Turtle Pitch Night

Theme: Climate Change Adaptation Technologies-08.02.2023

The Turtle team is made up of Geraldine Dohogne and Estelle van Eeckhout, two female friends who have been close for 34 years and chose to go on an adventure that will influence and improve lives, particularly in Sierra Leone’s business ecosystem. 

In order to spread awareness and generate money for their endeavor, the turtle team participated in the BUDAPEST-BAMAKO rally 2022, the final big adventure in the world. The two buddies chose the moniker “TURTLE” for their team mostly in honor of the turtles in Sierra Leone and the turtles’ overall propensity for “slow but sure” racing. Every two years, people from all around the world can participate in the Budapest-Bamako rally and raise money for whatever they might wish to engage in.

The Budapest-Bamako Rally is an automobile event that spans eight (8) nations. The 2022 edition of the rally began in Labe, Guinea, and concluded with a welcome ceremony at Gigibonta Lumley in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on November 8, 2022. The Budapest-Bamako Rally provides all of its participants with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in addition to being a means of raising money. The turtle team traveled with such fortitude and concentration. Due to their punctuality, versatility, and liberality, the turtle squad went, saw, conquered, and won the hero of the bush honors after spending 11 nights camping and sleeping in tents around the eight countries in Africa. They decided it would be appropriate to help the entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing money for incubating and assisting budding entrepreneurs through innovation SL.

Following the selection process, Innovation SL posted a CALL for applicants to apply for this unique pitch night and began preparing. The preparation sessions lasted for two weeks, during which time the chosen pitchers received instruction on how to present their ideas as well as aid with the right organization of their pitch decks. 

On February 8, 2023, the Turtle Team pitch night was held after several days of planning and preparation.

The pitch night, which had the theme “CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION TECHNOLOGIES(CCAT),” was held at the Toma restaurant and was hosted by madam Emily Bah. The event began with an introduction and welcome speech from the company’s CEO/MD Mr. Francis Stevens George, who noted that while there are many successful entrepreneurs in the nation, the narratives have changed due to the influx of young people, primarily recent graduates, into the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Many of these young people view entrepreneurship as fulfilling because it allows them to be content with what they are doing and be creative while doing it. He then quickly clarified that the turtles are aware of this, but more importantly, they are also aware that there are other ecosystem actors who offer support and training to these aspiring business owners in order to shape the ecosystem and bring it to its full potential. For this reason, the team used sponsorship funds to support these entrepreneurs through Innovation SL.

He also explained to everyone in attendance that the pitch night was originally intended only for women, but due to the dearth of female participants, the team and the organization were forced to open the opportunity to both men and women. As a result, we have pitchers from both genders. Following that, Mr. Francis Stevens George called for Miss. Estelle Van Eeckhout, a member of the turtle team, gave a speech about the significance of the evening.

Miss Estelle explained to everyone in attendance that she and her teammate Geraldine came from entrepreneurial families and have always been interested in supporting young female entrepreneurs because they are the ones most impacted by global climate change. She continued by saying that being able to support these entrepreneurs at this time has been a dream come true and is incredibly satisfying.

Ms. Estelle then handed us off to her teammate and friend Miss Geraldine Dohogne, who was joining us virtually because she couldn’t make it to the event. She and her teammate, Ms. Estelle, had so much faith in Innovation SL that they begged the company to be their service provider. They believe that the company is a driving force of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As an entrepreneur herself, Miss Dohonge expressed her enthusiasm and satisfaction at finding funding and supporting young businesspeople. She stayed with us practically for the remainder of the evening, thanking everyone for coming and wishing us all a nice evening.

The host, madam Emily Bah, then presented the judges, who are as follows: Her Excellency The Ambassador of Ireland to Sierra Leone, Claire Buckley, Estelle Van Eeckhout, Geraldine Dohogne Turtle teammate and entrepreneur, Natalia Abboud, CEO of the transnational DSTV Sierra Leone and Capital radio, and Madam Haja Mariama Myers, a business consultant, and entrepreneur.

