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ColdHubs Win FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch 2020

Social enterprise ColdHubs has won the FCMB Agritech EPIC Pitch 2020 competition, receiving NGN1 million (US$2,600) in prize money as well as access to workspace and networks for innovation and collaboration.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) had partnered Passion Incubator to launch the third edition of the competition, setting aside NGN1.5 million (US$3,900) to support the top two startups in the programme.

Other benefits for winners include mentor support, workspace, and access to market and networks, while entrepreneurs will also have access to Passion Incubator’s resources, partner organisation support, and business development services.

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The application phase saw close to 2,000 agri-tech startups from over 16 countries around the world apply, with 10 startups named semi-finalists. After two days of semi-final pitches, six of those companies – all from Nigeria – progressed to the final.

ColdHubs, which designs, installs, commissions and operates solar-powered walk-in cold rooms, was named overall winner, while AgroHive, an HR-tech startup that helps agribusinesses access a consistent supply of skilled agricultural staff, came second and banked NGN500,000 (US$1,300).

The other finalists were Farmz2U, which helps farmers access tailored agricultural expertise using data and market access via system integrations; Beat Drone, which uses drones for spraying, crop health assessment and farmland mapping; Tradebuza, which digitises commodities sourcing and trade for large agribusinesses who run out-grower schemes; and Farmspeak Technology, which manufactures IoT-powered that use artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose poultry diseases.

“We are passionate about supporting Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and this initiative is one of the ways through which we are building and accelerating the growth of the agri-tech startups in Nigeria, as well as the larger African continent,” said Rolayo Akhigbe, divisional head of transaction banking at FCMB.