Day 4, Friday 8th April – last half day.
During the last half day the EITs presented the progress they’d made over the week and how they would be progressing with their business ideas. My overall advice for my team was JDI: Just Do It. They need to build their prototype ASAP and get it out there in the wild for people to test and give feedback. All the teams had made considerable progress during the week and had lots of ideas for how to improve their businesses.
I also suggested that we do a bit of 360 feedback on the MBA Consultants so we could see how we’d performed from their point of view. We made sure we explicitly asked for a good point and something that we could improve on. The EITs were all so nice, I could see them not wanting to criticise anyone.
The feedback was written on one bit of paper and to be seen only by each MBA, but I don’t mind sharing some of my feedback here:
Positive: “Enjoyed your [startup metrics for pirates] funnel lecture, gave me a different perspective into how Internet consumers behave”
Area for improvement: “More straight to the point”
Just before my MEST time was over, I popped over the famed MEST bridge to their other building where the previous years’ companies are incubated. I am really glad I did this. It was great to see where these companies had got to in a year as I could see the sort of progress my team could make once they get in there. The companies there were fantastic – none of them would have been out-of-place at a startup incubator in Silicon Valley (where I’m headed as I speak, typing this post at 36,000ft). In fact, one of the companies, Nandimobile, I already knew a bit about as it had gone to the Launch conference run by Jason Calacanis and won the best business award, beating all the Silicon Valley competition. Amazing! Go Ghana!
Overall, I have to say that this trip to Ghana has been an amazing experience. It was my first visit to Africa and quite an eye-opener. I didn’t sign-up to MEST because I’m particularly in to “social entrepreneurship” – I just like start-ups and seeing and talking about cool ideas and I was not disappointed. I am so glad I signed up for this at the start of the year.
At this point I’d just like to say a personal thank you to a couple of folk: Jorn Lyseggen for starting the Meltwater foundation that makes MEST possible, and Peter van Dijk for organising our visit and being a great host at MEST. Also a big thank you to Robert and Badu for being such a great team. They are a pleasure to work with!
It doesn’t end there for me though – I will still be working with my team as we prepare them for their pitch to Jorn to get in to the incubator.
P.S. If you’ve managed to read though all these posts then well done to you! I wrote all 5 of my MEST posts in one day. Probably the most writing I’ve ever done in one day (yes, that includes when I was writing my PhD thesis!), four of them at 36,000ft on my flight to San Francisco (jet-setting baby!) so I hope that shows you how much this programme meant to me. If you found the posts interesting, please do take a second to leave a comment or rate the posts. It’s what we bloggers live for! I’m also happy to answer any questions about MEST if you’re reading this and thinking about applying.