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.

manager2
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.

manager2
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.

manager2
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.

manager2
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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