Almost two hundred people attended the GBT Startup Conference in Ghana, organized to promote the startup ecosystem in Ghana and give a selection of our GBT entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business for investors. Joshua Ayinbora, founder of Groital Company Limited, a pineapple grower, won the closely contested pitch competition between eleven startups.
The jury was deeply impressed by Groital Company Limited; an agribusiness specialized in the cultivation of vegetables and pineapples. Runner-up was Dext Technologies; producers of Science Sets. Caris Gold; a natural fruit juice company landed on third place.
Jurors were Benjamin Ackah GM (UMB Stockbrokers), Anthony Selasie Sabah (ASSOCIATE, AgDevCo), Festus William Amoyaw (Portfolio Manager Acumen), Samuel Yeboah (Founder, Mirepa Capital) and Mark Darko, MD (Heritage Securities).
The Start-up Investors Conference
The aim of the GBT Start-up Investors Conference was to bring startups, SMEs and the various stakeholders in the startup and investment ecosystem together to help them to secure investments for their businesses and to generate a deal flow for investors. The conference was co-hosted by the Netherlands Embassy.
“If you want to, you will make it tomorrow”
– Ron Strikker
Ron Strikker, the Netherlands’ Ambassador to Ghana, briefly shared the importance of SMEs in Ghana to create more employment. He encouraged the entrepreneurs to keep pursuing new opportunities. “If you want to, you will make it tomorrow”, Strikker said.
Valuable advice from seasoned entrepreneurs
An interactive discussion moderated by Jesse Agyepong, Brand Consultant and founder of Afiba Consultancy focused on building a culture of entrepreneurship in Ghana and addressed the difficulties of growing from a startup to SME and then to a global enterprise.
John Kuma, CEO of NEIP, a government-funded entrepreneurship plan, spoke about the role of the government in addressing unemployment in Ghana and how to grow your business. He shared that the government supports and promotes startups through business incubators, acceleration programs and business assistance to support job creation in the private sector. He encouraged entrepreneurs not to solely focus on acquiring money, but instead sharpen your business idea and plan. “A solid idea and business plan will bring in money. Any business plan that cannot find the money to produce the item is not a good business plan”, the CEO said.
Samuel Waterberg, CEO of People’s Pension Trust and GBT mentor, focused on key steps to catching investors’ attention. He advised entrepreneurs to seek for investors that do not only provide financial capital, but also technical knowledge and networks. He also emphasized the importance of a good elevator pitch. “Everybody wants to invest in a good story”, Samuel commented.
Application for GBT Academy in Accra in 2018 opens in January
MBC Africa organizes GBT (Growing Business Together) in Ghana, while iMPACT Booster is organizing the programme in the Netherlands. Over a period of two years GBT selects and coaches 35 young entrepreneurs annually in setting up or growing their business. In Ghana, twenty candidates took part in the GBT Academy.
The next Startup Investors Conference will be held in October 2018. Applications for the 2018 GBT Academy open in January.
Did you miss the pitch competition or any of our discussions at the GBT Startup Investors Conference? Watch the Facebook Live recording on our Facebook page.