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2014 Finalist Launches New Product


Nana Opoku Agyeman, Cofounder of Order Now App, made it through to th the top 7 stage of the 2014 StartUp Cup Ghana competition. His new service, Asoriba, which is currently doing well on the market, builds tech solutions for the church. The StartUp Cup Ghana team caught up with him in this exciting interview as he shares his story:


Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m personally excited about church, aviation, technology and agriculture; I love to drive change in developing African countries by building teams and utilizing scarce resources. I strongly believe in constant learning and improving on existing solutions. With an MPhil in Agric Engineering (Machine Systems) and An Aviation club of which I’m president, its ok to say I wear many hearts at different places, not forgetting to mention that I’m a pastor in training in my dad’s church.


I strongly believe that technology is one of the things that can help put Ghana’s and Africa’s economy in shape if governments pay closer attention to it. Think about this, if people from all over the world are paying for your software in dollars online, this will earn the country “hard currency which will then shore up the cedi, if not it will keep dropping as you keep burrowing” quoting Citifmoline’s interview on former President Kufour’s statement


As an entrepreneur and one of the  innovators of the Asoriba platform,  what are some of the highlights of your job?

In Asoriba, I’m responsible for Sales and Business Development Team building and Vision Driving/Management, Customer and Investor Management, Company growth and scaling.I cannot continue talking about myself without my team: Asoriba’s founders ( Saviour, Patrick, Jesse  and myself are  successful graduates of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and have known each other for over 2 years. Each founder has a specific set of unique and complementary skill to build a successful global software company. The team is succeeding because;

  1. All team members are Christians with some founders’ parents being ministers of the gospel, hence giving us a deeper understanding of the market
  2. There is good team dynamics and
  3. There is great support from MEST.


How would you describe the entrepreneurship landscape in Ghana?

I personally believe there are a lot of established business men in Ghana, but few entrepreneurs when we consider the definition of the term.

“Entrepreneurship is the process of starting a business, typically a startup company offering an innovative product, process or service”

I see less of innovation, and more of copying and replication of sound business process and strategies, which is also a very good business strategy.



One of your focuses is helping churches develop sustainable database. Could you elaborate on that and share some tips?

Asoriba is a unique web and mobile application that enables effective church administration for leaders, and seamless engagement with members via mobile phones (App & SMS). It goes beyond a good database and does more.  Any forward looking church that see a colossal shift in the way humans engage has already started thinking about how to leverage on technology to effectively run the church and engage with its members who are constantly on their mobile phone and the Internet. What Asoriba does is, it give the church a solution is uniquely designed to meet its needs. To be more specific; Asoriba is designed to make it easy for the church leader to nourish members by sending daily devotions or prayer points seamlessly to the member’s mobile phone. This is possible via the Devotional and Announcement feature in the Web App. The member will receive notices on his/her Asoriba mobile app or as an SMS on a feature phone. This means every morning before you get out of bed, you can have tailor made, spirit filled devotions from your own Pastor. And in the course of the day, you can listen to a past sermon, which could be audio or video from the Media feature in the mobile App.


Think about this same application being used to educated millions of members in case there is an epidemic like Ebola. Pastor’s being powerful community influencers, can get the message across quickly and effectively.


Back to the church, in case there is an event happening live, it can be live stream via the mobile app. This means, you will always stay connected to the Word of God and the church service no matter where you find yourself. Other features include, a comprehensive and current member database, attendance monitoring tools, financial management feature, event creation and sharing tool, branch integrations and reporting system, group and leadership management functionalities, media/content sharing feature with analytics and online payment integrations such as Visa, Master Card and mobile money.


Where can we find out more about your work?

Simply visit or



Elaborate on some of the challenges you faced and give a clue on how you overcame them.

It’s not been a challenge to be frank. The problem is really clear and real. There is a huge pain and most churches are in deep need of such a unique solution.


What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs out there looking to launch products or services they are passionate about?

