Karachi, August 15, 2020: The SUN Business Network (SBN) Organised the Virtual Global SUN Pitch Competition with the support of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). The 21 finalists in the competition were Small & Medium Enterprise (SMEs), showcasing their innovative business solutions to improve nutrition for low-income consumers.
These SMEs were selected through a rigorous series of national competitions in 24 countries from a pool of over 500 SMEs that participated in the competition. In the final round, the selected finalists pitched their innovative solutions for improved nutrition to a panel of four judges to compete for cash and other support prizes.
Two Pakistani Start-ups/SMEs including Poulta Inc. and Food Trax Pitched their innovations in the competition. Poulta Inc. presented their technological innovation which uses SaaS & IoT to minimize the losses in the poultry industry. Food Trax showcased their Food Tracking Solutions which enables the food industry to track their food products in the supply chains.
The Cargill Prize for Innovations to Enable Access to Improved Nutrition was awarded to Poulta Inc from Pakistan. “Cargill is a big player in the world and in dealing with poultry in particular, so this is very good news for Poulta.
Ali Murtaza Solangi said in reaction to winning this prize. His SME has embraced technologies including block chain, artificial intelligence and internet-of-things to disrupt the poultry industry by establishing a data-driven monitoring system for industry-wide use. “I really like Poulta, from looking at the innovation to the way they use the tech throughout the whole supply chain,” enthused Charlotte.
At the culmination of an exciting final, the SUN Pitch Competition Champion for 2020 and winner of a cash prize of US$20,000 for the most innovative solution for improved nutrition was Baby Grubz from Nigeria, an SME developing nutritious complementary foods for infants.
“I was so impressed by the Baby Grubz business model. They know their target market and how to reach it, and the business model is very holistic,” announced judge Cherrie Atilano, CEO of AGREA. “This award will validate our work on a global level, but especially in West Africa. We are already in Ghana and Togo but we’re looking to expand even more, particularly into francophone countries,” enthused Oluwaseun Sangoleye, who set up her company to make natural baby cereal from locally-sourced ingredients. Oluwaseun also won a mentorship prize from BoP to digitalise her business.
There is great innovation potential in the food systems and there is need to purposefully foster innovations. If innovative SMEs and startups with social impact potential are supported strategically, many of access to food, nutrition and livelihood issues can be addressed sustainably.