The first speaker for the evening was Margret sia Gbamanja from the Salone Association of Innovation and Management, a company that offers auto mini-irrigation systems for small-scale farmers looking to provide an alternative watering system for farm-growing crops. The host went directly to the main event for the day, the pitch proper, by reminding the pitchers that they are only given five minutes to make their ideas known. The main issue they noticed was how climate change has affected everyone, including Sierra Leone, and as a result, farmers have resorted to just farming during the rainy season, contributing to a food deficit in the nation. Additionally, they try to find a solution for the manual effort that goes into watering crops because most farmers complain of pain, particularly waist problems, while they are conducting surveys. They also understand the difficulties that local farmers have using auto-smart irrigation because the majority of them are not lettered; as a result, their products are easy to use and reasonably priced for everyone.

She added that they are nearly finished with their prototype and are working on it right now. When she was through, she made sure to mention that the product’s secret is that it is superior to its rivals in that it is effective, straightforward, affordable, and supports local farmers.

The first of the two questions Margret received from the judges came from Miss Estelle, who inquired about the source of the water they planned to use for the irrigation system. Margret responded by stating that most farms are located close to wells, so that is where they intended to get their water.

The next query came from Miss Natalia, who was worried about the price of their kit because it wasn’t mentioned during the presentation. Margaret responded that she couldn’t give a specific figure because they were still in the planning stages and couldn’t ascertain the price at this time. As she left the pitch stage, the judges praised her for her poise and presentation abilities.

Every two minutes a child dies from malaria, yet mankind has joined together to find a solution, said Stephan Courtney Peterson, according to Mariama Saccoh, the second pitcher from the Global Malaria App. As a medical student, she always finds it upsetting when people wait in line for a malaria test at a hospital and are not attended to in a timely manner. With this background in mind, she and her team decided to create an application that would allow people all over the world to take a malaria test and receive their results in a flash.

The malaria app will be created for owners of Android and iOS smartphones with sensors because that’s how the app can scan and detect their blood cells in order for the findings to be shown. The app also aims to reduce the number of deaths caused by malaria since prompt diagnosis and treatment can avoid fatalities and because it links patients with healthcare providers and pharmacies.

Given that all malaria test kits are made of plastic, the invention also helps to prevent plastic pollution. Mariama explained that they will be employing an optical biochemical parameter sensor, which is dependable and capable of detecting the presence of plasmodium in cells, in response to the judges’ question on how the application can be trusted.

​​Mr. Tommy Sowa, the third pitcher, is the CEO and co-founder of Zest MK Investment, which focuses on creating an e-commerce application that would facilitate the delivery of medications to patients who have access to the application. Additionally, they offer medical care as well as a venue for pharmacists to market their goods and offer services to these patients.

Since they plan to use a few motorbikes to reach hundreds of people, they hope that by leveraging this E-commerce platform, both the death rate and ozone layer pollution will be reduced. The covid pandemic, Mr. Tommy Sowa further explained to the audience, was the inspiration for this idea. He discovered that many people died from a lack of prompt medical attention, but with e-commerce, no one will even need to risk traveling long distances with a sick person because all the facilities will be there to meet them in time at their doorsteps.

This will promote pharmacies around the neighborhood and give young people jobs. After that, the judges questioned Mr. Tommy Sowa about the anticipated payment plan for clients who would use their services. Mr. Sowa said that they would be going digital and using a local mobile money app.

The fourth pitcher, Christiana Lebbie, whose business idea is briquette coal, recalled a time when her mother had to make soup for her sick grandfather. However, because she was using charcoal, the process took three hours and was both time-consuming and unhealthy. This served as her inspiration to create briquette coal from farm waste.

As opposed to charcoal and firewood, briquette coal burns for a very long period before burning out, making cooking easier, simpler, and more inexpensive. Cooking with briquette coal is healthful since it doesn’t emit smoke, protecting women’s lungs, eyes, and other organs from sickness. The briquette coal also contributes significantly to climate change adaptation because, unlike other cooking techniques, it doesn’t release gasses into the atmosphere and also includes free fire starters. In order to reach as many clients as possible who will be able to use the briquette coal and live a better and healthier life, the briquette coal will target neighborhood merchants who offer “kol pot.” Since briquette coal can be produced without using trees, it will also encourage reforestation. 

Although the judges said they were in love with her idea, they also suggested that she go back to the drawing board and reduce the cost of her product by working with and partnering with other companies in the same field.

Fatmata Conteh from Sierra Plastbricks, whose company focuses on reducing plastic pollution and flood damage, was the fifth pitcher. Since 15000 people die yearly from flooding, most of whom live in slum areas, Sierra plastbricks produces plastic bricks that may be used as retaining walls and flood fences to help secure water-prone areas. This is done in an effort to lessen the impact of floods.

