Global AgriInno Challenge 2022 Open Call: Connecting Youth-Led Innovation to the Agri-food Sector
Recruitment in Progress
Global AgriInno Challenge, a worldwide competition for youth agripreneurs and innovators, showcases and promotes smart digital innovative talent. With the last two sessions successfully held in 2020 and 2021, Global AgriInno Challenge 2022 will continue to provide startups an alive platform to exchange experience, enhance knowledge and offer the opportunity to join the huge network of cooperation all around the globe.
Are you keen to solve the challenges and difficulties in digital agriculture field? Are you ready to present your innovative ideas to the world? Do you crave for getting connections with diversified mentorship supported by United Nation agencies, government, leading angel investors, and academic experts?
Recruitment in Progress
Themed with “addressing challenges related to the transformation of the agrifood systems in line with FAO’s four betters”, 6 teams will be selected and invited to the final pitch event in Hangzhou, China on 30 November 2022 with all related fees covered. The winning teams will be rewarded with seed funding.
Remote participation is available for international teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
See the guidelines below and register your team now! If you have questions or need additional information, please contact
In 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading, causing enormous risks in nutrition and food safety. With all those great challenges including abnormal climate change, economic depression, conflict and war, rising inequality, and natural resources degradation, global agrifood system has been suffering from even more severe shocks under the impact of the pandemic.
The booming new agricultural revolution led by information technology has injected new and powerful vitality into the progress of agrifood system transformation. FAO's Strategic Framework seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.
As one of China's oldest, most selective, and most prestigious institutions of higher education, Zhejiang University has always been actively devoted to rural development and has made a lot of efforts to drive the transformation and upgrading of the agricultural industry, support small-scale farmers, raise the productivity of agricultural production, increase farmers’ income, improve poverty alleviation, promote rural revitalization and achieve the sustainable development of agriculture.
Aimed at identifying, accelerating and scaling-up youth-led innovative business models and innovative solutions for agrifood system issues, FAO and Zhejiang University have co-organized the Global AgriInno Challenge 2022 to achieve SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities). The Challenge will implement the following actions:
a) transforming rural development through innovative and digital solutions under the framework of the Four Betters (better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life);
b) sharing the latest information, knowledge, and best practices in rural digital transformation innovations, digital technologies, and business models;
c) building an enabling environment through Public-Private Partnerships and co-creation opportunities with diverse participants, practitioners, and experts;
d) engaging and empowering young agripreneurs and innovators to tackle development challenges through FAO and partners’ global networks with continuous support during and after the innovation challenge.
3. Benefits for participants
The teams selected to attend the Innovation For Good and Pitch Event in China will benefit from:
- 2-day professional development around your team’s solution through an approach of co-creation with other young agripreneurs/innovators and experienced experts worldwide. All related expenses for attending the Hacking For Good and pitch events in China will be covered, including a) travel expenses: round-trip flight and/or train; local transportation fee (taxi/bus/subway); b) accommodation and meals; c) visa application fees as applicable for international participants.
- The access to open data sets from FAO and other partners, such as the FAO Hand-in-Hand Geospatial Platform, FAO Digital Services Portfolio, Data Lab for Statistical Innovation, and the Earthmap, a Google Earth Engine based tool, etc.
- Advice from experienced experts from the UN, international organizations, the private sector and academia, and the chance to have a dialogue with high-level representatives from leading companies and organizations.
- The chance to meet top angel investors from venture capital funds and business leaders in the agri-food sector who may invest in your solutions.
- The chance to build your global network in digital agriculture with a multitude of stakeholders.
- The top winning teams will receive seed funding.
- Become an alumnus for Global AgriInno Challenge.
4. Who can apply?
GAC 2022 is open for youth who are developing and deploying digital innovation products and services that can accelerate the Four Betters implementation and agrifood systems transformation.
5. Selection criteria:
- The team has registered as a company or legal entity;
- Have less than USD 1 million in turnover;
- Have less than 5 years of operations;
- Have an innovative, technology-based solution or business model with a Technological Readiness Level (TRL) between 7 and 9 (provide evidence that the project is beyond the MVP stage);
- Be committed to continuous engagement throughout the entire duration of the program;
- At least one leader of the group must be below 35 years old (Teams with female agripreneurs are highly encouraged).
Note: any adjustments to the criteria will be updated through FAO E-AGRICULTURE . Also, all the participants will be notified in time through e-mails.
English and Chinese are the two working languages for the Global AgriInno Challenge 2022. However, all the proposals and presentations shall be conducted in English.
7. How to apply?
The team leader needs to submit a) the application form; b) the innovation solution presentation (in PPT format); and c) a video to [email protected] and copying [email protected] by 20 Nov 2022 (24:00 CEST).
The documentation to submit should include (in English):
- Application Form (you may scan QR code on item 12 or use the attached form in annex)
- Innovation Solution (PowerPoint of max 12 slides, up to 250 words per slide, Microsoft YaHei Font, font size not less than 16)
- Summary of the solution (up to 250 words)
- Problem identification (analysis of challenges relating to transformation of the agrifood system)
- Four Better Categories (identify which of the Four Betters do you apply your digital solutions to?)
- Mission, vision, values of the project (the type of agriculture activity/sub-sector targeted)
- Technical model (how to address challenges relating to digital agriculture and the agri-food system?)
- Timing justification (why is this moment the best time?)
- Situation analysis (who is your main competitor and why is your solution better or more innovative than others?)
- Business plan (target group, the description of outputs and related activities, adoption strategy, applied methods, partners, sustainability, and consideration of gender)
- Financial situation (capital raised, capital needed, revenue analysis)
- Phased development planning (what is the potential contribution of your solution in three years? how do you plan to achieve it? what are the milestones?)
- 1-2 minutes long video explaining:
- How is your idea or solution going to contribute to the Four Betters and help benefit vulnerable and rural populations? Answer this question in a 1-2 minute long video. Upload the video online to a video sharing platform (YouTube, Google Cloud, Youku, Baidu Cloud or others) and share the address of the link.
9. Mentors & Juries
- Academic experts: FAO, Zhejiang University and other stakeholders in the field of digital agriculture and innovation.
- Business mentors: business leaders from top companies in agribusiness-related sectors; angel investors from top venture capital funds with extensive investment experience in smart agriculture.
- Juries: professional experts from academies, international organizations and government, investors and business leaders in the agri-food sector.
10. Organizers Structure
Host: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Zhejiang University (ZJU)
With support from: Hangzhou Municipal Government
11. Data Protection
Global AgriInno Challenge working group gives great importance to the responsible and transparent management of personal data.
12. Scan QR code to apply