In March, AfricaHacks launched its first Startup Sandbox Program with a number of entrepreneurs who want the chance to turn their ideas into startups. The 10-week long program saw several registration and participants. All of whom carried out various activities to reach milestones and gain business and tech skills that will help scale their businesses. In the end, 13 Teams -Team-Alpha, xcrowme, FeltTeachers, AgServer, AkuafoLink, Valuable World, Ujumi, Imock- pitched on the Demo Day.
The Demo day came up on the 8th of May, 2020 and it had Belema Akinyosoye, a supply chain management leader, Christine Dikonguéof AfricaHacks, Kasope Ladipo-Ajai, the VP Operations Omoklats Food Services and Vitalis Omambin the Co-founder of Kunye Financial, inc. as speakers and judges. In the end, Peter Unekwu Agnes of Cash Fog won.
In an effort to get a general overview of the program from a participant, I interviewed Peters, the founder of the winning project about his experience in the program.
What’s the name of your startup and what is it about?
The name of our Startup is Cashfog. It is the new Uber of farm machines. It solves the problem of agricultural rentals in Sub Saharan Africa. With Cashfog, users who need farm machinery or mobility can search and find those who want to rent them out. You can access our demo at www.cashfog.com
Who are your target audience and how long has it been since you launched?
We are targeting farmers, cooperative societies, farming clusters, State government and individuals. Our targets are 12 million farmers of which we have access to 3 million already. We launched three weeks back.
How did you hear about the sandbox program and what was your experience in the program like?
I heard about the program via Twitter and an email invite. For me, the program was a very immersive experience. The demo came with lots of suspense. I was not upbeat about any positive outcome towards the ending. The judges looked like people I might never impress. The feeling of not knowing what to expect is very great and terrific.
One thing that stands out is that the program is designed to favour those who have some fair level of commitment to what they are doing. The good part is the structure of the contest. Every winner doesn’t just go home with a prize. The business venture they pitched is ensured to come alive in series of mentorship from the AfricaHacks team. With that level of commitment from AfricaHacks team, they will be creating about 100 jobs or more in a short period of time, even before the end of the year.
Click here to join the next AfricaHacks Startup Sandbox Program
What are your future plans for the Startup?
We intend to partner with Google and Skycapital to foster insurance products powered by Artificial Intelligence. We hope to raise about $100,000.00 in the next 3 months and follow through with a seed round of $ 2 million. With this, we can expand and deliver value faster for our customers.
How does it feel to have emerged the winner?
It feels awesome and great. It comes with a level of validation that confirms society needs this product. We are thankful for AfricaHacks.
What recommendations do you have for people who will love participating in the next Start-up Sandbox Program?
My recommendation for the next participants would be to have a good idea that solves a nagging problem. They should ensure they complete their Minimum Viable Product at the end of their milestone. Rack up the necessary traction necessary for your idea to have a pilot phase. A product with 50 users who are not paying is better than one with 3 users and high revenue. Communicate vigorously with everyone you could find on the AfricaHacks Discord platform, you will find the interaction useful.