The Sierra Plastic Bricks also observed that during rainy seasons, the city becomes clogged and polluted with plastics and rubber; as a result, they are recycling these materials into bricks in order to protect the ozone layer. Additionally, in order to fully mitigate flooding, the Sierra Plasti Bricks also come with a sensor that will be installed in the flood walls which will indicate when the floodwaters are rising to fully get the job done.

She said that the secret to their success is that, unlike their rivals, their flood walls have sensors that can detect floods. The judges questioned how the sensor will be developed since they were worried about its development. The team informed the judges that they will unquestionably be the ones to construct the sensors but also acknowledged that they are still in the perfect stage and are trying to select which type of sensor they will use. They provided information on the many types of sensors. The judges then recommended the team conduct a thorough investigation into their concept because it has numerous technological and intellectual ramifications.

The problem they saw was how different dumpsites are polluting the surroundings as most of these dump sites burn down the waste transported to their sites. They also noticed that this waste can be raw materials for people who are in the circular industry, so they decided to find a solution. The sixth pitcher was Mr. Fallah Mackay Lengor, who represented the Action for Safer environment non-government organization (Clean city waste).

Sorting waste and distributing it to various recycling businesses would assist them to obtain the raw materials they need to make additional products for the country’s consumption. Additionally, this will lessen the environmental damage that burning waste has on the environment. Since there are no official organizations dedicated to the said enterprise, their best option is to supply refuge, sort waste, and distribute waste to their required recycling companies.

According to the OCHA 2015b report, 80% of Sierra Leone’s waste can be recycled, therefore with their notion of sorting and distributing waste, Sierra Leone can make the most of every waste rather than allowing waste to create flooding and other problems. Their plan will work by collecting rubbish from dumps, classifying it into distinct categories including plastic, metal, and coconut shells, among others, and then selling it to recycling businesses for a small price.

They will keep a cost-effective supply chain. Because they will sort before distribution, recycling companies can acquire the exact amount of material they require without having to go through any additional sorting procedures. After his presentation, the judges questioned the team about how they intended to maintain their waste management strategy so that they could not be easily imitated by upcoming rivals. In other words, the judges were trying to find out what might prevent other businesses from doing what the team was planning to do.

Mr. Fallah responded that they are not afraid of competition because it will motivate them to work harder and that they do not believe that they will be matched by rivals in the future because they were the first to start a waste sorting and distribution business, giving them an advantage over rivals in the future because they will become more inventive over time.

Hawah Siaffa-Siakka from Climate action for women and youth development was the penultimate pitcher. She made the decision to pursue green farming practices after watching her father lose a lot of money in agriculture because he lacked the necessary knowledge. She conducted a survey after that and discovered that most farmers lack training, particularly in the application of fertilizers, which prevents them from producing many crops. By using open data kits (ODK) to send information on the ground and data back and forth, such as weather patterns, fertilizer use, climate adaption, and general farming information, her approach is to provide smart knowledge in agriculture. Ms. Hawah provided the essential information to the interviewer after being questioned about her customer base and the channels she utilizes to inform her go-to-market about her designs to the judges.

The final hurler of the evening According to Christiana Martha Lappia of Chris and Co Tech Ltd, the main issue they saw was the high rate of CO2 emission in the atmosphere, which is mostly brought on by industry manufacturing plants and leads to ill health and water contamination as well as global warming. Their approach is to provide a catalytic converter that transforms smoke from chimneys into steam or water vaporizer, which helps to prevent global warming. Their device adds value by converting waste carbon monoxide into steam and absorbing it, which helps to mitigate global warming and protects workers from respiratory illnesses.

Miss Christian went on to say that their plan will create a safe working environment, make a significant contribution to environmental protection, and promote high standards of health. 

Miss Christian responded that she and her team would first obtain Clarence from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and partner with factories and other companies that would be using their products in response to the judges’ initial question about how she and her team intended to acquire customers since their market target was large factories and construction companies.

The event continued with a Q&A session that was expertly moderated by the host after the judges had dismissed the audience for making their final choice. The audience had the chance to interrogate the pitchers during this session about their companies and their goods. The fact that the pitchers had the chance to pitch their products to the audience and explain their presentations made this session extremely interactive.

