How the HultPrize OAU has been Helping Transform Food into a Vehicle for Change

HultPrize Obafemi Awolowo University for the fourth consecutive time hosted the HultPrize event on its campus. Although, this time around, it was virtual.

The theme for the year- FOOD FOR GOOD: TRANSFORMING FOOD INTO A VEHICLE FOR CHANGE brought about lots of creative ideas.

There were over 74 teams who registered for the challenge with their various innovative ideas on how food can be used as an agent for change. It was a wonderful experience seeing young and bright minds profer creative solutions to making our world a better place.

At the end, only 5 teams were able to pitch to the judges on the day of the final event.

These 5 teams haven gone through rigorous trainings provided mind-blowing creative solutions.

It is our hope that this creative solutions proferred will be utilized in order to solve problems and make the world a better place to live in.

To learn more, please visit www.hultprizeat.com/oau
OR contact the Campus Director at hultprizeoau2@gmail.com

Campus Director
Emmanuel Blessing Ajayi

Assistant Campus Director
Agboola Peace

Head of PR
Ayoola Oluwatimilehin

Head of Content Creation
Babalola Moyinoluwa.

HultPrize 2021 On-Campus Event

Hultprize OAU sucessfully hosted the biggest virtual entrepreneurship event in Africa

For the fourth consecutive time, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife is hosting the HultPrize event on the 12th of December, 2020.

After much publicity, hardwork and dedication by the HultPrize OAU organizing commitee, 78 teams registered for the 2021 HultPrize challenge. However, only 5 teams made it to the final event to pitch their ideas to the judges and audience.

The HultPrize OAU event was a sucessful event as it had over _ students in attendance.

They had 9 fantastic judges with high profiles help judge the performance of the registered teams- Olatunde Victor, Oluwaseun Fadiora, Opeyemi Akinwoleola, Yusuf Ogunbiyi, Olusola Amusan, Elijah Shokenu, Emeka Ossai, Olalekan Akinsande and Seun Yusuff.

To crown it all, they had the CEO of Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola, as the speaker of the event. His succint and valid talks were the highlight for the event.

One of the attendees said “It’s been a great event and I am so impressed.” There were lots of givewaways which added so much fun to the event.
The winning team are;
Team X
Team Utimate
Team DeLuscious, Winner, First Runner up and Second Runner up Respectively

The HultPrizeOAU team is so excited and grateful to have sucessfully organized the largest virtual entrepreneurship event in Africa.

They look forward to the Award Night and Regional Competition for the winning teams.

To learn more, please visit www.hultprizeat.com/oau
OR contact the Campus Director at hultprizeoau2@gmail.com

Campus Director
Ajayi Blessing ‘Ibukun’ Emmanuel

Assistant Campus Director
Agboola Peace

Head of PR
Ayoola Oluwatimilehin

Head of Content Creation
Babalola Moyinoluwa.

Update on The Smart Farmers Naija Lockdown Competition

On the 23rd of August, 2020, Indus-Mega Farms commenced the registration for “The Smart Farmers Naija Lockdown Competition.” The competition was to present farmpreneurswith the opportunity to pitch an idea showing how to generate more than 15 healthy cucumbers from a single stalk in less than 71 days using slides and a compressed video clip.

Registration closed on the 3rd of October with 71 candidatesfully registered. However, of the 71 candidates, only 3 participated in the competition.

The rule of the competition was to present an idea centered on the harvest of more than 15 healthy cucumbers from a single stalk, of which they must have deliberately taken their time to plant before submitting their entries, as this was to prove the credibility of the work done.

Research has proven that, depending on the variety, cucumbers are ready for harvest 50 to 70 days after planting. A proof that 71 days is more than sufficient to practically demonstrate their ideas on their own piece of land.

On evaluation, the 3 entries were not found credible for further processing by the judges, as such, the competition was annulledbecause none of the submitted video entries was valid.

Indus-Mega Farms has however decided to compensate those who submitted their entries by grouping them as a team to participate for the ongoing Hult Prize, 2020 competition tagged “Food for good”. This would be another opportunity toparticipate in a nationwide competition. In addition to that, a certificate of participation was awarded to the 3 participants who submitted their entries. 

Lastly, by the virtue of registering for the Smart Farmers NaijaLockdown Competition, all candidates were automatically incorporated into the Spark Hub Nigeria Community to train and develop their skill set on how to effectively prepare pitch desks.

