The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation today launched the US$2 million Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program for AgriTech startups. The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech is a US$2 million global competition for innovative solutions to increase economic value to farmers, from seed to sale.
The multi-year initiative is focused on global innovators and entrepreneurs developing technological solutions that accelerate progress towards implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a spotlight on the African continent.
This program will include multiple technology prize competitions in the areas of agriculture, energy, education, and health.
“Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies have the power to solve complicated socio-economic and human problems. In the hands of entrepreneurs, these technologies can turn Africa into a global economic powerhouse and transform the world,” said Dr Patrice Motsepe, Founder and Chairman of the Motsepe Foundation.
“Precious and I are thrilled to partner with Mike Milken and the Milken Institute to launch this prize that encourages African and global entrepreneurs to innovate and use 4IR technologies to address some of Africa and the world’s most pressing challenges and improve the living conditions and standards of living of people globally.” He added.
“My good friends Patrice and Precious Motsepe have long been valued partners of the Milken Institute, especially in addressing global health issues,” said Milken Institute Chairman Mike Milken. “The Motsepe Foundation’s leadership has been highly effective in Africa and inspiring to people around the world. I’m delighted that we will again join forces to encourage long-term technological innovation and enhance the human capital of farmers so they can play a greater role in sustaining a more dynamic regional economy.”
Registration is now open for the first of these free-to-enter prizes. Teams have until December 8, 2021, to register and submit designs and business models. An independent panel of expert judges will select up to 25 teams to each receive $10,000 to develop small-scale prototypes over the ensuing six months. In the final round, teams will demonstrate their entries in field tests which will be evaluated by their ability to:
- Increase net economic value to the farmer
- Increase productivity at harvest and/or decrease post-harvest loss
- Reduce costs for farmers
- Provide a viable and sustainable business model
- Be implemented by small and medium-sized farms
- Develop or integrate innovative technologies
The judges will award a US$1 million Grand Prize, with additional prize money distributed among Second and Third Place winners, a prize for the most creative use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and a People’s Choice Prize.
Registration is free, and in addition to the prize money, teams will benefit from access to networking, training, and other resources. To register for the prize, or to learn more, visit www.milkenmotsepeprize.org.
Image credit: ADC Forum