I think one of the first things an entrepreneur needs to do is to connect. Connect to both the problem and the people (stake holders). Stake holders include those who feel the problem, those who have parts of the solution and people who are connected to the problem one way or the other. In the process of connecting, you will identify your winning team you can build the solution with. The second thing is to come up with a compelling solution with clear value propositions (benefits), next a sound business model that will keep the bills paid and brings significant returns on shareholders money. Finally ask God for favour and grace, something you will really need to get to the next level. He has given that to Asoriba.


It’s dispel a stereotype time. What’s a stereotype about Ghana that’s false?

A myth that Ghanaians are laid back and not as aggressive as other African countries, specifically the Nigerians, I think Ghanaians are really aggressive, but they are not loud, hence it is easy for a by-stander to miss it, when a Ghanaian is aggressively chasing something.


How do you use your experience with MEST & Seedstars World to support your business?

MEST has been a tremendous experience, and has really shaped the minds of all Asoriba founders. We are now trail blazing software entrepreneurs. Training in communication, business and software development has been awesome. The parts I have really come to enjoy about MEST are the sales persons who come from the mother company and the pitch session we have.

2015 Business Model Submissions Open


Business Model Submissions for the 2015 edition of the StartUp Cup Ghana Business Model Competition are now open. Participants will be trained in various components of building a company and pitch to a panel of investors and business leaders in Ghana. For more information about the 2015 competition, and criteria, kindly click here. Submissions close on October 10!

Click here to apply straight away.

We look forward to receiving your great application! All the best!

Swappaholics Makes Strides in the Middle East


francisOn Tuesday, October 28th 2014, Swappaholics was shortlisted as a semi finalist for the Ghana Startup Cup Competition, alongside other 14 startups. The goal of the competition was to select an innovative startup who will represent Ghana on the Global Startup Competition stage. CEO and CoFounder of Swappaholics, Mr. Francis Obirikorang shares his StartUp Cup experience and his progress so far.





#FrancisSpeaks: Out of the 15 shortlisted startups of which Swappaholics was part.  7 were going to be selected as finalists to compete in a 6 week program that spanned from mentoring, business model design etc. To select the top 7 finalists, the 15 semi finalists were to pitch a 5 minute presentation on their startup to a team of judges and investors at the Ghana Angel Investors Networks (GAIN) Head Office in Accra.


It was a fierce pitch competition. The judges asked probing questions about the startups and how they planned to monetize it. After the nerve wrecking pitch sessions, Swappaholics was selected to be amongst the top 7 finalists.


The Ghana Startup Cup finalist program was an educative one. Mentors from all spheres of life shared their life experiences in running their business, what mistakes to avoid to prevent your startup from collapsing and other important business facts. Kwaku David shared invaluable messages concerning how he started his photography business and transformed it into one of the best photography companies in Ghana using innovative technologies and reliance on social media.


Swappaholics didn’t win the top honors in the finalist event; but it was a life changing experience. A few months after the program, we got selected into the prestigious Turn8 Accelerator Program in Dubai, UAE organized by DP World being the largest shipping port operators in the MENA region and i360 Institute.


Turn8 Accelerator is program to promote the startup culture in the Middle East And North Africa (MENA) regions with its sole aim of investing in technological startups that are scalable and relevant. 10 Startups are selected from all over the world to be a part of a 120 day acceleration program. Swappaholics is the only startup selected from the continent of Africa.



Swappaholics has been a torch bearer and representing the African continent to the fullest. With the introduction of more swapping verticals and also making inroads into Kenya, Nigeria and Dubai markets; Swappaholics is spreading the new swap culture that empowers individuals and businesses to connect and swap products, skills and services socially. We are poised to introduce the swap culture globally and make it an alternative to cash trading. Swappaholics is scheduled to launch in all these target markets by the end of 2015. Watch out for the next big thing to come out of Africa.

Silicon Valley: Cupertino, California to Host Second Annual World StartUp Cup



StartUp Cup announces that Cupertino, California will host the Second Annual World StartUp Cup June 16,17 & 18, 2015.

