Today’s food was great. When I got to my module we were divided into groups of three and tasked to build a smart house; our final project for the engineering module. The general criteria were that the building is secure and remotely controlled, so we used devices such as ultrasonic sensors, remote controls, diodes, liquid crystal displays and a micro-controller called Arduino. Then we had to figure out how to merge code to make a completely autonomous system. We finished structuring our building before we attached the various components of our smart system. I found today very enjoyable because while we were working there was good music playing in the background. We watched a movie later in the evening just so we could relax. I was very happy at the end of the day.
“We have a field trip at twelve.” This statement rang through my mind the entire morning, I couldn’t concentrate fully on our session on ”modeling your business opportunity”.
Twelve o’clock came around finally, and all members of the entrepreneurship module rushed out excitedly to the buses, “Outside at last.” At Lakeside Marina Park, our trip location, we had the chance of interacting with very successful entrepreneurs. They shared their experiences, finances, difficulties and all they did to get to where they are now.
I got to speak to Makafui of ROOM ’16 Studios, Edwina Baiden, co-founder of Baiden Christian Montessori, and John Osei of Barak Capital, after which there was free time for fun and recreation.
Meeting these people was definitely insightful, and I’ve been inspired to start my own venture, however small, right after AIX, because I “don’t need a million dollars to build a million-dollar business.”
Yesterday was Field Trip Day at AIX. We set off from the Ashesi campus at 8:00 and reached the Cargill Ghana cocoa factory two hours later. When we got there, we were introduced to Cargill and their philosophy by their Director of Logistics. We were given a tour of the factory, machinery, and equipment by Derek Boadi, a maintenance engineer. I learned a lot about the processing and manufacture of cocoa powder from the trip. Afterwards, we headed to a software development firm started by four Ashesi graduates and we had an enlightening discussion with one of the founders, Derrydean Dadzie, where he was asked several questions. All in all, the trip was insightful and exciting.
I had a lot of fun today and it was very interesting going on the entrepreneurship field trip because I was able to explore, learn about how successful entrepreneurs model their business.
I really had a great time with Benedict and Benedicta. The key word I took from the entrepreneurs I talked to was, see problems as opportunities because it is through analyzing these problems that one comes up with a business model to solve people needs. I asked them about their revenue structure and the profit they made from their business. They advised me that I shouldn’t consider the profit whiles going into a business because once I am able to solve my customer’s problems, the money will come.
I really enjoyed my time at Marina Park. I had a lot of fun and I was able to mingle with new people.
This was an eye opening and essential part of the week’s learning process. Before we got there, I anticipated a very strict and formal setting with people 50 years older than I am. However, once we got there, it was a different story. All the entrepreneurs were young people and the setting was in a very calm and relaxing place: Lakeside Marina. This helped to relax and relate to everything said. The resource people too had great knowledge on everything they said. I learned everything that I needed to start a business; determination and strong will.
The day started with so much to unravel. I really like surprises. Surprisingly, we set off and journeyed to the streets of Accra. We continued until we got to Tema and finally stopped by Cargill.
I was totally amazed because I had never been to a place like that before. At Cargill, I was so inspired by the experiences of the people who met us there. They treated us with so much care, which made me happy. The floor workers did not just treat us with so much care but they also exhibited a high sense of discipline. I was touched by their experiences that I almost felt like being in their shoes. I was also very much inspired by the fact that everyone at Cargill seemed like a family. From Cargill, I learned the need to work diligently to achieve the best in life.
Even after Cargill, there was still more to discover, more to learn. We proceeded to Dreamoval, where Nana Ama made me understand that no matter what course you offer in school, your destiny will always chase you. I was also inspired by the fact that the key to a successful business is sacrifice and holding on to your values. Considering that, the founders of Dreamoval have made me understand that success does not depend on teachers but rather dwells on the shoulders of every student.
Everything was good in the morning. I really enjoy my lessons in the entrepreneurship model. I feel like everything was perfectly addressed because I understood it all. My expectations for this model have been met. We went out for lunch and after that went to probe customers for their views on the product we wanted to create. They all wanted to use the product and I found that funny because we hadn’t even made it yet. Some wanted it to be as cheap as Gh10.00 but I don’t think that will be possible because the materials we plan to use are quite expensive.
This made me see that not all people are the same or can afford the same things because while some wanted it to be cheap, others did not mind that it could cost more than Gh 40.00. The data gathered from
these people will help us to find a fit for a particular group. I was sad at coaching session because one of my group members will have to leave AIX early.
Nyarko Joseph Kwaku
Today has been extremely insightful! We were exposed to many new theories and practical advancements of the previous day. Hands-on experience with the quality equipment made my lessons more fulfilling! I was intrigued by the numerous concepts such as the activation of actuators and sensors and the in-depth analysis of coding in such short time. I thoroughly enjoyed the engineering sessions as our Facilitator continued to ensure understanding of every ideology.
Today was a nice day compared to yesterday. We had more practicals with the robot, and
coding was good. Dr. Ayorkor took us back and explained it well to us. I understood
everything and was able to move the robot to an angle of 170 degrees. Today’s session
involved a lot of calculation and this sharpened our minds. In fact, today has
been an excellent day for me.
– Emmanuel Agyei
Today was fun in the engineering module. We worked with actuators and
remotes. Though it was new and interesting, it was challenging too, especially coding with Arduino. I think it actually is worth it. We had a karaoke tonight and it was lit. Performances by the various coaching groups were great and honestly, I had a lot of fun.
Entrepreneurship, I have realized, is not only about setting up a business to make a profit. It’s also about finding problems and trying to solve them. You identify a problem, find an opportunity in it and use various entrepreneurial skills to find a solution to that problem. It was not easy but because I am a determined person, it has been good so far. AIX has given me the opportunity to have both a practical and theoretical entrepreneurial education.
We’re in the second week of AIX and I am enjoying every bit of it. I’m in the robotics module and we are learning how to program a robot using python-a programming language. We have done a lot, and I wish we had the opportunity to do it for more than a week. Despite the fact that there’s a lot to learn and barely enough time, there are breaks in between, to give us time to clear our heads.
Each day, there’s the opportunity to interact with people from the other modules and through that, I realized that all the different modules are both interesting and educative. The crash computer literacy class I took during week one coupled with robotics so far has made me develop more interest in computing, and now I know that there’s more to a computer than I know. I love AIX 2017!
-Baba Mohammed Zuweira
Participating in the engineering module is absolutely one of the greatest experiences of my life. It has not been very smooth yet because programming the Arduino is not very easy to understand. However, I learnt a lot. Yesterday, we learnt the basic components of a circuit and how to connect them on a bread board. We also learnt how to connect the bread board to an Arduino in order to make LED’s light up simultaneously and randomly by programming it with a computer.
Today, we learnt how to connect sensors to the Arduino and program it to see how it works. I also absolutely enjoy working with Joseph who is my coach. I really don’t want this experience to end soon because am enjoying AIX.