Ashesi Venture Incubator Organises Simulation Program For Fellows

The Ashesi Venture Incubator (AVI) since its inception in 2019, has run a Simulations Program over four successive cohorts. The introduction of the Simulations Program was to create an avenue for Incubator Fellows to practicalize the skills gained at the Incubator and enable them to explore markets in a real-world-like setting., that the goal of the Simulations Program is to help AVI Fellows understand customers better and avoid costly mistakes upon entering into the real world of business. . As such, the Simulations provide Fellows with an efficient method of market analysis, yielding data that can be easily verified, communicated, and understood. 

Within the Simulations Program, simulation sets have evolved into an integral part of the incubator program. The Program comprises four divisions, each running for one quarter of the year. The first division, the Hybrid Business Model Canvas (HBMC) Simulation runs from October to December, the second division, the Customer Acquisition Simulation runs from February to March, and the last but one simulation, the Financial Simulation, runs from April to July.

In the last quarter, fellows pitch their financial simulations in determining the readiness of the business to access funds, credit, or equity from investors. The AVI partners with various companies to expose Fellows to funding opportunities that could enable them to scale their businesses. These partner companies typically fall within the category of financial institutions, grant organizations, or investor groups. Connecting Fellows with financial institutions gives them access to credit opportunities, while exposure to grant organizations likewise gives them access to grant funding. Partner investor groups have also proven instrumental in assisting Fellows whose businesses require larger funding with capital raising.  So far, the AVI has had the privilege of partnering with financial institutions such as Ecobank, Absa Bank, Stanbic, and investment firm, Wangara Capital.. Speaking with Natasha Dadzie, the Incubator Manager, she revealed that the partnership with these companies has been beyond beneficial and opened doors for fellows to gain access to relevant resources and business leads.

Sharing his experience as an AVI alumnus, David Dieudonne Adu-Amoani ’21, reminisced on the tiring but insightful fourth quarter simulations he underwent, which gave him a platform to glean from seasoned industry experts, the necessary business acumen and skills for his entrepreneurial journey. 

“I am actively drinking from years of experience and insight into the Ghanaian market, bottled in the wine of feedback I have gotten. These experts are people I have formed meaningful partnerships with, and I cherish the fact that we went through this together.”

For Manuella Sekyi’21, her experience has been truly instrumental in her entrepreneurial journey. She had this to say,

 “I found the feedback provided to my cohort members and I to be useful and I truly appreciate the time taken out by all who have been involved in making this year’s Simulations Program successful.” 

Simulations have been a crucial aspect of the AVI program, allowing AVI fellows to predict customer behavior and influence future operations even before fully entering their respective markets. Attested by both past and present AVI fellows, the Simulations Program is certainly here to stay and will continue to contribute greatly to the success of the businesses in AVI.