“Silicon Valley StartUp Cup has been empowering a diversity of entrepreneurial businesses that goes beyond technology since launching in 2012 and we are particularly enthusiastic to have this year’s World StartUp Cup hosted in Cupertino, California. We look forward to showcasing and celebrating the most promising startups and entrepreneurs from every conceivable industry, and in the process shine a global light on the power of entrepreneurs to change the world,” said Sean Griffin, CEO and Founder of StartUp Cup.

World StartUp Cup will bring together the first place winners of local StartUp Cups from around the globe. Currently there are over 50 StartUp Cup acceleration programs in over 60 countries. The first place winners from each local competition that held their awards celebration during 2014 will be eligible to enter into the World StartUp Cup competition. The selected entrepreneurs will travel to Cupertino to present their business models to an international panel of judges comprised of local StartUp Cups around the world.

Cupertino was selected from a number of interested cities from around the world based on their commitment to developing a diverse ecosystem where entrepreneurship growth that supports allowing anyone, with any idea to build a business is a priority and celebrated. The lead host organizations will be the City of Cupertino and Silicon Valley StartUp Cup, dedicated leaders in growing a diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem in Silicon Valley.

“We are extremely proud to have been selected to host the second annual World StartUp Cup”, said Alice Fenton, Silicon Valley StartUp Cup Organizer. “It is inspiring to see the growing impact of StartUp Cup on Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the ongoing support from community partners including World StartUp Cup sponsors, Vallco and the City of Cupertino, who are committed to creating a path to empower anyone with an idea to start and build a business.” To learn more visit World StartUp Cup.

Lily Kudzro | 2014 Ghana StartUp Cup Winner

Lily Kudzro

Lily Kudzro is the CEO of Devio Arts Center. She’s a passionate social entrepreneur who believes that children and young people can create and inspire their own future and can become change-makers in their communities. She uses creative and imaginative ways to introduce students and schools to practical, visual arts application. A strong advocate for attitude and policy change towards improving the overall quality of STEAM education in African schools, Lily hopes to impact 100,000 African students within the next 5 years.


Founding Story | Devio Arts Center

Two years ago, Lily came across an article in the China Africa Report, which stated “The clash between modernization and traditions has affected the creative thinking of African children.” Lily, with a personal passion for creative arts, recognized the sincere gap in the educational structures of Ghana for children to explore and realize their artistic potential. She decided to start an organization that uses very creative and innovative methods to expose children to lifelong creative skills. That was the birth of Devio Arts.

Devio 1



The Situation in Ghana

Primary schools operate in a space of ever increasing demands; a space where accountability and transparency are watchwords, where the notion of a ‘core curriculum’ holds sway; a space where standardized test results are centrally reported and where literacy and numeracy are posited as national priorities and to which extra time is allocated in our timetables. ‘’Our Educational system undervalues the importance of arts education’’

Devio 2


Devio Art’s Solution

Devio Arts Centre is a social enterprise initiative that uses creative and digital art as a catalyst, to stimulate constructive learning and creative thinking in Ghanaian children.

The center tackles creativity in communities and helps to build creative life skills through programs that bring experts from the working field, and makes use of technology to engage and train students on current trends. To create accessibility and to promote inclusive education, the center serves one of the deprived communities in the Greater Accra area. The center has also developed the nation’s first annual children’s art festival involving children in hands–on creative and digital arts. Devio Arts through its programs has provided transformational impact by providing infrastructure, resources and inclusive access to children from disadvantaged backgrounds to engage in creative and digital arts, reaching over 1700 children since 2014.


Devio 5Devio 3


The center’s vision is to equip all Ghanaian children with lifelong creative skills, while teaching knowledge and skills, and encouraging innovation, thereby striking a balance between Creativity and education in the near future.

Beyond winning the Ghana StartUp Cup Competition, Devio Arts Center plans to continue their grassroots efforts to be able to reach out to more children through the mobile arts center strategy which is a refurbished bus that would be equipped with creative and digital art resources to serve more deprived communities in Ghana. Devio would also launch the biggest movement ‘The association of Creative Arts Teachers in Ghana’. This association will be a national network of educators concerned with the promotion of creativity and the development of imagination through arts. Since creativity is an exciting way of deepening children’s’ understanding of how art works, the association would give opportunity to further develop children’s “voices” by showing new possibilities. This will be done through supporting and developing teacher’s capacity and bringing out the artist in the teacher as well as the child. We will work closely with artists, teachers and interested organizations. Devio believes that education is the exploration of the possible and looks to expand children’s artistic horizons in Ghana and currently raising funds to implement these two major projects.

