Northern Innovation Lab: SHS Girls run the Walewale startup pitch summit

Story: Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang Newsroom

It was an all-girls affair at the maiden edition of the Walewale Startup pitch summit in Walewale on Saturday, 12th September 2020 as a ”Team build” won on the day to give them the chance to represent Walewale in Accra at the national startup pitch summit if they are able to make it pass the incubation stage with the first runner up, team Umbran.

Team build, which is an all-girls group is made up of two Senior High School graduates. Their idea stems from their surroundings. They observe the labor of women in their community, how they are always marginalized in terms of the market when it comes to shea butter.

They toil and at the end of the day, they are robbed of their sweat because of the middlemen in the system. The tech idea is supposed to link them directly to buyers both locally and internationally where they control the market and not the middlemen.

As part of their reward, they have given six hundred Ghana Cedi and a chance to go through to the incubation stage and if they should qualify from that stage, they get to represent the region at the national startup pitch summit.

The first runner up was also made of girls, ”Umran”. Team Umran is to design a website where parents can monitor the activities of their wards at their own comfort to reduce absenteeism and increase the school performance of the children in their community which they identify as a problem.

Team Umran was also given four hundred Ghana Cedi and also eligible to go through the incubation stage that gives the chance to go Accra for the national startup pitch should they qualify at the incubation stage. And team Simple web was adjourned the second runner with their innovation also focusing on improving education in the Region using technology.

They also had two hundred Ghana Cedi but will not go into the incubation stage or Accra. Between Team Build and Team Umran, one team will be going to Accra to represent the Region at the national startup pitch summit.

This will be determined at the incubation stage where the two teams find themselves in. But all start-ups who pitched their ideas on that day are going to be sent to institutions in the region to do an internship to help impact the knowledge they have learned in tech in the organizations that they will be posted to.

The amazing thing about these whole start-ups pitch summit is that most of these start-ups who won on the day had no previous ICT knowledge. With six weeks of training, the start-ups were taking through basic ICT knowledge and helped on how to develop their ideas using technology.

Barely a year after setting up Northern innovation Lab in the Region, the team went around the communities to talk to and encourage them to sign up for the program. The target was for unemployed graduates but due to the COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, the category of people who took advantage of this opportunity were Senior High School graduates tertiary students, and a few tertiary graduates.

The dignitaries at the event included Hajia Halima Sagito Saeed the executive director for Swida Ghana, A representative from the Municipal Assembly, the North East, and North West YEA directors, the principal for Walewale Technical and Vocational Training Schools parents, and others.

Northern Innovation lab to host start up pitch summit. The start-up pitch summit which was organised by Northern Innovation Lab on the theme: Web technology and its potential in Walewale, entrepreneurial ecosystem to accelerate the creation of job. The Start-up pitch summit in is partnership with Ghana Tech Lab under the pathways for sustainable employment program.

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