The Kenya Agri-Drone Business Challenge 2023 (KDBC) was a highly anticipated event from March 16th to 18th in Nairobi. The event was successfully coordinated with the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), Global Air Drone Academy (GADA), Kenya Flying Labs, DroneDeploy, Skydio, Dronector Academy, and Blue Globe Innovation.
The event aimed to bring together young entrepreneurs and innovators to showcase their ideas on drone technology and agriculture. The participants included students, entrepreneurs, and professionals, with 40 percent being women. The competition aimed to identify and support startups that could use drone technology to improve food security, agriculture, and environmental solutions across Kenya, ultimately contributing to the country’s economic growth.
The competition had three stages, starting with a call for applications in January 2023, which attracted 122 applicants from 24 countries around Kenya. After the selection process, 25 shortlisted candidates participated in a 5-Day virtual boot camp where they could create and pitch their drone business ideas while learning about the drone industry from experienced drone professionals.
After the virtual boot camp, judges selected 10 Finalists invited to Nairobi for a 3-Day practical training. On day one, finalists experienced hands-on training on drone technology. On day two, they did dry run pitch presentations of their business ideas to a live panel of judges and more flying using industrial, agricultural drones.
The final stage of the competition was the showcase event, where participants presented their innovative ideas and solutions to a panel of judges. Again, the atmosphere was electric, with participants showcasing their final proposals. As a result, five winners were selected to win the KDBC 2023 prize.
The Top 5 Winners of the KDBC won a scholarship from Dronector Academy, a Skydio 2 drone, a subscription from DroneDeploy, and business coaching to launch their new businesses.
The KDBC demonstrated a wealth of talent and potential in Kenya’s young entrepreneurs and innovators. It highlighted the importance of supporting and investing in this talent to contribute to the growth of Kenya’s economy and the improvement of agriculture in the country.
The lessons learned from the KDBC are many. One key lesson is the importance of collaboration and mentorship in supporting the growth of startups. Another lesson is the potential of drone technology to revolutionize agriculture, making it more efficient and sustainable. Finally, the KDBC also emphasized the need for continued investment in training and education to ensure that the next generation of innovators has the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
We want to thank all our partners, US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), Global Air Drone Academy (GADA), DroneDeploy, Skydio, Dronector Academy, and Blue Globe Innovation for their support in making this event a success. Stay tuned for updates on future events!