On day 2 of the Global Agriprenuers Summit at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC), Securing Water for Food (SWFF) and Future Agro Challenge (FAC) innovators participated in a “speed dating” style session with select investors.
“The Matchmaking Zone” was placed in the heart of the Marketplace at the Sandton Convention Centre.
“If innovation is the key to driving the private sector, then investment is the fuel. That is why I see immense value in this type of event, and I hope you do too!” stated Alonzo Wind, USAID Mission Director, in his welcome remarks for the session.
Once at the pavilion, innovators met one-on-one with 3-7 investors for 15 minutes each.
In their sessions, innovators, who were matched with investors according to their mutual interests, presented their 3-minute pitch decks that included an elevator pitch, vision, opportunity, a description of their product or service, how they would gain or are gaining customer traction, business model and competitive landscape.
Innovators also discussed: 1) How much money they are looking for and what they would offer in return, and 2) Why should investors invest in their venture.
Innovators had the opportunity to pitch their innovations to interested investors and perhaps convince some of the investors of their strong promise and potential worthiness for investor funding. Some innovators used a presentation to showcase their invention, while others brought in the actual product to help tell the story.
The event brought together agriculture entrepreneurs, farmers, investors, industry leaders, and implementers for the ultimate goal of producing more food in a socially and environmentally sustainable way. Perhaps, fifteen minutes was precious little time, but for some it was just the necessary time to positively change their own lives and make a difference in the lives of others.