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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.

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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’’

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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.

 

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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: Ghana.startupcup@gmail.com

Who Wins Ghana StartUp Cup 2014?

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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 www.businesssensegh.com or call 0206367515.

 

 

Paul Asinor

Conference Director

OML Africa

Grand Jury Panel for 2014 Unveiled

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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.

 

StartUp Cup Ghana To Host Ampion Venture Bus in Accra

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We are thrilled to inform you that StartUp Cup Ghana would facilitate a mentorship session for 40 Ampioners this Thursday!

AMPION organizes four Venture Bus hackathons in 16 countries in Africa this year to create innovative and sustainable start-ups for the African market. The Venture Bus has been covered by international media such as BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and Deutsche Welle. Participants are coders, business experts and designers from Africa and all over the world. They are accompanied by mentors, investors and serial entrepreneurs from renowned companies like Google or Apple who will share valuable insights into the business of successful startups in global centers of entrepreneurship such as the Silicon Valley and Berlin.

Before leaving Accra, AMPION is still visiting Hub Accra, where a mentoring session, facilitated by StartUp Cup Ghana, takes place. At the end of the session there will be some time for networking.

Date: Thursday, October 30, 2014
Venue: Hub Accra, Osu, Ako Adjei

Program:
8.30 – 9.30 Welcome and group mentoring
9.30 – 11.00 Working and individual mentoring
11.00 – 11.30 Networking break
12.00 AMPION Venture Bus leaving to Cape Coast

Experience business building techniques from our skilled and passionate mentors. To register to attend, kindly send your name and contact details to ghana.startupcup@gmail.com

Startup Cup Ghana winners to join AMPION Venture Bus West Africa

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Startup Cup Ghana winners to join AMPION Venture Bus West Africa

The competition for this years’ Startup Cup Ghana is about to get even fierier as the rewards begin to stack up: our 2014 winners will not only represent Ghana at the World Start Up Cup but also be rewarded with one of the highly coveted spots on the AMPION Venture Bus.

AMPION organizes four Venture Bus hackathons in 16 countries in Africa this year to create innovative and sustainable start-ups for the African market. The Venture Bus has been covered by international media such as BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and Deutsche Welle. Participants are coders, business experts and designers from Africa and all over the world. They are accompanied by mentors, investors and serial entrepreneurs from renowned companies like Google or Apple who will share valuable insights into the business of successful startups in global centers of entrepreneurship such as the Silicon Valley and Berlin.

Entrepreneurs who compete in the Ghana StartUp Cup are rewarded for turning their idea into a viable business model, going to market quickly, testing assumptions, and modifying their business model as they learn what drives customers and revenue. Entrepreneurs of the StartUp Cup do not have to be experts at creating polished documents or accounting wizards. Instead what they lack in experience, they make up for in passion and dedication to achieve their dream.
The most promising tech startup of the StartUp Cup Ghana will then have to test their medals on the AMPION Venture Bus. On the hackathon they will have to turn their innovative idea into a refined business plan and pitch their startup to a jury of high-level investors. The pitch will be part of the Venture Bus grand final in Abidjan co-hosted by AMPION and one of Europe’s most prominent business schools HEC.

The West African Venture Bus hackathon will take place from October 27 to November 1, 2014 and travel Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast. The entrepreneurs will be guests in local innovation centers and academic facilities such as the CC Hub (Nigeria), American Cultural Center (Benin), Woelab (Togo), iSPace (Ghana) and Akendewa (Ivory Coast) along the way.

The best startups developed on the AMPION Venture Buses will receive an extensive Fellowship Program including funding, mentorship and free office spaces. If you always wanted to create your own business in Ghana the time is now! You can apply for the StartUp Cup Ghana until October 5, 2014 on ghana.startupcup.com – regular applications for the AMPION Venture Bus close on September 25 (www.ampion.org).

Press contact: Emmanuel Nyame| Ghana StartUp Cup Organizer | eknyame@gmail.com

Ashesi University Welcomes Ghanaian Entrepreneurs

 

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The Ashesi Student Council in partnership with Ghana StartUp Cup presents the A4 Idea Networking Event.

This is a night of networking, contact sharing, demo pitches and celebration of Ghanaian Entrepreneurship dubbed A4IDEA (Avant-garde concise Innovative Develop Educate Advance)

Date: October 2, 2014
Time: 5:30-8pm
Venue: Ashesi University Auditorium

We would love to see you join with us and a large group of distinguished guests—including heads of business organizations, investors, and leaders of prominent academic and research institutions—to celebrate Ghanaian, youth and student entrepreneurship. We’ve specifically designed this event to be educative, exciting and revealing and we believe these attributes would have major impact on economic and social development in West Africa through numerous partnerships that would be formed.

“This is an opportunity to engage aspring student entrepreneurs of the Ashesi University in diverse business building skills training, mentorship, and networking with Ghanaian experiences” commented Michael Annor, Academic Chair of the Ashesi Student Council.

Are you a budding entrepreneur? Don’t be left out! Send your name and contact details to ghana.startupcup@gmail.com to register for free. Share the information.

Ghana StartUp Cup is reloaded for 2014!

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After the success of the launch edition last year, Ghana Startup Cup announces the 2014 edition, the most important business model competition for startups across Ghana to pitch and compete for prize categories, marketing and business expansion services. This competition takes place with the brilliant support from a network of partners listed on our website

The mentoring and judging panel are currently being combined and will be announced soon. The team will be a mix of international and local mentors united by their passion and volunteering their time to develop successful ventures. The mentoring program will go towards providing entrepreneurs more opportunities to take one step ahead to reach out to the last mile.

“We try to make this year’s competition bigger and better. We’re not going to shy away from telling you that we are looking for the most promising startups to see them pitching on the World stage in the final round” Said Emmanuel Nyame, Lead Organizer and Chair of the competition.

Some of the exciting features to look out for in this year’s edition include, A night of Entrepreneurs Networking at Ashesi University, Weekly mentorship, Additional Awards categories including Incubation with Africa Twenty 10 a global accelerator programme for startups that are focused on launching in multiple African  markets, among a host of fascinating and interesting packages.

Application Deadline:

If you want to create brand awareness and get media exposure, we are here for you! The deadline for submission is Sunday, October 5, 2014Submit your Application NOW!

Email: ghana.startupcup@gmail.com