The top five pitchers who were able to persuade the judges of the significance and influence of their products were announced after a brief break by the judges. The winners were Christiana Lebbie, Fatmata.F. Conteh, Mr. Tommy Sowa, Fallah Mackay Lengor, and Christiana Martha Lappia, in that order. 

In recognition of their dedication and support, the judges received presents in addition to diplomas for the winners. 

The CEO/MD Mr. Francis George Williams gave a very brief closing courtesy to everyone in attendance, especially the judges and Turtle Team, to express his gratitude for helping the event to be a huge success because it was held in a welcoming and educational environment.

 INNOVATION SL COMMS

Reported by: Francess Beresford Renner

 Edited by: Lamarana Bah 

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Exponential Technology, Digital/Industrial Disruptor/Fintech

This month’s Pitch Night Theme “Exponential Technology, Digital/Industrial Disruptor/Fintech” was held at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology on the 28th of September 2022. This is a night where different innovators come to pitch their ideas on technologies that have the potential to cause broader societal transformation by changing the existing economic sectors, and tenets of work, production, and consumption. Mrs. Emily Bah chaired the event by starting with individual prayers and welcoming the guests and thereafter she explained the significance of the event as an opportunity for startups/entrepreneurs to not just market their products/businesses but also to solicit feedback to help their businesses grow.  After the three judges of the event namely Mr. Ibrahim Barry, Madam Tafadzwa Chiganga, Madam Priscilla Oke-Chukwu, and Mr. Aiah James, have introduced themselves, Mrs. Emily called on the Managing Director of Innovation SL, Mr. Francis Stevens George to give a short statement. 

Mr. Francis talked about the difference between Exponential technologies and exponential innovation. He stated that it is not easy to know that a particular technology is exponential. He further defined exponential innovation as a technology that can cross into another industry background.

After the statement from the MD, the host called on the first pitcher Mr. Chernoh Jagitay, a member of CJ Bem. Mr. Jagitay highlighted in his pitch that as a company their aim is to solve the problem of lack of proper inventory management, lack of billing and sales structure, crude, manual or complex bookkeeping, and no simple but advanced mobile solution (POS) to operate customer’s physical or online stores. They are proposing to develop a mobile point of sale (android) for shop operations, a storefront (e-commerce) function to accept and process online orders, simple but advanced reports for decision making, and also low operational costs.

The judges congratulated the pitcher but commented that he did not mention his team members. Madam Priscilla recommended that he improve his pitch deck and his presentation. Mr. Ibrahim Barrie asked who is managing the app, especially the backend, and how they manage the app. He also asked how they collect and manage the data that comes from the backend. Madam Tafadzwa asked what his biggest challenges in getting people to sign-up are. Mr. Aiah James asked if the application could work offline.

The second pitcher Mr. Sal Kuyateh explained that he has developed his project called “Bintumani'' which is a cryptocurrency system because he wants to solve the problem of endless fees, too many middlemen activities, and also the problem of the West African monetary system losing its valuation and at risk of being obsolete. His system which he called “Bintumani.io” will be creating a Defi problem alongside cryptocurrencies which will be available 24/7 with very few limitations compared to mobile money services. 

Madam Tafadzwa thanked Mr. Sal Kuyateh and asked him what challenges he has seen to encourage him on the cryptocurrency in Sierra Leone. Madam Priscilla asked about features he has put in place that are different from the other platforms and what will motivate her to use his platform instead of the other platforms. Mr. Aiah James asked Mr. Sal if he thinks Sierra Leone is ready for cryptocurrency right and if he did any research on that. Mr. Francis asks if Mr. Kuyateh has been to the regulatory environment. 

The third and final pitcher for the event, Mr. Emmanuel S. Kamara said that they intend to develop the Freetown Markit System because of the problem of the lack of ease and comfort of purchasing products offline from B2B and B2C added with the issue with the payment system and the lack of trust in vendors in e-commerce platforms. The system will provide an E-commerce (App & website) platform for online vendors that have a payment system to their account by providing a payment system to educate vendors and consumers about scams and also help small businesses reach their full potential in the market.

The Judges thanked Mr. Bangura for such a brilliant presentation. Mr. Aiah James asked how he will manage such huge data on his platform. Also, he was asked if he is going to develop a new payment system or if he is going to work on an existing system. Mr. Barry asks how he is going to protect customers from scammers. Madam Priscilla encourages him to move on with his dreams and make sure that he brings them to reality.

