Students pitch business ideas to investors and business leaders

April 28, 2016 - A cross-section of investors and business leaders attended the final capstone presentations for the Entrepreneurship class. Final year students pitched their businesses, ideas and products including shared-taxi services, laundry services, interior décor services and other projects they worked on as part of the class where students are trained in starting and running a business.

At Ashesi, through capstone projects, seniors have the opportunity to package their college experience, in any area of interest, into a project. On the other hand, the faculty also gets the chance to observe and evaluate how well students have grasped their college experience in Ashesi. Seniors choose to work on a thesis, an applied project or an entrepreneurship project.

During the year-long entrepreneurship class, students gain insights for their businesses or ideas; they learn how to pitch to investors, interact with stakeholders and test their businesses in the real world. The class also helps them learn how to build and work with teams, and the importance of leveraging their strengths and those of others on a team.

“The class brings their whole Ashesi experience together,” said Dr. Sena Agyepong, lecturer of the class. “It is a heavily practical class that focuses on helping students imbibe the school’s goals with regards to training entrepreneurial leaders. The expectation is not that every person who ends up coming to the class starts their own business. But even if they choose to work for an organization, they think like entrepreneurs, they understand things from the perspective of the organization, are able to innovate, apply design thinking and become problem solvers.”

For the final presentations, the teams, aside pitching their ideas, received feedback from the guests as to how to better position their businesses to be relevant in the real world. Taiwo Ajayi, founder and Executive Director of CreateGhana encouraged the students to focus on creating impact through their businesses. “Your business has to grow and bring value,” she said. “Find a problem, and think about how you can address it in a dramatic way. Think big in terms of the possibilities and how you can create value but also remain grounded, so that there is a very clear issue that you are solving.”

“Keep an open mind. Don’t just develop these for the purposes of finishing your course,” said Ebenezer Arthur of Innohub. “Look at how you can create jobs, solutions to poverty and also better solutions from these ideas and initiatives you have shared today.”

Following the pitches, students, faculty and guests present had the chance to interact with one another.