Two Ghanaian technology startups who have excelled in competitions both home and abroad have presented their awards to the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the Jubilee House, Accra.
At a brief ceremony, the co-founders of Techshelta, an Agribusiness startup building digital tools and solutions geared towards the Vegetable Greenhouse Farming sector, and Health Direct Global, a health-tech startup based in Accra, presented the awards they won at the closing plenary of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) held in Accra, and at the just ended Japan/Africa Pitch Competition which was held during the TICAD 7 Summit in Yokohama, Japan respectively.
Out of 22 startups selected across the African continent, TechShelta’s innovative solution, apart from emerging as one of the best presentations, also earned them the Greentec Capital Award and prize money at the Pitch AgriHack, a competition organised by CTA and its partners to support young agricultural entrepreneurs (Agripreneurs) build viable businesses and boost innovation for a more sustainable agricultural sector.
An early stage startup, Techshelta has over the past seven months been building digital tools and solutions geared towards the Vegetable Greenhouse Farming sector. The company uses Internet of Things (IoT) devices to enable greenhouse farmers remotely control some operational systems, connect farmers to Agronomists virtually and provide market access.
It was co-founded by Paul Asiedu, Kennedy Adufah, Gifty Mintaa Quarshie and Bob Hawkson Amponsah, who have a combined experience of over 20 years in Agronomy, Engineering, Business and Supply Chain, ICT and Data Analytics.
On its part, Health Direct Global, co-founded by Kelvin Kotey Ashie and Amos Narh Doku, was one of three African startups that were awarded at the just ended Japan/Africa Pitch Competition which was held during the TICAD 7 Summit in Yokohama, Japan. The pitch contest saw 24 tech startups from Africa and Japan go head-to-head in an impressive battle of technological innovation, business models and social impact.
At the end of the jury deliberation, Health Direct Global, a Ghanaian health-tech company which provides a multi-sided platform that leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) and biometric-based electronic health records to match users to health service providers in real time and a blockchain-based payments infrastructure to provide alternative healthcare financing for urban, peri-urban and people at the bottom of the pyramid won the PwC Japan Prize for Business Model, Innovation and Scalability.
Vice President Bawumia commended the two companies for keeping the Ghanaian flag flying in the tech startup ecosystem, pointing out that the fourth Industrial revolution requires that countries pay greater attention to technological solutions if they seek to develop and make life better for their citizens.
The Vice President challenged other startups to come up with solutions to everyday problems, assuring of government interest and support for ideas and solutions that have potential.
In a related development, Techshelta and Health Direct Global are the first two startups selected from the GODEP Initiative (Ghana Oracle Digital Enterprise Programme) to attend and exhibit at the 2019 Oracle Open World Conference in San Francisco.