Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UMVIP) organized today in Accra an information session about IMPULSE, a best in-class startup acceleration program, with support from OCP Group and its subsidiary OCP Africa.
The program is designed with MassChallenge, a global accelerator organization, with a unique non-profit, zero equity and impact focused model. Impulse aims to sustain OCP Group’s ambitious innovation agenda and to accelerate the development of innovative startups working on African challenges in the fields of Agritech, Biotech, Mining Tech and Materials Science & Nanotech.
Speaking at the Ghana information session, which was attended by various stakeholders ranging from young entrepreneurs in Agribusiness, venture capitalists, farmers and corporate executives, Adnane Alaoui Soulimani, Impulse Program Director, stated: “Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is proud to have created, together with MassChallenge and OCP Group, a unique and outstanding value proposition for startups working on African Challenges. We are also pleased to be able to empower our own youth and entrepreneurs to invent our own future, respecting our identities and following our own models of development. The Impulse team has been delighted to be able to present and discuss the program offering with representatives from the Ghanaian startup ecosystem. We look forward to receiving applications from Ghanaian entrepreneurs to our program.”
Sharing his experience as an Agritech Entrepreneur, Kamal, the founder of Trotro Tractor, indicated that such an acceleration program would help propel his business to higher heights and expressed excitement that OCP Africa is introducing Impulse to Agri-businesses in Ghana. He said, “Any innovative initiative that seeks to support smallholder farmers must be commended and supported.”
Sharing her experiences in the Agric industry, Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, advised the youth who are into Agri-business to focus on a particular niche and perfect it in order to be successful. She said women in Agritech will benefit a lot when they are supported by organizations like OCP Africa and advised many of the start-ups to take advantage of the Impulse program to grow their businesses.
On her part, madam Paulina Ady Wiad, Director of Women in Agric (MoFA), disclosed that the government through other private organizations has trained women in tractor operation and 60 of them will graduate from the training in the coming week.
She stated, “MoFA has collaborated with OCP Africa on a number of projects for small-holder farmers. Impulse is an innovative project which will change the Agribusiness landscape in Ghana and the ministry will once again support this brilliant innovative initiative to succeed in Ghana.
Catherine Akpaloo, a farmer and a tractor operator in the Volta Region, disclosed how technology helped her record increased yield and revenue in his farm business. She said, “my parents are farmers and when I took over the management of the farms, I adopted an innovation which helps identify pest and diseases and reduce them so as to increase yield.”
She continued that Impulse will be a good platform to help smallholder farmers in the country overcome the different challenges they are facing especially the one related to the required funding to upscale.
Impulse is a 12-week acceleration program dedicated to innovative startups in the fields of Agritech, BioTech, Mining Tech and Materials Science & Nano Engineering. Impulse will help entrepreneurs take their startups to the next level and bridge connections with OCP Group, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), MassChallenge and their ecosystems.
All startups participating in the Impulse program will benefit from numerous advantages to strengthen their innovative projects:
ü Mentoring and coaching offered by OCP experts, UM6P professors and doctoral students and mentors of the MassChallenge network and the Moroccan entrepreneurial ecosystem.
ü Access to business opportunities via OCP Group, OCP Africa and UM6P networks.
ü A cash prize of $ 250,000 to be shared on the Demo Day between winning startups.
ü Access to UM6P infrastructure: Fablab, experimental laboratories and living laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art equipment enabling startups to develop and test prototypes of their products and services.
ü Study trips to the ecosystems of Boston and Lausanne.
ü Access to a 430 m² co-working space, equipped with the necessary facilities and equipment to enable startups to work on their businesses.
ü Access to financing through a set of national and international investment funds and business angels.
More information about the Impulse Accelerator are available on www.impulse.ma
About OCP Group
OCP plays an important role in feeding a growing global population, by providing essential elements for soil fertility and plants growth. With almost a century of experience and revenues reaching US$ 5.95 billion in 2018, OCP Group is a leader in the phosphate rock and the world’s first producer of phosphate-based fertilizers.
OCP provides a wide range of well-adapted fertilizer products to enhance soil, increase agricultural yields, and help feeding the planet in a sustainable and affordable way. Thanks to its large-scale integrated industrial development strategy, OCP is present on the entire phosphate value chain and operates on all of its business lines, offering to its 23,000 employees a development path focused on excellence.
Headquartered in Morocco, OCP works in a close partnership with more than 160 customers over 5 continents. Committed to best serve the development of Africa, OCP places innovation at the heart of its strategy, in particular to implement sustainable and prosperous agriculture on the continent.
As a responsible industrial player, OCP is strongly committed to Africa’s environmental, social and human development. The Group is firmly convinced that leadership and profitability are necessarily synonymous to social responsibility and sustainable development. Its strategic vision resides where these two dimensions meet. For more information, please visit OCP Group’s official site at : www.ocpgroup.ma
About OCP Africa
OCP Africa was created in 2016 to work hand-in-hand with farmers to contribute to unlocking Africa’s vast agricultural potential. We produce fertilizer solutions customized to local conditions and crop needs, and we work with partners in many different African governments, non-profits and private enterprises to connect farmers to the agricultural services, knowledge and resources they need in order to prosper. With a presence across the continent, we understand the diversity and complex needs of Africa’s soils, and we are committed to offering the right fertilizer products at the right time, in the right place, at the right price.
Based in Morocco, OCP Africa is a subsidiary of OCP Group – a leading global provider of phosphate and its derivatives with almost 100 years of experience.