Madam Emily then called on the guest speaker Mr. John Wearing who is the advisor at Invest Salone, and a former World Bank and UK Government economist. Mr. Wearing said he is a big fan of the pitch night. He spoke on disruptive technology and said in society there are a very small number of people trying to solve problems in disruptive ways. He told them that they can be the ones to solve huge problems in the business world with their unique ideas that will make people love them. He encouraged them to ask questions and try to define if they liked what they were doing, which will help their business to be valued. Lastly, he told them that pitching is not all about money but what they can achieve and learn from it.

As the theme of this month states, the platform was lively with brilliant ideas from the pitchers and tremendous advice, comments, and questions from the judges. The Pitch Night was interactive as Mrs. Emily calls on Mr. Ibrahim from Built Accounting to give a short talk on their business. Mr. Ibrahim stated that they are currently working on their platform which will assist businesses and employees as they currently have incorporated payroll in their system to keep their monthly records in it. It will also help employees to see historical payments in their system. She also engaged the audience to keep their questions for the pitchers after the event as there is no time for that now. She then encourages the audience to play a short game called speed networking where every guest will interact with each other and build a network for five minutes.

The event was brought to an end when the judges announced the winners of the pitch event. Madam Priscilla announced that Mr. Sal Kuyateh came third followed by Mr. Emmanuel Kamara who came second while Mr. Chernor Jagitay was the winner. Emily then presented the gifts to the judges and called on Mr. Fraizer to present the gift to the guest speaker. Mrs. Emily ended the event by thanking everyone before she gave the closing remark and vote of thanks. 

Compiled by,

Julliet Josiah.

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EdTech Pitch Night- August Edition

“Edtech” is the theme for this month’s Pitch Night, which was held at Limkokwing University on the 31st of August, 2022. It is a night where different innovators come with their ideas on how to help improve the educational system in Sierra Leone through the use of technology (either online or offline). Mrs. Emily Bah chaired the event by starting with individual prayers and welcoming the guests and thereafter she explained the significance of the event as an opportunity for startups or entrepreneurs to not just market their products/businesses but also to solicit feedback to help their businesses grow.  After the four judges of the event namely Dr. Brian E. Conton, Madam Sunnah Keili, Mr. Simon E. Tsike-Sossah and Mr. Abdulsalam Kamara have introduced themselves, Mrs. Emily called on the first pitcher.

Mr. Mohamed Bangura, a member of King Medo Tech, who highlighted in his pitch that as a company their idea aims to solve the increasing problem of potential errors or miscalculations, lack of proper database for keeping track of grades, inconsistencies in student records, report generation which takes a long time and unauthorized access in schools and colleges by providing a SierraGrade School Result Manager (SierraGrade). This is a system that is an automated, secured and error free result manager that produces report cards in less time and keeps track of all grades for future reference with three months of free usage, free training & technical support and also free video tutorials for their users.

Mr Abdulsalam Kamara, one of the judges commended Mr. Bangura for his brilliant idea and asked him how sustainable the business is and if it has easy access. He also asked about the structures he has put in place for security purposes.

 Dr. Brian Conton congratulated him for identifying one of the key areas affecting the schools and colleges. He asked the pitcher where the data is  saved since it is an offline system and his competitive advantage. 

Mr. Simon E. Tsike-Sossah asked if he could input data into the system as a client. Madam Sunnah Keili asked how different the system is from the general automated system.

The second pitcher Mr. Alusine Barrie explained that through his Fore-Front company, there is High Quality private tutoring, e-learning and education consultancy. This actually works to produce a guaranteed exam success and skills mastery, leverage technology and innovative teaching & learning to ‘multiply’ great teaching through their E-Learning packages, provide evidence based approach through his baseline and monthly progress tracking & reporting to clients & benefactors. 

The Judges asked Mr. Alusine Barrie what is unique about his business since there is YouTube to watch video tutorials from. Mr. Simon E. Tsike-Sossah recommended Mr. Barrie for the energy he used in conducting this current teaching. 

Dr.Brian E. Conton asked Mr. Alusine Barrie about the methodology he is using and how he can use it to combine it with E-Learning. 

