“We figured we have an innovative solution that will help diversify the nation’s economy and the VoguePay/NACOSS hack was a great platform to share it”- Michael Ogundare.
Michael is the leader of the Crop2Cash team that was the second runner (3rd) up at the just concluded VoguePay/NACOSS software hack.
Crop2Cash is an A.I powered Agri-Commerce platform that connects farmers and their crops to industries through a multi-lingual Facebook Messenger bot. Crop2Cash has a solution for companies and industries to find crops produced at locations closest to them at the best price with full confidence of not being exploited by middle-men.
What follows is a summary of Michael’s thoughts on building a successful IT based Agri-Commerce platform.
Interviewer: Congratulations! You came third, how did it feel when you found out ?
MO of Crop2Cash: It felt great. Out of over 60 exhibitors at the VoguePay/NACOSS hack, to have been announced as second runner up was a big thing.
Interviewer: What did you hope to achieve when you decided to enter the VoguePay/NACOSS hack? What exactly compelled you to present it at the Hackathon”
MO of Crop2Cash: Crop2Cash has been on for a couple of months now, and when we found out there was going to be an exhibition at the NACOSS National Conference, Uyo, we just had to get involved too. The theme of the conference was “Information Technology Innovations for Economic Diversification: The Role of Youth.” We figured we have an innovative solution that will help diversify the nation’s economy and the VoguePay/NACOSS hack was a great platform to share it.
Interviewer: Can you briefly explain what your entry was about?
MO of Crop2Cash: Crop2Cash is an A.I. powered Agri-Commerce platform that connects farmers and their crops to industries through a multi-lingual Facebook Messenger bot. We have a platform for companies and industries to find crops produced at locations closest to them at the best price with full confidence of not being exploited by middle-men.
Interviewer: How did you go about creating the idea that you eventually submitted? Did you have several ideas or did you settle on your final idea straight away?
MO of Crop2Cash: I was at an Agri-Hack held at the University of Ibadan and that was where we first tested out the idea of CropCash. As at that time, the idea was still in its rudimentary stage, and I was still working on the A.I. agent that powers the Messenger Bot. We were 2nd runner up at the contest and it motivated us to continue developing and researching for Crop2Cash.
Interviewer: What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in finalizing your pitch at the event?
MO of Crop2Cash: The biggest challenge we had for us was during the pitch. I had to pitch to the panel of judges without a projector. The audience did not even get to see the presentation. But fortunately for me, I already printed out copies of our pitch deck and just handed it to the panel.
Interviewer: Why did you decide to work alone, instead of in a team? Is there any pros and cons of this approach?
Micheal: There is a team behind Crop2Cash but not all of us got to travel to Uyo. I was the only one available for the trip and I had to do it alone. I had help from students from my University and overall everything was a success.
Interviewer: What are you hoping to do next?
Micheal: We are working hard on the product based on feedback from our beta testers and we are definitely going to disrupt the agricultural sector!
Interviewer: Links to your official social media handles (Facebook and Twitter)