Sixty percent of the African population is employed in agriculture, with more than 80% of all output produced by small-scale farms. Agricultural productivity growth in Africa is about half that seen in other developing economies. Up to 40% of food produced by smallholder farmers in Africa is lost between harvest and consumption.
The inaugural Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize is focused on accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 and 2: no poverty and zero hunger. The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech is a global competition for innovative solutions to increase economic value to farmers, from seed to sale.
Teams submit their design and business model. An independent panel of expert judges will select up to twenty-five teams to receive $100,000 each and advance in the competition. The selected team will develop their prototypes and conduct field tests on small- and medium-sized farms in Africa. Winning teams will increase net economic value to small- and medium-size farms by developing innovative food solutions for any stage of the food system, from seed to sale; designing a viable business model; and increasing farm productivity and/or decreasing post-harvest loss.
The winning team will receive a $1 million grand prize, with $1 million in additional prizes (2nd place - $300,000; 3rd place - $150,000; People's Prize - $100,000).
Many entrepreneurs lack the information and tools they need to bring their inventions to life. In addition to the chance to win cash prizes, the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program provides additional opportunities for entrepreneurs, including participation in an online community; a twelve-week experiential learning program powered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development Idea to Market curriculum; and membership in the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program alumni network.
Registration for the competition is free and open to anyone. Design round submissions are due in December. Up to twenty-five teams will be notified of their design round awards in February 2022, and finalist prizes will be announced in April 2023.
For more information, see the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize website.