Mr. Peter Tom Nyamah was the third pitcher. He stated that his idea is to start a Preschool Learning Aids that would solve the problem of the methods of teaching in preschool because of the unavailability of appropriate teaching materials in preschool by providing teaching aids for 2-3 years old pupils.

Mr. Nyamah was asked why he did not bring the box (calculator) and how he knew that the product lasts for ten years since they just started in2018. Dr. Brian E. Conton asked why he started by giving the figures for WASSCE and then went back to talking about Pre-Schools.

Eventually, Mr Emmanuel Kamanda, innovator of an offline Stem Server called LOREM, was the fourth and final pitcher. Mr. Kamanda’s idea is geared towards solving the problem of students not having affordable & reliable access to organized quality stem content by creating the above named server for schools and colleges.

The judges asked Mr. Kamanda how the App would generate revenue.  Mr. Abdulsalam commended Mr. Kamanda by saying he liked his project. He also asked that he work with Mr. Barrie since they have similar ideas. Madam Sunnah asked how he decides which contents to show the customer/students. 

As the theme of this month states, the platform was lively with brilliant ideas from the pitchers and tremendous advice, comments and questions from the judges. The Pitch Night was interactive as Mrs. Emily asked some entrepreneurs to come and market their product to the audience. Madam Nyallay Sheriff talked about her product Metro Cables, Mr. Emmanuel from CARE Sierra Leone  talked about new product they are offering to the public wit a generous profit margin. which is and Mr. Victor Pratt from dot.Bleu talked on the different packages they are offering. She also engaged the audience to keep their questions for the pitchers for after the event as there is no time for that now. 

The event was brought to an end when the judges announced the winners of the pitch event as Mr Mohamed Bangura, followed by Mr Emmanuel Kamanda who took the second position. Mr Alusine Barrie and Mr Peter Tom Nyamah came in closer with a tie for the third position. Miss Nyallay Sheriff presented the gift to Madam Sunnah Keili, Dr Modupeh Taylor Pierce presented the gift to Dr Brian E. Conton, Mr Emmanuel Boima presented to Mr Simon E. Tsike-Sossah and Mr. David Manley presented to Mr Abdulsalam Kamara on behalf of Freetown Pitch Night.  Mrs. Emily’s then gave the closing remark and vote of thanks 

Compiled By,

Julliet Josiah.

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Crazy Night 

“Crazy Night” as the theme for this month’s Pitch edition held at Limkokwing University on the 27th of July, 2022 refers to a night where crazy but creative ideas were displayed. The event was chaired by Mrs. Emily Bah, who welcomed the guests and thereafter explained the significance of the event as an opportunity for startups or entrepreneurs with crazy but innovative ideas in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Mrs Emily later introduced Mr. Francis Stevens George , MD of Innovation SL who later emphasized the significance of Crazy Pitch Night, and welcomed all who were in attendance to witness the Pitch Night.                        

After the introduction of the four judges of the event namely in the persons of Mr. Nick Asigil, Madam Naasu Fofanah, Dr. Wahid Awonuga and Madam Fatima Sesay, Mrs. Emily called on the first pitcher Mr. Adonis Assaf, a member of Stratton Electric, who highlighted in his pitch that as a company their crazy idea aims to solve the fluctuating problem of rising cost of gasoline in the country by providing an Electric Auto RickShaw(keh keh) as a means of transport at a cheaper and affordable cost for the working class people in Freetown.

The judges commended Mr. Assaf for his brilliant idea and advised him to redefine his target market. However, the Judges enquired how Stratton would ensure safety for passengers, warranty of the Auto-RickShaw(keh keh), battery duration, their target market and transactions and financials. 

The second pitcher Mr. John Abdul Turay explained that through his Fintech Digital Osusu Platform, Osusu transactions will go cashless which will enforce accountability, transparency between the Osusu masters and members. 

The Judges asked whether research was done to determine the number of illiterate and literate people that are in the Osusu Business, they also questioned his current market size, transactions and financials, the cost of building the App, the security measures he has in place if the App is hacked and how he intends to generate income from the App. The Judges recommended that he finetune his innovation and seek advice from people that have been championing the traditional way of Osusu collection.

Sir Prince Malcolm Nuni was the third pitcher. He stated that his crazy idea is to start an Airline Services that would solve the problem that Business Persons, Domestic Tourists, International Organizations, Government Officials and NGOs face when using roads to travel by providing fast, safe and comfortable Air Transportation that offers both Business and Economy class

Mr. Nuni was applauded by the judges for his initiative and subsequently questioned his target market, flight experience, the place that would serve as the landing site, the type of aircrafts he intends to use and the personnels that would manage the Airline.