Huge congratulations to Lily Kudzro on her growing success in Ghana and her desire to help and promote creativity among children. We at Ghana StartUp Cup wish Lily every success for the future and fully expect to see her rise to the top. Welldone Lily!




2014 StartUp Cup Winners Announced!

DSC_0512 Ghana Startup Cup Finalists & Judges

December 20 proved to be a great day for Ghana’s entrepreneurship scene as a panel of prestigious judges, business leaders, and members of Ghana’s startup ecosystem came together to choose the winners of the Ghana StartUp Cup 2014.

6 entrepreneurs gave their 4 minute pitches in front of the panel which included the founders of Growth Mosaic and RtHE Consult, as well as representatives from Stanford SEED and the U.S. Embassy.

After a period of deliberation the judges had made their decision and the winners were announced. Congratulations to Lily Kudzro of Devio Arts Center for winning the ultimate award. Emmanuel Quist and Issah Abdulai of SmartFix Ghana and Med Ghana respectively were crowned runner ups. Details of their services are as follows:

Devio Arts Center works together with Reach for Change and Tigo Ghana to train kids in transformational thinking to develop their creative minds in both visual and digital arts forms. The center continues to impact the lives of young ones through its non-profit arm.


SmartFix Ghana is an online platform that creates marketing opportunities for freelance artisans, handymen and construction workers such as plumbers, electricians, landscapers, etc through which they can market their services


MedGhana provides online medical consulting to patients in Ghana,  allowing users of the service to consult with a licensed doctor through secured email, live chat on our website, or book a phone appointment to speak to the medical doctor on phone


The finalists will enjoy free mentorship packages, strategy consulting with Growth Mosaic, investment structuring with the Ghana Angel Investors Network, the AfricaTwety10 Award, Ampion Venture Bus Award in partnership with AMPION, with the first place winner taking part in the World StartUp Cup competition to defend the reigning second place world championship title.

The StartUp Cup Business Model Competition process was born in Silicon Valley and proven in Tulsa, Oklahoma over the past seven years. The competition has been fine-tuned based upon feedback from participating entrepreneurs, judges, coaches, entrepreneurial services providers, and community leaders.

The 2014 Edition was supported and sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Ghana, Mel Consult, Ampion Venture Bus, GAIN, Ghana Chamber of Commerce, ALTIS Post-graduate school Business and Society, Ameyaw Debrah, Global Entrepreneurship Week – Ghana, Growth Mosaic, Hub Accra and Africa Twenty10

For more information about the competition or to become a sponsor for the 2015 edition, kindly email:

Who Wins Ghana StartUp Cup 2014?


After weeks of intense pitch sessions as well as mentorship and coaching sessions in the 2014 Ghana StartUp Cup competition, finalists would be given their last opportunity to convince the judges with their updated business models over the period.

StartUp Cup Ghana started on a good note with a handful of technological, social, agricultural and multi-sector startups applying from Ghana, Cambodia, India, and other parts of Africa for a chance to expand their network and connect to the right sources to grow their businesses.

The finals for this year’s Awards ceremony would celebrate the best of Ghanaian innovation, business leaders, partners in the StartUp ecosystem in Ghana as well as the entrepreneurs of the future. Scheduled to take place as follows:

Venue: Hub Accra, Klanaa Street

Date: Saturday, December 20, 2014

Time: 3:30PM to 6PM

We wish all top 7 finalists the best of luck as we look forward to growing the next generation of entrepreneurs through entrepreneurship and job creation.


