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GIZ-SAIS 2020 Investment Readiness Programme

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-ups’ (SAIS) is on suitable candidattes to apply for its 2020 programme. 

To be eligible for this programme, your start-up must be innovative which should apply digital solutions to the agriculture and food sector

Table of Content

About GIZ-SAIS

Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-ups’ (SAIS) is a project implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Our goal is to support African start-ups in scaling their digital innovations; these innovations should enable users in the agriculture or food sector to increase their income... read more


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GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme

  • Type Entrepreneurs
  • OrganisationGIZ-SAIS
  • Country to study -
  • School to study -
  • Course to study Not specified
  • State of Origin
  • Gender Men and Women
  • Application Deadline June 30, 2020

Aim and Benefits of GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme

Selected start-ups will participate in a nine-month Investment Readiness Programme fully funded by GIZ-SAIS. The program includes:

  1. Weekly advisory and coaching sessions held virtually during which strategies and measures for rapid growth, product improvement, business and management operations, innovation and scaling are developed and implemented with the start-ups;
  2. Access to additional service providers to optimize certain segments of the start-up (e.g. legal, marketing, coding, etc.);
  3. Integration of the selected start-ups in one of our partner hubs in their home country in order to facilitate their visibility and contact with relevant actors in the local start-up scene;
  4. A virtual kick-off event to start the program, back to back with the SA Innovation Summit 2020, followed by a mid-term check-in early 2021;
  5. A demo-day with investors and business partners will conclude the program in July 2021. Depending on the COVID-19 situation over the course of 2020/21, the mid-term check and the demo-day will possibly have to be shifted into online events.

Throughout the duration of the program, the SAIS team will facilitate contacts and interactions with potential investors and business partners.


Requirements for GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme Qualification

SAIS is looking for innovative start-ups that are about to scale rapidly and apply digital solutions to the agriculture and food sector which enable their users to improve their income. In addition, digital products or services that help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 are a plus and will be taken into special consideration.

Mandatory criteria

  1. Legal representation
    1. The start-up must be registered and operating in at least one African country.
  2. Team
    1. The start-up must have a team of at least two people.
    2. The management team must be highly motivated and work at the business ideally full-time time.
  3. Digital product
    1. The start-up needs to have a viable digital product with a clear positive impact on its users’ income.
    2. The product must be aligned with one of the digital technologies listed below.
  4. Access to market and traction
    1. The start-up must have launched its digital product at least six months ago and provide evidence of good traction as well as existing processes that need to be performed.

Competitive criteria

  1. Business model
    1. The start-up should have an easily understandable and very convincing business model (clear problem statement, clear digital solution, clear customer segment and clear revenues stream).
  2. Customer data
    1. The start-up should have access to customer data via its digital solution (number of customers and gender); if this is not the case, building customer databases will be one of the first development measures if the start-up is selected for the IRP.
  3. Level of innovation
    1. Innovative and disruptive solutions will be regarded as an asset.  Solutions that help mitigate the impact of Covid-19 will be taken into special consideration

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Interview date, Process and Venue for GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme

Virtual pitch

Based on the mandatory and competitive selection criteria presented above, GIZ-SAIS will pre-select convincing start-ups that will be invited to a virtual pitch:

  1. The virtual pitch event will be held in July 2020, during calendar week 31 (July 27- 31, 2020).
  2. Invitations to the pitch event including your time slot will be sent out by July 20, 2020.

Kick-off event

The most promising startups selected in the wake of the virtual pitch will be invited to the virtual kick-off event of the GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme, which will be held from 30 September to 2 October 2020. This year, the kick-off will be held back to back with the SA Innovation Summit. Please make sure that you are available at that time.


Application Deadline

June 30, 2020


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to GIZ-SAIS on vc4a.com to apply

Online application

Please apply online by June 30, 2020 via the application form provided and upload a short pitch video (max. 2 minutes) via an unlisted (i.e. hidden to the public) YouTube link. The video should clearly convey the problem you are addressing and how your digital product helps to solve it. Please make sure that your pitch video follows the following structure: Problem you are tackling, digital technology you are applying, current number of customers and examples of positive impact on their income, outlook for growth and expectation from the SAIS programme. Please provide all requested information in order to ensure your inclusion in the selection process.

For more details, visit GIZ-SAIS website



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