Eventually, Kelly Kamara, innovator of  an online football App called MiddleMan, was the fourth and final pitcher. Mr. Kamara’s crazy idea is geared towards solving the problem of lack of international exposure of Sierra Leonean Players  by creating the above named App to expose Sierra Leonean players to both International and Local  Football Agents, Football Managers and Football Scouts.

Mr. Kelly Kamara was asked by the judges how the App would generate revenue, what would and advised that  

In line with its theme, this month’s Pitch Night was interactive and hilarious. The host Mrs. Emily bah engaged the audience allowed them to pose questions to the pitchers and organizers of the Crazy Pitch Night and displayed hilarious images to entertain the guests 

The event climaxed with the announcement of the pitch winners the Electric Keh-Keh and Osusu Master App as winners of the Crazy Pitch Night. Granta Kanda Airways came in 2nd and Football App took 3rd place. Ms. Hickmatu, Mr. Bashir, Mr. Raphael and Mr.  Manato Presented gifts to the judges on behalf of Freetown Pitch Night and  Ms. Emily’s closing remark and vote of thanks 

Compiled By,

Fanta Lomax.

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Sustainable Fashion June 2022
Judges & Pitchers

In collaboration with BlueCrest College, Freetown Pitch Night held its monthly June edition of Pitch Night at Limkokwing University at Hill Station, Freetown on Wednesday, 29th of June, 2022.

The theme of this month’s edition is Sustainable Fashion which is geared towards raising the awareness of the effect of fast fashion and the involvement of all other practices in the fashion industry that may cause harm to the environment.

The event was chaired by Mrs.Emily Bah, who welcomed the guests and thereafter gave a brief history of Fashion and later introduced Mr.Francis, MD of Innovation SL who later emphasized the importance of Sustainable Fashion and subsequently recognise very important guests and all who were in attendance to witness the Pitch Night.                               

After the introduction of Judges, Mrs.Emily called on the first pitcher,  Ms . Fatima Sesay CEO of  Sew Lovely Online Boutique aims to solve environmental issue, global warming by recycling old clothes and fabrics into new products that are comfortable and unique, while contributing to saving the environment.

Fatima Sesay

The judges questioned Ms.Fatimas financial tractions, what sets her apart from other fashion designers, her marketing strategy and recommended that she gets a clear understanding of what she intends to do with the funds required.

Ms.Jalikatu Jalloh, owner of NA IKA ( laba-chonchi) was the second pitcher. Ms.Jalloh highlighted that her business is an inclusive brand aimed at promoting  sustainable fashion by  using organic materials to dye garments and make unique patterns While protecting the planet and contributing to reducing the use of toxic chemicals by 95% and water wastage by 90%.

Jalikatu Jalloh

The Judges commended her initiative and asked Ms.Jalikatu to define her customer base, the type of leaves or plants she uses to dye.After being queried about  her dyeing process, she quickly explained to everyone how she obtains the raw products used to dye her fabrics.

The third pitcher was Ms.Cecilia Fofanah who stated that she wants to solve the problem of fast fashion by using end of life(old or used) materials to produce new designs with excellent customer service.

Cecelia Fofanah

After being questioned about her customer base and the channels she uses to notify her go-to-market about her designs; Ms.Cecilia gave the necessary information required to the judges.

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Mrs. Haja Dalanda Masally, Co Founder of Waste Way, stated that her business produces  durable backpacks, clothes and  other designs. They also co-create with customers. Mrs. Haja highlighted that their  products are eco-friendly, made out of waste and it is  90% plastic and 10% cotton. And that any product purchased from them helps save at least 450 single-use plastic from ending up in the ocean.

Haja Dalanda Masally

One of the Judges questioned the veracity of the statistics she provided. The others asked how intends to pioneer the idea, her marketing strategy and advised that she draws up a realistic approach with a detailed plan of where she wants her business in the next three to six months

This month’s pitch night was different  and spectacular, the function also had a runway show. There were models who did a swift runway for the audience showcasing fabulous and beautiful  designs made by brilliant fashion designers from BlueCrest College.