StartUp Cup Joins 4th Ghana SME Summit Speaking List

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We are excited to announce that Ghana StartUp Cup Chair, Emmanuel Nyame would Join the list of experts who would be addressing business leaders at the 4th Annual Ghana SME Business Summit to Boost SMEs in Accra

The fourth annual Ghana SME Summit will open in Accra on 20-21 November, according to organisers, OML Africa and is under the theme “Boosting SME Growth in Challenging Economic Times” .Nearly 100 delegates made up of business owners, CEOs, Managing Directors, entrepreneurs, investors, key decision makers and policy makers in the SME market in Ghana are expected to attend this important event.

According to Paul Asinor, Conference Director of OML Africa,” Some experts describe Ghana’s economy today to be in crisis. Others choose to say the economy is only facing challenges. It is not far from the truth to say that local businesses, most especially small and medium-scale enterprises are currently reeling under the effects of high rates of inflation and even higher rates of bank interest, fluctuations in electricity delivery, a staggering cedi against the dollar, labour unrests, amongst many others.”

He continued,”Small business growth has at best, stagnated in recent times with many SMEs forced to downsize or even shut down. But this dismal trend need not continue for SMEs who are determined to update their processes, take advantage of modern technologies, equip themselves with knowledge in sales and marketing and ultimately grow their businesses even in challenging times.”

“At this year’s conference, the Ghana SME Summit looks at practical solutions to the problems facing SMEs as they are vulnerable and bear the brunt of any major negative shocks in the business sector. Therefore, a powerful list of business experts and facilitators has been lined up that can bring applicable solutions to our delegates”, he concluded.

Some of the speakers at the fourth Ghana SME Summit include Ethel Cofie (Founder, BarCamp Africa); Charles Amoh (Lead Consultant, NTHC SME Unit); Brigitte Dzogbenuku(Executive Director, Empowering Women Ghana) and Anita Wiafe(MD, OML Africa). Others include Mintah Gyampoh(CEO, Chemitech Solutions) ;Paul Ababio (CEO and Founder, Gold Coast Agri Ventures); Katherine Tosan Woode (Chief Commercial Officer, Africa World Airlines); Jennifer Agyeman(CEO, AmazingU ); Alfred Nkrow (Commercial Manager, IS Internet Solutions Ghana Ltd), Emmanuel Nyame (Chairman, Ghana Startup Cup) and many top business experts.

Some very important topics to be discussed are:” Building your Balance Sheet in Difficult Economic Conditions”; “Staying Ahead of the Competition-Crucial Tips to Beat Your Rivals”; “Getting Customers-Tips to Selling Successfully”;“Creating a Loyal Workforce Culture Even in a Challenging Economy”;  and “Best Businesses to Start in an Economic Downturn”. Other topics are “Government Initiatives to Support SMEs in Ghana”; “The Impact of an Economic Recession on Business Strategies of an SME”; “The Effect of a Sliding Cedi on Your Business and How to Combat It”; and more.

At the end of the fourth Ghana SME Summit, delegates will discover how to grow their businesses even in a challenging economic climate; Gain practical insights and learn from successful business owners and experts on their innovation experiences, business philosophies and formula for success. Delegates will also hear from representatives from various government agencies on the new government assistance schemes available to power the growth of their businesses.


For more information, visit or call 0206367515.



Paul Asinor

Conference Director

OML Africa

Grand Jury Panel for 2014 Unveiled




A unique lineup of bright Ghanaian business minds are set to join the Ghana StartUp Cup judging panel for this year’s competition…

Ghana StartUp Cup is a U.S. Department of State- Led accelerator programme which supports growing of companies and startups that provide solutions to problems across the globe. Now in over 68 countries worldwide, Ghana’s representative at the World Startup Cup last year placed 2nd, and our judges would help ensure that this year’s Ghana winner is innovative and unique to compete at the global level.

The jury panel consists of business experts from varied backgrounds, ranging from technology to entertainment, as this year’s competition looks to celebrate the best of Ghanaian innovation, reveals the organizers. The eight judges will also be accompanied on the panel by guest judges who would provide tailored advice for the Startups.

“I’m delighted to announce this year’s judging panel is again full of Great Ghanaian innovation. The judges’ experience, and knowhow in disrupting their respective markets with breakthrough businesses, will be invaluable to this year’s finalists who will benefit from their feedback and insight. It’s going to be a very exciting day,” commented Emmanuel Nyame, Chair of the Ghana StartUp Cup.