We appreciate all who participated in the competition and we believe next time will be better and greater.

Special thanks to the sponsors of the competition: FruitaliciousAbuja, Hult Prize Nigeria, Hult Prize OAU, Agro-Earn Nigeria, Spark Hub Nigeria, Association of Anambra State Students in Nigeria and Diaspora (AASSND).

Here at Indus-Mega Farms, we aim to unveil the hidden potentials of Agriculture. Thank you!

Ezemuo Arinze Frank,

CEO & FOUNDER

Seedle Partners Student Business Investment Fund

Are you an undergraduate or recently graduated (no earlier than 2018)? Do you have a scalable existing business and looking for funds to grow your business?

Seedle Partners Student Business Investment Fund is designed to help you. It supports students, whose businesses have the potential to create “impact at scale” by providing the funds and partnerships required to scale those solutions.

To learn more about Seedle Partners you can visit www.seedlepartners.com

To apply, click on the link below:
https://seedlepartners.com/apply-as-founder/

Apply before 15th of September, 2020

How To Charge Your Customers Right

The most important part of a business is knowing how to charge your customers for the product and services you offer, which is the major determinant for the total revenue you can make as a business. Getting this part wrong can cost your business a lot, make you run into bankruptcy, and eventually make the business fail.

But, getting your pricing right can go a long way in increasing sales and improve your product to better offer quality service to your customers.

It might be tempting to start with a lot of discount on your services, even offer free services which is good when done properly. It all depends on which angle you plan on penetrating the market from which might directly have an impact on how you determine how much you should charge your customers. Here are some major questions to consider

1. What is the current rate?

You might want to charge a different price but it’s important to first know what existing similar products or service providers charge their customers, either by doing a survey, searching online, and checking out similar businesses or products. You’re definitely going to get a different range of rates, some existing vendors might provide discounted service offers, while some might be charging at the higher end.

2. Who are your target?

Your target audience should be specific, this gives you more focus and won’t let you spend unnecessary time and waste marketing efforts. Identify which customer segment has the buying power to afford your products and services. In some cases, if your product is the type where people have to buy over and over again or a software product based on subscription, you might want to start with a free trial and get feedback on their reaction to better understand your audience.

3. What’s your value proposition?

Before you decide how much you’re going to charge your customers, ask yourself if the value you’re offering to them is really worth how much you’re charging them? Every market has competition, your competitive advantage is not only in lower prices but mostly in what your customers are getting, the experience of ease and comfort by addressing their pain point, something that makes them hooked to your product and services.

Make sure your customers get what they pay for

Value after sales is known to make customers come back for more, put more effort into customer engagement and support.

4. What’s your standing point?

Despite the fact that it’s good to charge lower prices while gaining entrance into a market as a new business, you have to consider the experience you’re bringing into the market, if you’re new to the field of business you might want to charge your customers less in comparison to the price being charged normally. If you’ve once run a business in a related field and you’re bringing in a whole load of years of experience, you can charge higher prices. This will help position your product offering as premium and attracts the class of customers you’re targeting.

5. How can you improve your pricing model in the Future?

Definitely, as you start to make profits and gain traction, there will be time for you to improve on your pricing model. Basically on how you’re going to keep charging your customers, in order to increase profits as your business grows. You’ll be needing to retain a lot of customers and this can be a hard task if you don’t create a pricing model that makes your customers come back. You can offer complementary services or products, introduce an advanced version of your product, anything that will make the customers stay and keep buying, and still satisfy their needs.

Planning out how you are going to charge your customers can be somewhat difficult as you’re just starting out in the business. But by the tips we’ve discussed so far, you should get started just in time.

If you have any questions please make use of the comment section or if you would like to learn more apply as a startup to SparkHub today!

Top 3 Emerging Tech Industries in Africa

Africa is home to more than 1.2 billion people, giant businesses, and innovative startups. Africa still holds a lot of potentials as many sectors are still yet to be fully explored, we’ve seen significant developments across different industries ranging from Fintech to Agriculture.

However, as an African entrepreneur trying to start your adventure into the African market, you’ll definitely be overwhelmed with a lot of ideas popping all over your head. We’ll be going through some of the markets that hold huge potential and are friendly to new entrants

1. Fintech

This sector has recorded more investments in Africa than other sectors, with over 66% of youths in Africa still unbanked. Most startups in this sector aren’t coming up with innovative products, although we’ve seen the likes of BuyCoins.africa, RapidPay.africa, Bundle, Patricia, etc. who are more focused on the cryptocurrency market and making transactions on the Blockchain network easier.

