Calling all innovators in Rwanda: Postharvest Innovation Competition 2018 (Deadline: May 25,2018)


Postharvest Innovation Competition 2018The Reducing Reducing postharvest losses in Rwanda project is hosting the ‘Rwanda Postharvest Conference’ in Kigali on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 and will include an Postharvest Innovation Competition. The project has been initiated by the Horticulture Innovation Lab, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of the US Government’s global hunger and food security initiative called Feed the Future initiative and led by the University of California, Davis. University of Rwanda, National Agricultural Export Development Board and Rwanda Agriculture Board are project partners under the guidance of Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources. This project is aimed at increasing food security in Rwanda, by understanding and identifying the most efficient ways to reduce
postharvest losses.

The aim of the Postharvest Innovation Competition is to showcase the best emerging postharvest technologies and innovations with potential for scale-up. Additionally, the competition seeks to establish and strengthen linkages between innovators and potential investors as well as mentors to facilitate up-scaling of innovations with the goal of reducing postharvest horticultural losses.


The call is open to individuals and institutions working in Rwanda. The technologies/innovations should either be at Testing or Market-ready stages. The Competition will select top innovators from successful entries (all Round 2
winners) and offer them accelerated training on scaling up.

1) To qualify for the competition, the venture must:

a. Be scalable long term – scalability will take into account the potential for growth
of the business and potential impact

b. In early stages and/or even proof-of-concept, however, existing business must
have not obtained $250,000 or more in equity funding, grants, other business
competitions, or sales prior to the registration date

2) The proposed venture cannot have been in operation for more than 3 years (i.e., cannot
not have been incorporated for more than 3 years per the date of business plan submission).

3) The proposed venture may not be a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing entity (either
a for-profit or non-profit entity).

4) Should be practical and applicable for postharvest loss management in various
agricultural value chains including:

a. Perishable food crop commodities (including fruits, vegetables, roots & tubers,
edible fungi)

b. Postharvest labour reducing technologies

5) The entry should be submitted in English

6) The entrepreneur should adhere to the template provided


Top 8 entries will be given the opportunity to showcase and pitch to potential partners in a special session during the upcoming Rwanda Postharvest Conference. $50,000 will be given out in cash awards to winners. The maximum prize for any one winner is $5000-$10,000.

Round 1: Preliminaries

Entrepreneurs submit initial information about their innovations/technologies and biographies of team members. Entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to attend the Agribusiness Development training on May 15-16, 2018

Round 2: Semi-Finals

A select number of Entrepreneurs will be chosen to move forward to round 2. Entrepreneurs will submit pitch deck and financial projections All semi-finalists will be invited to a workshop to work on their Pitch Decks on Wed, June 6, 2018

Round 3: Finals

Top 8 Entrepreneurs from Round 2 will have the opportunity to practice pitching in front of external judges during a Dry Run event (Friday,July 13). Feedback will be offered.Entrepreneurs make final presentation at the Conference + Award Ceremony on Wednesday, July 18,2018.


All submissions to be sent to
with ‘Postharvest Innovation Competition Entry’ in the subject line

Judging criteria

The competition will award ventures that show the most integrated strategy for
success and proactive steps towards successful implementation, in addition to market
opportunity. Judging criteria stem from foundational beliefs regarding determinants of
success in two key areas:

Business Potential: Winning ventures link a clearly defined problem with a compelling
economic opportunity. Ventures should be designed to fit a specific market and
should reflect a deep understanding of a core customer and other key stakeholders. In
addition to generating impact, ventures should be financially feasible, fundable, and

Likelihood of Success: Winning ventures are made possible by winning teams, and
ideas are only as good as their execution. A venture’s business and impact potential
depend on the team that stands behind it, and that team’s ability to carry it forward.

We ask judges to consider each section equally, focusing on how key details in each area
are communicated via the entirety of a venture’s deliverables.

Additional questions? Please contact

For more information,please download Rwanda Postharvest Innovation Competition packet (PDF) or visit Horticulture Innovation Lab in Rwanda


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