The fast rise of technology-based businesses in Nigeria continues to brew a source of inspiration for many Nigerian Youths and Undergraduates, making University Campuses a Hub for brewing many ideas that have socio-economic impact and that are commercially viable. The need to support and develop these communities of student innovators birthed the Project Campus2Market. The flagship edition of Wennovation Hubs’ Project: #Campus2Market, kicked off with a 3 day Boot Camp for selected participants chosen from the pool of submissions received for the project.
Project Campus to Market is aimed at developing the Innovative Business and Tech Communities springing out of campuses around Nigeria, providing them with leverage for sustainable businesses and showcase the great business potentials that can scale across the African region and globally.
3 teams of two persons per team were selected based on the depth of innovation, feasibility of the idea and social impact of the project, and then invited for a 3 day Pre-incubation Boot Camp which featured an intensive series of business-focused lectures that will build them into grounded Entrepreneurs, develop their business ideas and broaden the horizon of their business reach via networking and engagement.
The Boot Camp themed “Starting Early” started on Monday, 18th September 2017 and ended on Wednesday, 20th September 2017 with a Pitch Event where the finalists — JollofBot, TailrNG and NearBuy pitched their ideas to an experienced panel of entrepreneurs with quality feedback, contributions and validation for their ideas.
Within the Bootcamp, Michael Ogundare, the founder of JollofBot was inspired to take on something he had a deep passion for, Agriculture. Hence, after the Bootcamp, through continual mentoring from Wennovation Hub he started the AgriTech startup called Crop2Cash.
For Michael, pivoting was only one thing, he needed to validate his idea and Wennovation Hub gave him just the right opportunities, starting with a special Meet and Greet with Marsha Wulff (Serial American Investor and Lead Partner — LoftyInc Capital Management).
Michael had follow on opportunities which he took dutifully and soon began to build his business gradually, worthy of note however was the CARI-GIZ Project which Wennovation Hub gave Michael and his team a ticket to attend. This event marked the turning point for Crop2Cash, as he won a 25,000 euro contract from the German Development Co-operation (GIZ). As an undergraduate, the Campus2Market vision was finally speaking.
Michael and his team went on to work with the GIZ, deploying cutting edge AgriTech solutions for the Largest rice mill in Africa and gaining dominance within the Agro processors space.
Wennovation Hub still provides incubation activities to Crop2cash, as with all our portfolio startups, they enjoy mock board meetings, advisory, professional services, term sheet negotiations, investment scouting, introductions to prospective customers and partners, coworking spaces etc.
For the Wennovation/Crop2Cash relationship, it has been a journey of iterating models, rejigging strategy and giving accolades where due.
August 2018, witnessed the emergence of Crop2Cash as the winner of the FCMB/Wennovation Hub AgriTech Incubation Program, where they walked away with 2.25 million naira in cash and much more in kind.
Their feat at the FCMB/Wennovation AgriTech Incubation program was followed by an invitation to the ‘AgriHack’ pitch event in Rwanda; a week long series of events backed by the Netherlands based Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural cooperation (CTA). Again, Crop2Cash emerged as a finalist at the event.
More recently, in January 2019, Crop2Cash was selected to pitch alongside 9 other startups at the MEST Africa Challenge 2019 at the MEST accelerator office in Lagos.
Our heartfelt warm congratulations goes to Crop2Cash today 1st of March 2019 as they raise a major pre-series investment from one of Wennovation Hub’s partners. We wish them success in their drive to empower millions of farmers and agri-processors in Africa.
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