Getting started into this industry will leave you with so many options, here are some of the major options you can explore:

  1. Payment
    Payment remains the most focused part in Fintech, this involves money-related services such as p2p money transfers, cryptocurrency payments, and payment processing gateways.
  2. Fundraising
    This focuses more on personal services in which customers can access investment and raise capital for a cause, startup in either exchange for equity or some favorable returns.
  3. Savings and Lending
    Savings and lending focus on personal financial services which include loans and management of personal finance.
  4. Enterprise Financial Software
    This is a product tailored for financial needs such as account management, invoices, taxes, payroll, shareholder management, and other auditing services

2. Agritech

Agriculture is unanimously one of the biggest industries in Africa with a market value of more than $2.6 billion. This sector has a lot of roles to play in the future development of Africa.

Agritech is the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture with the aim of improving yield, efficiency, and profitability.

Wikipedia

There have been quite some innovative developments in this sector, here are some of the major options available to explore in Agritech:

  1. Drones
    Drones can be utilized for scanning plants, transport heavy payloads, irrigation, and general farm monitoring.
    The use of drones for agricultural purposes is a new emerging technology that could revolutionize the way agricultural entrepreneurs interact with their land, water, crops, and infrastructure.
  2. Exchange Platforms
    There are still needs for more exchange platform where farmers can easily connect with buyers at affordable rates and convenient exchange timing because most farm produce is perishable items.
  3. Loans and Investments
    African farmers need easy access to loans and investments, startups like FarmCrowdy, FarmFunded, FarmBuddy, etc. are really making investing in farms easy. Getting a loan from banks for farmers can be hard because most of these farmers do not have enough data (credit score) to be evaluated. More credit systems targeting the very rural areas will go a long way and holds a lot of opportunities for new entrants.

3. Edutech

Edutech is a very important sector in Africa as it enables educational equality. The e-learning market is expected to reach a value of $1.8 billion by 2024 (Global News Wire). A report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says 91.3% of the world’s learning population has been impacted by global shutdowns to curb the spread of the C0VID-19 virus as at April 5, 2020.

Despite the gradual relief from the COVID-19 restrictions, there’s still a huge need for more Edutech developments in African countries. Here are some of the explorable options:

  1. Virtual Classrooms
    This is basically the implementation of VR enabled devices and resources to deliver virtual experiences to enhance the teacher-student learning experience and interaction.
  2. Social Learning Platforms
    Interactive social learning platforms will bridge the social gap between teachers and students in Africa, thereby making learning fun more like a Twitter for students and teachers but more educationally inclined
  3. Learning Management Systems
    A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software product utilized for planning, managing, and monitoring learning sessions. It tracks information about participation, time on an assignment, and student progress. Instructors can post declarations, grade tasks, keep an eye on course progress, and take an interest in-class conversations. Students can present their work, peruse and engage in conversation questions, and take tests

Africa is a land full of opportunities, and the tech industry is at the forefront of innovation. There’s no better time than now to enter the tech market scene in Africa, with a lot of VCs and Angel Investors currently massively funding startups in these major sectors in Africa.

If you have any questions please make use of the comment section or if you would like to learn more apply as a startup to SparkHub today!

How To Create Your Pitch Deck (Step By Step)

The first thing an investor wants to see is your pitch deck, your pitch deck is like your startup’s business card you give to investors, so it’s very important you learn how to create one containing as much as possible details but short and precise enough so it won’t become too much and hard to go through.

You can create more than one version of your pitch deck, there are basically two types; the one that is short and majorly meant to be used when presenting your startup to investors and the other one with more details which you can mail to investors.

We’ll be going through the steps of creating your pitch deck.

1. Problem

You might want to start with the table of contents, an executive summary but the first important slide should be your problem statement. This is the problem, the pain-point your startup is trying to solve.

Even if your solution is addressing more than just a single problem, you have to make it look like a single problem. It makes it easy for investors to understand which market gap you’re trying to fill.

There’s high traffic in the Lagos city, causing air pollution due to dangerous gas emissions from vehicles

A sample problem statement

It’s a plus for you when your investors can relate to the problem you’re trying to solve, they might have been a victim or know someone who had once been affected.

