The pitches contain the same buzzwords you’d hear at any tech event in Silicon Valley: blockchain, AI, big data. But while many startups trafficking in such of-the-moment technologies claim to be “making the world a better place,” these companies are doing exactly that. On Tuesday evening, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) held its first Innovation Accelerator pitch contest in the US at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA. Sesi Technologies — a company based in Kumasi, Ghana that makes a grain moisture meter — won the jury’s prize for “most impactful pitch.” Coming from India, Iraq, the US and other countries, Sesi was one of eleven startups on stage showing off a diverse set of concepts. The ideas included a portable refrigerator that runs without electricity and a hydroponic platform for growing food in harsh environments, such as deserts, slums and refugee camps.Bernhard Kowatsch, head of the Innovation Accelerator, characterized the WFP’s mission as an inversion of the typical Silicon Valley objective — getting a billion-dollar “unicorn” valuation. The UN says that 821 million people around the world don’t have enough to eat on a daily basis. “We want to get to zero,” said Kowatsch. That won’t be easy. Though the number of hungry… Read full this story
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