15 Semi-finalists in Health-tech, Agriculture, Edu-tech and entertainment were respectively announced last week. Judges would bring their expertise and mentorship to help support and address the basic challenges that these startups may be experiencing. Startups would be competing for a chance to be selected for the Ampion Venture Bus West Africa 2015, AfricaTwenty10 accelerator programme, Strategy consultation with Growth Mosaic, and ultimately to represent Ghana in the World StartUp Cup competition.

Judges include:


Lexis Bill – Joy FM

Nathan Pritzker – Startup America

Ethel Cofie – Edel Technologies

Beatrice Odonkor – Tiffany Consult

Wayne Miranda – Growth Mosaic

Leticia Browne – Ghana Angel Investor Network

Kweku Fleming – Stanford SEED

Thompson Tsuwa – RtHE Consult


2014 Semi-finalists Announced!

Ghana StartUp Cup  has today announced the fifteen semi-finalists competing for this year’s Best Startup award in the annual Ghana StartUp Cup competition…

This year’s event will see unique awards handed out, including mentorship packages, strategy consulting with Growth Mosaic, investment structuring with the Ghana Angel Investors Network, participation in the World Startup Competition, the AfricaTwety10 Award, Ampion Venture Bus Award in partnership with AMPION, and the Innovation Award for successfully trading small businesses.

“Starting a business is a very exciting time and it is thrilling to see so many creative Ghanaian entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries making the most of the resources at their fingertips to launch exciting start-ups. Each one of these semi-finalists has captured our imagination and we hope will inspire others to act on their own big ideas” commented Nathan Pritzker, a Judge on the panel.

Semi-finalists for the 2015 edition of the StartUp Cup Ghana competition include:

CustOpinion: A mobile application that provides market insight and industry information to businesses

Children’s Art Festival Ghana : A Reach for Change, Tigo  Ghana and Devio Arts Centre -Led festival aimed at inspiring creativity among children and encouraging parents to appreciate art. Provides recreation activities which Children and young people can learn to develop their creative minds using both visual and digital art forms.

MED Ghana: Online portal which allows users to consult with licensed doctors through secured email, live chat on on the web, or book a phone appointment to speak to the medical doctor on phone.

Swappaholics: Swappaholics is an innovative and interactive online swapping portal that was couched from the famous barter trading system. Swappaholics involves people listing items they want to swap (I have) for items they need (I want).

Sidekick: A full service advertising agency comprised of tech geeks, creative designers, innovative storytellers, and strategists helping brands build close relationships with their customers in real time

BigXGh: A digital platform for Ghanaian music offering music streaming, industry news and events updates.

Smerk Labs: Developers of a mobile app called “Order Now” to give a visual and exact representation of food from various restaurants and enable users to just select their food item and send to restaurants in real time

Pineapple Orchard Ltd: Engages in large scale pineapple cultivation for both the local and foreign market

Freezeit Labs: A unit which puts the power of your refrigerator in a small and compact disposal unit to control sanitation

Tenth Reign: The primary focus of Tenth Reign is to keep nursing mothers informed about child care best practices through mobile technology and a multi-stakeholder approach

Smart Fix Ghana: An online platform that creates marketing opportunities for freelance artisans, handymen and construction workers such as plumbers, electricians, landscapers etc, through which they can market their services

Sh3fata: An online marketplace for apparel and accessories suppliers and dressmakers to connect and sell to the Ghanaian internet accessible population

E-Group Research & Teaching Consult: An SMC University, Switzerland partnered portal which provides online tutorial system to complement the online learning platform of schools

F&Q Concept Development Center: Developers of iShare, a mobile app that enables users to trade (buy & sell shares) on the stock market

Trayfunds: A crowd funding platform which connects the initiators and startup businesses with venture capitalists or angel investors to support their ventures

Semi-finalists would be trained through an introduction course to the competition, pitching techniques and other areas necessary to having a successful pitch event with the grand jury. We wish all finalists the best of Luck.