GIZ-SAIS Investment Readiness Programme 2022


Who we are

‘Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Startups’ (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). The overall goal of the project is to support African startups in scaling their digital innovations; these innovations should enable users in the agriculture or food sectors to increase their income. Up to 18 startups are selected annually to participate in a nine-month Investment Readiness Programme fully funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The aim of the Investment Readiness Programme is to support more African startups in improving their business models, gaining access to investors and business partners, and achieving greater impact. Seven output indicators (also called investment readiness criteria or investment readiness output indicators) have been defined to assess and monitor the investment readiness level of selected startups.

Indicator 1: The competencies of the founding team are improved (e.g. pitch training, operations management, leadership, startup valuation (“pre-money”), clear roles, and responsibility of management team).

Indicator 2: The startup’s data room is improved and all necessary documents for effective due diligence are available (e.g. pitch deck, annual balance sheet, accounting, bank statements, forecasts, and exit strategy).

Indicator 3: A digital system for monitoring the startup’s user base is established and provides data (“data analytics”).

Indicator 4: A market research and competitiveness analysis of the startup is available for their own national market and possible expansion markets.

Indicator 5: A strategy and a catalogue of measures for marketing & sales are available and guide the actions of the founding team for scaling the start-up.

Indicator 6: The startup’s product (“digital agricultural innovation”) is market-ready (e.g. customer-driven product development, product-market fit, data security, suitable for national regulations).

Indicator 7: The startup’s customer growth is improved (improved customer acquisition rate).

What we offer

The Investment Readiness program includes:

Weekly advisory and coaching sessions

Weekly advisory and coaching sessions held virtually during which strategies and measures for rapid growth and scaling, product improvement and innovation, leadership and business management operations are developed and implemented with the startups;

Additional services

Based on the startup’s commitment, access to additional services to optimize certain segments (e.g. legal advice, marketing, coding, product optimization, etc.) of the startups.

Hub integration

Integration of the selected startups in one of our partner hubs in their home country in order to facilitate their visibility and establish contact with relevant actors in the local startup scene.


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