2. Solution

Make the solution clear and precise, no need to run around the bush. Go straight to the ‘HOW’, show exactly how you’re going to tackle the problem. If you’re a tech start-up (also applicable to other sectors), don’t get lost into describing the technical process of how you’re going to solve the problem, you can show all that in the ‘Product’ section.

We are going to solve the traffic problem by making people carpool and thereby reducing the number of vehicles on the road and making the planet a better place

A sample solution

Let your solution be scalable, keep it simple.

3. Market

This is where you’ll prove to your investors that you’re on the right path and that your business has huge market potential. In this section, you have to do a market valuation and show it in figures.

The carpooling market is projected to reach a market size of USD 218.0 billion by 2025

Source: www.marketsandmarkets.com

Get your figures right, show your sources in order to validate your figures. You can represent your figures, market share, and other relevant statistics with a chart.

Most investors are interested in a company that is highly profitable, because they are also taking a risk and they want to make sure investing in your company is totally worth it.

4. Product

This is where you explain how your product works and solves the problem, it can include screenshots of your prototype or illustration of how you deliver your services.

5. Traction

This is where you showcase your growth (e.g. revenue, metrics, etc). Investors are interested in this part, they want to see how you’ll generate revenue overtime

If your startup is just setting out, you might want to neglect this aspect and focus more on your projections

6. Team

This is also a very important part of your pitch deck, you have to show you have what it takes to achieve every objective you’ve laid out. Include the titles and interesting things each team member have achieved.

Having the perfect team will definitely mean you’re on your way to achieve success. There are other people trying to solve the the same problem, stand out by emphasizing on your team strength

7. Competition

Clearly represent your competitors using diagrams to show the investors, their various approach into solving the problem and how you stand out with your value proposition.

You can include the total user/customer acquisition data of each competitor to show how big the market is and how fast you can acquire users for your startup by comparing the metrics.

Be clear about how different and unique the solution you’re offering is in this part of the pitch deck.

8. Financials

This is all about your financial projections, this can be calculated by comparing the financials of your competitors and the projected market value in the next 3 to 5 years.

This is the potential outcomes your startup has, it shows your profitability and sustainability. Pay more attention to this aspect as it is a very major determinant into funding your startup

9. Your Ask (Funds Needed)

This is where you explain the amount you need to raise to help kickstart or take your startup operations to the next level. Be clear about the amount and how you’ll allocate the funds into developing your startup.

You can define your cost structure with visuals, this is just to let the investors understand why you need the funds.

As a startup, you need to make your pitch deck a priority especially when you’re trying to raise funds. If you have any questions or would like to learn more apply as a startup to SparkHub today!

How to thrive as a student entrepreneur

How To Thrive as A Student Entrepreneur in Nigeria

Being a student entrepreneur in Nigeria can be a very hard journey, the educational system in most tertiary institutions does not provide much resources and support to make entrepreneurship thrive on campuses.

However, most successful entrepreneurs started their journey while still being a student, there’s a saying in entrepreneurship that

“Entrepreneurs of tomorrow are still in school today”.

There’s a lot of perks to starting your entrepreneurial journey on campus which includes networking, fast feedback from customers, rapid market adoption etc.

Here are some useful tips on how to be a successful student entrepreneur:

1. First Things First; Have a Vision

You need a deep clarity into what your aims and objectives are, your vision is basically your ‘why’. A lot of self-acclaimed student entrepreneurs get this wrong by just starting out without a defined vision.

Clarity is Power

Tony Robbins (American author, coach, motivational speaker, and philanthropist)

You should never start a business without a clearly defined vision, this is the first thing to do as an entrepreneur

Just because you’re student doesn’t mean you can’t be the best of an entrepreneur.

2. Get a Team/Partner

After getting a clear vision into why you’re starting a business, the next thing is to discuss it with a trusted friend, anyone you trust to share things with.

Two heads will always be better than one

“A common adage”

As a student, carrying all the burden on yourself might have a negative effect on your academic performance and will reduce your motivation. Getting a partner to work with will not only reduce the burden but also makes achieving results in your business easier. You can always take on different tasks simultaneously without negatively affecting each other’s plan

3. Set Achievable Goals

In order to effectively manage your time and also staying on track on your academic grades, you need to set little goals that are not too hard to accomplish. If you’re building a software product, setting realistic goals are very important. You can set a single module for a week, or two depending on the technical capacity and resources required as far as it doesn’t take too much of time to accomplish.

