DALEX FINANCE PARTNERS THE CSIR TO BRING GHANAIAN ENTREPRENEURS AN EXCITING FUNDING AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITY
By Knollis Delle
“What are all the scientists and engineers doing with their skills and certificates?”. It is not uncommon to come across discussions of this nature on social media or even in our households. The untold side of this discussion is the challenges that many of these would-be “innovators” face in building up their ideas into business enterprises.
The truth is that Ghana has a booming tech ecosystem with a lot of young people venturing into entrepreneurship. The COVID-19 pandemic especially unveiled some of these innovations in the form of automated handwashing systems, electronic learning platforms and many other exciting solutions. A common challenge these tech entrepreneurs (techpreneurs) face is the absence of funding opportunities.
Because of the level of uncertainty characterised by most tech start-ups, it is usually very difficult to convince investors to support. Loans are often unattractive due to the high-interest rates and the many requirements that one has to meet before being considered.
THE OPEX PRIZE
To address this challenge, Dalex Finance in partnership with CSIR is providing funding of up to GHC 10,000 each, six (6) months training and mentorship for ten (10) techpreneurs who will be able to make it through a rigorous selection process.
The selection panel boasts of experts across the fields of business, finance and technology. Notable members of the panel are Kenneth Thompson, CEO of Dalex Finance, Dr George Owusu Essegbey, Ag. CEO, CSIR – Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC), Michael Wilson, a Chief Research Technologist from the CSIR who coached the Methodist Girls Robotics team to their first victory in the World Robotics Competition, Bernard Ashiadey of the Business and Finance Times and science communicator Ibrahim Kwame Asante, Ag. Deputy CEO, CSIR TDTC. Other judges include but not limited to, Joe Jackson, Director of Business Finance at Dalex Finance, and John P. Awotwi, Technical Officer at CSIR-INSTI. The judges will be looking out for the “X-Factor” in projects across the areas of Finance, Agriculture, Health and Education.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Applications are opened to all Ghanaians aged 18 to 35 who can demonstrate ownership of a minimum viable product. Applications are open from 3rd March to 15th April 2021. The process is very easy and can be accessed from Opportunity Exposure (OPEX) Prize.
From 26th to 30th April 2021, shortlisted applicants will have the opportunity to pitch their projects to the panel of judges for a chance to win the grand prize. Ghanaians will have the opportunity to see their innovations and appreciate the works that go into developing an MVP and taking it to market.
Until April 2021, we can only wait and anticipate the exciting inventions that will be coming our way. Will we discover the next Safo Kantanka? We live to see!
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and they do not purport to reflect the policies, opinions, or views of the AfroScience Network platform.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Knollis Delle is an Assistant Programme Officer at the Ministry of Energy working on Renewable and Nuclear Energy development. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Administration. His interests in renewables are in the areas of optimizing the enzymatic processes of biofuel production, harnessing nuclear power, utility scale biogas and biomass production all of which are mitigation actions against climate change. He has experience in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy formulation, and was a member of the operational team for the establishment of the Ghana Innovation and Research-Output Commercialisation Centre (GIRCC). He is a Microsoft certified Data Scientist and a strong advocate for the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in the life sciences.
This article has not been submitted, published or featured in any formal publications, including books, journals, newspapers, magazines or websites.