On January 13-15, 2010, finalists presented their ideas at the two-day African Diaspora Marketplace event held at AED's Academy Hall in Washington D.C. The finalists participated in an "idea marketplace," learning events and also presented their business ideas to a panel of judges that included sector experts from USAID, Western Union, development institutions, private sector companies, investors, and diaspora leaders. At the end of the event, the judges selected 14 businesses across seven countries to receive matching partnership grants of up to $100,000 each.
Green Acres Goat Farm (Ghana) is a commercial goat farm that will meet the growing and unmet demand for goat meat and help fill the important gaps in Ghana's protein consumption. The farm will rear the Boer variety of goats from South Africa for the Ghanaian domestic market. Goats will be breed and sold to stock other farmers.
TAF BioTechnology (Ethiopia) is a commercial-scale plant tissue culture business focusing on the cultivation and multiplication of cells, tissues and organs of plants with the objective of increasing the yield and quality of produce for Ethiopian agriculture producers. The company will produce plant clones (true copies of plants) in large numbers through streamlined operation of a tissue culture facility.
AMAD Metal Manufacturing (Ethiopia) is establishing a Metal fabrication plant to manufacture a variety of metal products and components from raw materials. The components include trailers, mobile cranes, enclosures, furniture, and bins. Ethiopia provides an exceptional market opportunity due to its expanding economy, and the market opportunities for quality products are exponential.
Uza-Mazao (Kenya) (TM) is creating a marketplace via SMS messaging to bring unprecedented levels of efficiency to buyers or sellers of crops, farm produce, livestock or livestock products. It gives sellers the ability to find willing buyers and vice-versa. It aggregates buyers and sellers and applies a powerful algorithm to find the best match.
AACE Foods (Nigeria) is a food processing company with a mission to provide nutritious and tasty food made from the best of West Africa's fruits and vegetables. Its product line will consist of jams and spreads, baby food, and spices sourced from the best fruits and vegetables in the region.
EarthWise Ferries (Uganda) will reestablish, manage, and operate a fast-ferry transportation system on Lake Victoria, with destinations in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Presently many people travel between these destinations each day via poorly-maintained roads, on trips often taking between 1 to 3 days. EWF ferries will travel the 300 km from Port Bell, Uganda to Mwanza, Tanzania in about 7 hours.
Fleet Management System (Ethiopia) will offer organized fleet dispatching, traffic monitoring, real-time delivery information using over 60,000 trucks by combining the technologies of precise positioning, using satellite GPS and GSM/GPRS.
Student Card (Ghana) is a unique technology which creates a cashless environment for schools. The solution enables a mechanism for processing and reconciling school fees through remote billing and payments. The solution also simplifies payment of school lunches. This dual pre-funded payment and student identification card maximizes process efficiency and minimizes the risk associated with handling cash.
AADT Consultants (Liberia) will provide construction material testing and quality assurance to ensure that materials and techniques used conform to standards required. This will ensure that the ongoing redevelopment of Liberia benefits from geotechnical input, oversight and third party inspections.
Sproxil (Nigeria) provides robust anti-counterfeiting and brand loyalty solutions to pharma and consumer product companies targeting emerging markets in Africa. Over the long-term, Sproxil will become a key provider of significant consumer intelligence to companies selling consumer products to targeted and valuable populations in cash-based economies.
Reliable Power (Ghana) will deploy Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems, Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVR) and efficient support services to ensure the reliability of necessary conditioned power in Ghana. The country's emerging ICT industry is currently hindered by unreliable power supply which damages equipment and leads to loss of sensitive data.
Cooking Solar Ovens/TEK Consults (Uganda) is implementing a comprehensive solar oven program in Uganda. TEK has obtained exclusive Ugandan rights to the market-leading, patented "Global Sun Oven" from Sun Ovens International of Elburn, IL. TEK's program will decrease Uganda's dependence on wood and agricultural waste products for cooking fuel while simultaneously improving many Ugandans' standard of life by allowing money previously spent for cooking fuel to be spent more productively.