If you’re into e-commerce, you might want to consider automating most of your processes right from the placing of an order to its fulfillment. The whole point is in making sure you’re hitting your sales target while also fulfilling your academic commitments.

4. Accountability

The major missing element many student entrepreneurs and general small business owners have when pursuing their goals is having someone by their side to hold them accountable.

Without a clear vision, set of goals, and system in place it’s very easy to get off track and chase opportunities that don’t move the business forward.

Make sure you focus on your vision, and that all you only work on are things related to achieving your weekly tasks/goals. Always have the intention to get it right all the time.

5. Lastly, Don’t Give Up!

Yeah, schools can be crazy sometimes, you might have a difficult time achieving a certain grade and which could completely destroy your morale to keep running your business, or the pressure from family and your peers.

Just keep on trying hard, work smart, and always surround yourselves with minds that will elevate your spirit, join personal development and entrepreneurship clubs on your campus or Apply to SparkHub today to get ahead of your entrepreneurship game.

startup_opportunities_2020

Startup Opportunities in 2020 for African Entrepreneurs

Getting an opportunity to fund your startup or enrolling in an accelerator might be challenging as an African Entrepreneur, but now we’ve been able to get you some of the best and still open opportunities you can apply for today. We’ve collected a few options here and we recommend you to check them ALL out as some deadlines are approaching soon. 

Also, despite the fact some of them are based in certain countries, they accept applications from startups based in other regions or from all over the world.

SparkHub is focused on helping student startups get the right tools, resources, and opportunities to grow.

U.S.

Online Seedstars World Competition 2020/21

Seedstars is now extending the deadline for startup applications for a chance to compete for the Global Winner prize and US$500K in investment.

Deadline: August 15, 2020.

YCombinator

They are accepting applications from startups for the Winter 2021 funding cycle. It will take place from January–March 2021.

Deadline: September 23, 2020.

Techstars

Applications are open now for nine Techstars accelerators. These are programs that will take place in 2021, Term 1.

Deadline: October 11, 2020.

AngelPad

Applications for the Fall cohort are now open while they monitor the evolution of the situation and will prepare to resume our sessions in the Fall

Deadline: “Until you hear from us, no final decision has been made.”

500 Startups – Flagship SF Accelerator

Applications are welcome on a rolling basis, for the opportunity of a $150,000 investment and a full program focused on growth and scaling.

Deadline: Apply 365 days.

Dreamit

Startups can begin Dreamit any month, but the program has key dates you may want to consider.

Deadline: Apply 365 days.

MassChallenge

They use a competition model to select startups to participate in the program or programs the companies would like to join.

Deadline: Apply 365 days.

Antler

This is another one of our startup accelerator deadlines for 2020. Antler’s applications are still open and the programs either being conducted virtually, in person, or a hybrid version of the two in line with local restrictions.

Deadline: Apply 365 days.

Dreamit

Europe

Kubide

The accelerator is accepting applications to help pre-seed startups advance in three phases.

Deadline: August 14, 2020.

NCA

Applications are open for Batch#7 (October 2020 to March 2021).

Deadline: August 16, 2020.

Health2B

Health2B Business Accelerator is currently accepting applications for 2020.

Deadline: August 18th, 2020.

EIC Accelerator

The EIC Accelerator is a continuously open call with regular cut-offs. Another one of our suggested startup accelerator deadlines for 2020 to consider.

Deadline: October 7, 2020.

500Startups

Asia

SparkLabs

Applications are open for Batch 16 and the process can be done in English.

Deadline: August 14, 2020.

The Yield Lab

They are currently accepting applications for the 2020 fall cycle.

Deadline: August 28, 2020.

ImpactTech

Applications for 2020 cohorts are still open. 

Deadline: Apply 365 days.

Chinaccelerator

The program for Batch 18 will start in early September 2020 and the application deadline expires soon.

Deadline: Apply 365 days or before August 10, 2020, if you want to be a part of the next batch.

SOW Asia

Focused on social entrepreneurship based in Hong Kong.

Deadline: Apply 365 days.

To keep being informed on our daily and weekly updates on useful tips, programs, and opportunities like this, apply as a startup to SparkHub now!