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Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International Individuals and Teams
to Receive Prizes and In-Kind Support for Agricultural Advances in Africa

Milken-Motsepe Prize in Agritech

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Milken Institute and Motsepe Foundation

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Opportunity for USA, Canada, and international individuals and teams to receive prizes and in-kind support for agricultural innovations to benefit farms in Africa. Funding is intended to increase productivity, create successful business models, and develop technologies to improve the food system process. Throughout the competition, teams are provided with ongoing free mentoring, resources, and networking opportunities.

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech is a global competition for innovative solutions to increase economic value to farmers, from seed to sale. The inaugural Milken-Motsepe Prize focuses on accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 and 2: no poverty and zero hunger.

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech addresses the problems faced by farmers on small to medium-sized farms in Africa. Many small and medium-sized farms in Africa face two large challenges to realizing the full economic value of the crops they plant. First, they suffer from low agricultural productivity as compared to larger firms, and second, they face significant post-harvest crop loss on their way to market. Winning teams must provide increased net economic value to the farmer by any combination of improved yield, reduced loss, and decreased costs. The prize will incentivize scalable AgriTech solutions, cultivate and support a global community of entrepreneurs, and source global data-driven insights.

Winning teams will increase net economic value to small and medium-sized farms by:

  • Developing innovative technology solutions for any stage of the food system, from seed to sale
  • Designing a viable business model
  • Increasing farm productivity and/or decreasing post-harvest loss

Many entrepreneurs lack the information and tools they need to bring their invention to life. In addition to the chance to win cash prizes, the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program provides a rich set of opportunities for entrepreneurs:

  • Online Community Simply complete the free prize registration process and you will join an online community of other entrepreneurs. The prize portal will give you access to:
    • Team matchmaking
    • Resources for entrepreneurs
    • Online training and help desk
  • Certificate Program Teams will receive a 12-week experiential learning program powered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development Idea to Market curriculum. Upon completion of the program, teams will receive a Certificate of Completion:
    • Stanford Center for Professional Development Certificate of Completion
    • Mentoring from industry experts
    • Pitch and feedback sessions
  • Alumni Network Winning teams will join the Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program alumni network following prize completion, with access to:
    • Investors
    • Data alaysis
    • Networking opportunities

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 196003

Number of Grants:

Twenty-five prizes will be awarded at the end of the Design Round; At the end of the Finalist Round, five prizes will be awarded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

$1 million grand prize available for the winning team, and $1 million in additional prizes.

- Design Round: $250,000:
Increased Productivity - 5 awards - $10,000 each
Reduced Post-Harvest Loss - 5 awards - $10,000 each
Judge's Choice (increased productivity and/or reduced post-harvest loss) - up to 13 awards - $10,000 each
Best Youth Submission (majority of team under age 24) - 1 award - $10,000
Best Use of Technological Innovation - 1 award - $10,000

- Grand Prize: $1 million
- 2nd Place: $300,000
- 3rd Place: $150,000
- Most Creative Use of 4IR: $100,000
- People's Prize: $100,000

Term of Contract:

- This is a multi-year initiative
- There will be a mandatory online Team Summit during the summer of 2022, at the midpoint of the Finalist Round. This event will call teams together with African and global experts on agriculture, economics, and technology innovation. Investors and representatives of startup incubators will also be invited. Details of the Team Summit will be made available early in the Finalist Round.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Anyone is eligible to register regardless of age, geographic location*, or any other factor. If someone has a great idea, they can participate. Minors will require someone of the majority age to sign legal documents on the team’s behalf.

*Please note that a team may not include any individual or entity organized anywhere prohibited by US law.

- The team leader must be age of majority.
- A team may have only one member.

Not eligible:
1. Any individual or entity organized or with primary residence anywhere prohibited by US law
2. Any employee or immediate family member of an employee of the Milken Institute or the Motsepe Foundation

Pre-Application Information:

Prize Timeline:
- April 2021: Registration opens
- December 8, 2021: Design Round submittals due
- January 2022: Design Round Judging
- February 2022: Design Round prizes awarded - up to 25 teams get $10,000 each
- February 2022: Finalist Round Begins
- March 2022: Finalist Test Protocols Approved
- August 2022: Team Summit and Investor Showcase
- February 2023: Finalist Round Submittals
- March 2023: Finalist Round Judging
- April 2023: Finalist Round prizes awarded

For more information on this timeline, see:

Competition Rounds:
- Design Round: Teams submit their design and business model. An independent panel of expert judges will select up to 25 teams to receive $10,000 each and advance in the competition.
- Finalist Round: Teams develop their prototypes and conduct field tests on small and medium-sized farms in Africa.

To begin the process of competing, individuals will register on the prize portal and create a member profile using their name and email address.

Applications must be submitted in English. For outreach materials in French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin, Modern Standard Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili see FAQs.

Teams’ submittals may include innovations at any stage of the agricultural cycle, from seed to sale. They must be suitable for use for at least one crop from the Crop Specification Table (Appendix B of the Guidelines in Supporting Documents, below) grown by small and medium-sized farms anywhere in Africa. Productivity can be increased through any innovations up through the harvesting process. Post-harvest loss can be reduced by innovations between the beginning of harvest and when the product is sold at market. Submittals must also include a sustainable business model that explains how those innovations will be made accessible to and affordable for small and medium-sized farms.

For judging criteria, see FAQs.

If any Finalist Round team cannot afford to proceed, they may apply for a grant of up to $10,000. Up to a total of $100,000 across all teams may be provided through grants. Grants will be awarded at the sole discretion of the judges, and grant application materials will be made available before the Design Round prizes are awarded.

Additional Information:



UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Milken-Motsepe Prize
730 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.336.8900
Fax: 202.336.8902

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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