Lilian
Sasha
Hassianatu

Mr.Rajiv and Ms. Daniella Coker from Blue Crest College was called upon to say a few words. Mr. Rajiv briefly enlightened  the audience about their fashion department in BlueCrest and expressed his gratitude to his students who were the fashion designers and to the audience for their undivided attention.

Head of Fashion School- Mr Rajiv
Judges

The event ended with the announcement of all the five Pitchers as winners because they all had exceptional and brilliant ideas and the presentation of gifts by distinguished guests to the Judges. 

The best  3 dresses made by the students of bueCrest were awarded cash Prizes; SLL 1,500,000, SLL 1,000,00, SLL 750,000 respectively.

Hassianatu
Valerie
Salima

Written By,

Fanta Lomax.

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Frempreneurs!

The future is for fempreneurs. 2022 is most certainly the year of the fempreneur! Freetown Pitch Night is inviting ideas from female founders and female led business to pitch their ideas.

51% of the population in Sierra Leone are women; 63% of the urban woman and even more in the rural areas operate micro-enterprises.
Promoting women in Entrepreneurship is a precondition for advancing sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

Please send an email to 2022@freetownpitchnight.com if you would like to be considered to pitch or download the template, complete it and send it to us before 21.02.2022

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OSVP 2021 Update

OSVP Update:Dear Applicant,We are please to inform you that we have received your application and we are now processing these applications.Please note the next phases are as follow:

28.06- 12.07.2021 – First Selection Committee grading all 57 entries13.07-16.07.2021- 

Second Selection Committee to select 25 candidates to move to First Round19.07-25.07.2021- 

First Round Judging (10 candidates out of 25 to make the Second round)28.07.- 11.08.2021 

(Second Round Judging (5 finalist to be selected)

16.08-31.08.2021- Filming of the profiles of the 5 finalist, prepping and pitch training

08.09.2021 FINALS!!!!!!!!!!!

You will be notified only if you are selected to the first Round of Judging. We thank you once again for participating in OSVP2021 . We wish you all the best of luck.Best Regards,

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Freetown Pitch Night 2021- Frempreneur

The future is for fempreneurs.2021 is most certainly the year of the fempreneur! Freetown Pitch Night is inviting ideas from female founders and female led business to pitch their ideas.

51% of the population in Sierra Leone are women; 63% of the urban woman and even more in the rural areas operate micro-enterprises.
Promoting women in Entrepreneurship is a precondition for advancing sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

Please send an email to mail@freetownpitchnight.com if you would like to be considered to pitch or download the template, complete it and send it to us before 12.07.2021.

admin
Entrepreneurship World Cup Open to All Entrepreneurs in Sierra Leone

The Entrepreneurship World Cup is open for 2021 and is accepting applications – aiming to expand past the 175,000 contestants from 200+ countries in its first year. The program offers a chance to pitch on a global stage for a share of US$1 million in cash prizes plus additional investment opportunities and another US$750,000 in in-kind support.

Innovation SL/GEN SL is the official national organizer for Sierra Leone, helping entrepreneurs across the country start and scale.

“Enabling Sierra Leone’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem”

But EWC is more than just a global pitch competition with a shot at life-changing prizes. It elevates entrepreneurs from all stages—idea-stage, early-stage, growth-stage or beyond— by providing them with tools and resources to grow their venture.

EWC Accelerates is a virtual training and mentorship program that helps entrepreneurs hone their skills and increase their chances of winning their national competitions – as well as those who advance to the Global Finals.

The EWC online platform also offers all contestants who complete an application, access to more than $25,000 in perks from partners such as Google Cloud, Hubspot, Stripe and more.

National Finals competitions are held through June 2021. In November 2021, 100 startups will be flown to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to participate in the EWC Accelerates program for an intensive startup bootcamp and to compete in the EWC Global Finals.

To compete

https://platform.entrepreneurshipworldcup.com/display/AN/EWC+Signup

For questions- email to ewcsl2021@innosl.com

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Freetown Pitch Night in Pictures

Dear Partners,
Season Greetings! We have been working on an Impact Report from 2017-2019. This report will be ready in Feb 2021. In the meantime, we have complied “Freetown Pitch Night in Pictures”. Please find two versions here(standard size and mini for bandwidth consideration).

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Freetown Pitch Night only held 3 events in 2020.
We will be back in 2021 with a full program! And again we hope to see you!

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