StartUp Cup hit Ghana’s capital for the 3rd time this past weekend for its conclusion, as the three winners of this year’s competition were revealed following a morning of rapid pitches from 12 finalists.
After whittling down hundreds of entrants, via an online registration, twelve entrepreneurs where invited to compete. Emi-Beth Quatson of KawaMoka, a local coffee company, received the backing of the judges in the competiton and finished victorious. Placing second and third were eCampus App, an innovative e-learning platform and Coliba, a waste management startup.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Chief Economic Officer of the U.S. Embassy, Jimmy Mauldin, admonished the youth to take up challenges and provide sustainable and identifiable solutions to the problems around us through their businesses, adding that: “You are the future of Ghana” He further reiterated the U.S Government’s support for StartUp Cup Ghana, through the Global Entrepreneurship Program, in spurring growth in entrepreneurship in Ghana, as well as other exchange programmes such as the Young African Leaders’ Initiative (YALI).
“Not all business plan competitions are meant for your business”, commented Technoserve Ghana Deputy Country Director, Samuel Baba Adongo who was also a keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. He continued by admonishing startups to focus on growth as a first step in developing their business while desisting from the habit of moving from one competition to the other.
The finals, which took place during the National Startup Festival at the British Council, saw twelve businesses pitch their ideas to an expert panel of entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts.On hosting duties was Kweku Temeng of TV3, while joining Nancy Glaser of Stanford SEED on the judging panel were Klenam Fiadzo (Yougora Ltd, Cofounder), and Kwaku David (KD Group Global).
Ethel Cofie (Women in Tech, Founder), Yaganoma Baatuolkuu (Wanjo Foods, CEO), Wayne Miranda (Growth Mosaic, CEO), Joyce Okyerewaa Danso (UN Youth Ambassador, Ghana), Mac-Jordan Degadjor (Africa New Media, Cofounder) also formed part of panelists for a Social Good Meetup on Entrepreneurship and the Global Goals which took place earlier at the same venue to discuss and address the funding and investment gap for startups in Ghana. Alumi of the StartUp Cup program, Lily Kudzro(Devio Arts, CEO) Francis Obirikorang(Swappaholics, Cofounder) and Nana Opoku Agyeman-Prempeh(Asoriba, Cofounder), also took chances to lead a breakout session on growing and expanding your business.
“We took a long time to come to a decision after witnessing the pitches,” confessed the Ghana StartUp Cup, Director, Emmanuel Nyame. “There was a lot of delibrations as all twelve of these businesses are so strong. In the end it came down to deciding whether we wanted to give the backing to the best ideas or the businesses that we thought could really succeed.”
So what do all of the finalists walk away with?
Finalists with Agricultural background received a prize package by kind sponsorship of TechnoServe Ghana, while ultimate winner, KawaMoka would continue the journey to compete with other African countries for the next phase of the competition.
As well as this, all of finalists will get astute mentorship prize packages for all twelve finalists starting December this year sponsored by MEL Consulting.
The National StartUp Festival was put together by Stillwater Equity Partners and StartUp Cup Ghana. To find out more about this year’s competition, head across to the Ghana StartUp Cup website www.ghana.startupcup.com