Report: Freetown Pitch Night- April 11th 2018

The theme for the April 11thh  Freetown Pitch Night was “Digital Disruptors ”.

“You cannot disrupt what does not exist.”

O what a night, mid April back in 2018! Freetown Pitch Night was awesome last night. The Keynote Speaker, Kwame Luke made an amazing speech. Only a corpse could not get inspired. He left a lot for us to think of in a most uplifting way. Not taking away from the pitchers that had excellent ideas.

Lets go through the Pitchers:

1) Moinina of Thinklight pitch an idea for a “Robot Riot Police Officer”.

2) Andrew of Science Resource pitched a “Wind Turbine” idea.

3) Adepoju of Medal Technology & Software pitched “An Artificial Intelligence Personal Assistant” with multiple features.

4) Anika of Aptec Africa pitched her company that is a Renewable Energy Firm.

Thinklight & Science Resource were in ideating stage. They are fabricators in their own right and have previously produced other prototypes in the past like Solar powered tricycles, toy helicopters and speaking robots.

Adepoju delighted us with his pitch. His idea could be best described as somewhere in the middle of ideating and concepting. My description of “An Artificial Intelligence Personal Assistant” may also be limiting. There are a plethora of uses that his idea could possibly be used for.

Anika presented the full length and breadth of the services and products offered by Aptec Africa in Sierra Leone.

The keynote speaker, Sir Kwame Luke, I salute you Sir. “You cannot disrupt what does not exist.” Can births and deaths allow me to name my next child that way?

Honestly though, apart from that message Kwame Luke took the crowd through an entrepreneurial journey on disruption. Guiding us with practical examples that where very relevant to us here in Sierra Leone. Vivid examples that included some of his personal experiences. Summarizing the crucial other lessons he inspired us to overcome were:

  1. You can be too early
  2. Learning when to pivot
  3. How and when to scale
  4. How to aggregate
  5. Do not think or operate in Silos

I felt guilty giving him signals that he had exceeded his speech by a few minutes, I am rather glad that he overlooked my signals. His energy and his passion was not only just coming out of him but it also seemed to transfer unto everyone else.  The delivery was original and authentic as Kwame Luke had been a Digital Product Consultant for 20 years. I am really glad to have heard him share his knowledge and expertise with us.

O Yes, back to “You cannot disrupt what does not exist.” That message was another way of explaining the usual adage of how one should understand the market that we wish to exploit. However, he went on further to explain that there may not be systems to support the actual business model that one plans for. You end up needing to put in place other systems to actually support your business model. These other systems (he gave an example of problems with our postal delivery) are actually opportunities!

The next Pitch Night is on May 16th 2018!

Report Written by Salia Fawundu Jnr.

We wish to thank our main sponsor- Mützig; our partners, Cordaid, Sensi Tech Hub, Innovation S and Insight Media.

PDF Version: Report_April_digitalDisruptors