The bootcamp kicked off with a high-level plenary session that facilitated networking and connections among innovation teams and the 15 project partners, including representatives from both the private and public sectors. This engagement within the agri-food and climate-tech innovation ecosystem fostered a foundation for future collaborations and customer bases, and set the stage for the bootcamp proceedings.
Meet the AgriTech4Uzbekistan Finalists
CGIAR Initiative on Fragility, Conflict, and Migration
- Impact Area
22 Innovation Teams and 45 Participants, Driven by the Ambition to Make an Impact in Uzbekistan’s Agriculture Sector, Gathered in Tashkent for the AgriTech4Uzbekistan Bootcamp
Over the first two days, participants received both group and individual hands-on guidance from industry experts to hone their innovations and business pitches through workshops, mentorship, and pitch training. First off, Roberto Vitón of Valoral Advisors offered an invigorating keynote speech on the agri-tech landscape of Uzbekistan and Central Asia, its needs, challenges, and its opportunities. Next, during project framing sessions participants delved into the key principles of lean canva with Usmon Rakhimdjanov of UNDP Uzbekistan; gained practical insights into fundraising and investor relations from Abdul Sharopov of Aloqa Ventures; and learned the importance of adopting human-centered design with CGIAR/Alliance’s Anna Muller and Maryfaith Simiyu. During user insights sessions, Denis Kalyshkin of I2BF Global Ventures and Ask.Vc Community shared his expertise in estimating market size, as well as in integrating customer feedback into business modelling and hypothesis testing. Finally, pitch preparation sessions, run by Iskander Kurbonov of Plug and Play Uzbekistan, demonstrated effective storytelling techniques and mechanisms to deliver a persuasive pitch.
Armed with the above knowledge, and practical means through which to apply it, innovators were well-prepared to demonstrate the applicability of their solutions to the local context, and the impact they will have in addressing its core challenges. We thank each expert speaker and their organisations for contributing to what were highly fruitful sessions.
The climax of the bootcamp unfolded on the third day when each team pitched their solution to the Selection Committee, competing for a spot in a fully sponsored acceleration program. With that, we would like to congratulate all 22 teams for having come this far, emerging from a pool of almost 600 submissions, spanning across 78 countries.
It is with great pleasure that we can now proudly announce the 11 innovation teams – including one CGIAR-led innovation housed at ICARDA – that have secured their spot in the acceleration program, the next phase of the AgriTech4Uzbekistan Innovation Challenge. In alphabetical order:
- GET Robotics
- Piatrika Biosystems Pvt Limited
- ZeroEarth Private Limited
The Road Ahead: Acceleration
The upcoming acceleration program has been designed to prepare teams for validation, connection with CGIAR scientific community and scaling of their innovations. This program offers complementary business-oriented coaching and scientific technical assistance to help innovators in crafting a robust scaling plan that ensures the long-term viability and sustainability of their solutions. Guided by the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform, participants will be matched with CGIAR scientists specializing in targeted research interests and expertise to support them to strengthen the scientific foundation of their solutions and explore potential synergies with ongoing research activities and projects within the CGIAR network.
The 11 teams are about to embark on this dynamic program, and in the final phase of the innovation challenge, 3 teams demonstrating sustainable business models, scaling plans and clear connection with CGIAR science will then be awarded up to 30,000 USD in equity-free grant, along with post-acceleration support and opportunities for pilot testing and on-the-ground experimentation of their solutions with farmers and value chain actors.
As we look forward, we are filled with eager anticipation for working with and supporting the AgriTech4Uzbekistan innovations that have emerged from this journey. Stay tuned for more updates as we kick-start the acceleration program, working toward a smarter, more sustainable, and resilient agricultural future for Uzbekistan and Central Asia.
Thank You, Partners!
The AgriTech4Uzbekistan Innovation Challenge is a collaborative effort that is powered by the CGIAR Accelerate for Impact Platform and co-designed with CGIAR centers ICARDA, IWMI, and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT – as part of the CGIAR Regional Integrated Initiative, Fragility to Resilience in Central and West Asia and North Africa (F2R-CWANA).
We also express our gratitude to all implementing partners including IT Park, FAO, the United Nations Development Programme Uzbekistan, the Agency of Innovative Development under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan through the AKIS Center, Indorama, the Uzbekistan Venture Capital Association, the International Agriculture University, and the Tashkent State Agrarian University for their partnership, connections, and support in selecting the innovation teams.
More on the Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP)
The Accelerate for Impact Platform (A4IP) is a venture space that builds on CGIAR’s legacy in Research and Innovation to co-design, accelerate and fund science-driven technologies to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. A4IP explores innovative partnership models to bridge research products from lab to market, creating demand for CGIAR science and strengthening its role in the innovation ecosystem, all while funding the most visionary teams to leverage their scientific creativity.
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