This is the 2nd article in a series of 4-5 interviews with some of the major Business Incubators / Accelerators in Ghana. Today’s interview is with Jorge Appiah, the CEO of Kumasi Hive – obviously in Kumasi.
The 1st interview with Dr. Belinda Gail Quarterman- Noah, from the Founder Institute (FI), was published on Tuesday the 19th of June 2017 at the B&FT newspaper (page #12).
But, let’s go on with the interview please.
(Disclaimer: Neither the publisher of this interview nor I do we have any financial gain nor any financial motivation, nor do I personally know the interviewee as a friend)
Spiros: Jorge, can you -please- describe in a short paragraph your incubator / accelerator activities?
Jorge: We have two main incubator activities- they are:
- the Hardware Incubator and
- the Business Accelerator.
Our Hardware Incubator incubate selected promising hardware ideas and startups, helping them move from idea stage through prototyping to product-for-market stage with both technical and business development support.
In addition, our Business Accelerator program focus on non-hardware startups, providing them with complete startup support services for early stage startups so that thy could achieve growth, contributing to the sustainable socio-economic growth of Africa.
Spiros: Is there a formal learning Programme? Can you -please- tell us about it in 1-2 lines?
Jorge: The Hive Incubation however provide both:
- a non-formal (unstructured) learning process for its technical session which emphasize on design & product/prototype development and
- A Structured learning process for the business development session.
Spiros: What are your USPs as incubator / accelerator?
Jorge: The Hive Incubator provides a personalized package composition of technical & business incubation for high tech (leveraging on emerging technologies) startups to help them achieve on their business growth and social impact.
Spiros: What are the plus and minus points of your incubator/ accelerator Programme?
Jorge: We have a committed technical staff who are able to equip our participants with the Technical expertise on complex projects that need extra pair of hands.
Our challenge so far has been our inability to story-tell the world well about the services we render to promoting Technopreneurship. With this, securing funding for most of our projects has been a challenge.
In addition, as we think of expanding our operations, the number of offices, training space and event space limits us. This means that we are unable to accommodate a large number of audience.
In addition, the Hive has not been able to run annual programs with a reliable source of funding. With this, the Hive is at the verge of making this a priority to make it more consistent and effective.
Spiros: Please name the successful companies that have come out of your Programme during the last 3 years. Accompanying URLs will be greatly appreciated.
Jorge: We have 17 startups that we have incubated and are now companies.
To name a few of our startups, they include: Dext Technology, Klaks 3D, Faith Tech Ghana, Grab a Cup etc.
There are all to be found here for your perusal http://kumasihive.com/hardware-incubator
Spiros: Can you comment on the network of your mentors and other specialists and how they have proven beneficial for your startup?
Jorge: The Hive has a dynamic pool of Mentors from diverse backgrounds yet well experienced, skilled and knowledgeable to promoting Technopreneurship. This also makes it possible to connecting our startups to relevant opportunities both locally and internally.
Spiros: What are your graduates’ venture funding and equity valuation
Jorge: We give to our graduates a maximum of $500 as a seed fund for their projects whiles we also do equity splitting with them. We agree with them for a 10% shares to be allocated to the Hive.
This is to ensure we offer them an essential service that, they may not be having the money to pay within the short-medium term.
It is good to see an organization like Kumasi Hive and it is even better to see their openness in this interview.
I have not managed yet to visit them (I rarely travel away from Accra), but I have only heard words about them. And incubating 17 companies, it is a definitely not a child’s play.
Finally, I am once again thankful to Jorge for taking the time for this interview.
Thank you and Good Luck,
About Jorge and Spiros:
Spiros Tsaltas –a PR Practitioner & former University Professor, is a PRrincipal at HireLoyalty (www.HireLoyalty.com) , the only Strategic PR Firm in West Africa that Consults (How-To) , Measures (Test-To) and Trains (Learn-To) in anything relating to Customer Loyalty and Loyalty- focused PR.