, and how corporations can create sustainable partnerships with entrepreneurs to create more opportunities for youth and women in the agricultural sector.
The Impulse program offers numerous advantages to accelerate the development of innovative start-ups including mentoring and coaching, access to potential business opportunities, study trips to the ecosystems of Boston and Lausanne, and a $250,000 cash prize to be shared between winning start-ups on the demo day.
OCP Africa is a subsidiary of OCP Group is a leading global provider of phosphate and its derivatives with almost 100 years of experience. Based in Morocco, OCP Africa, was created to work hand-in-hand with farmers to contribute to unlocking Africa’s vast agricultural potential, in 2016.
OCP produce fertilizer solutions customized to local conditions and crop needs, and works with partners in many different African governments, non-profits and private enterprises to connect farmers to agricultural services, knowledge and resources they need in order to prosper.
With a presence across the continent, OCP understands the diversity and complex needs of Africa’s soils, and is committed to offering the right fertilizer products at the right time, in the right place, at the right price.
OCP Group is working with the Ethiopian government to jointly develop a USD 3.7 billion fertilizer platform in the country. OCP is currently supplying 100% of Ethiopia’s demand of phosphate fertilizers; granting timely access to high quality and customized fertilizers for Ethiopian farmers.
Beyond the supply of fertilizers, OCP is contributing to the transformation of the country’s agricultural sector through several programs such as the development of cash crops, horticulture, livestock and blending units.