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  1. 1. From West Coast to Gold Coast Teaching a Capstone Entrepreneurship Course in Ghana based on the Lean Launchpad Dr. Sena Ageypong Ashesi University and Todd Warren Northwestern
  2. 2. Ashesi: A world-class, 4-yr African university Entrepreneurial Venture Launched in 2002 Mission: Educate the next generation of African Leaders 631 current students, Over 600 graduates 14 African Countries, 48% Women Majors in Computer Science, Business, and MIS Ethics, Critical Thinking, and Liberal Arts Core 95% stay in Africa, Many start businesses Launching Engineering in Fall 2015 Freshman Design and Entrepreneurship
  3. 3. Course was Based on Lean Launch Pad US NSF Curriculum, Also Stanford and Berkeley Follows Startup Owners Manual (Blank and Dorf) Supported by a Udacity MOOC Software Support via LaunchPad Central Heavily based on Interviewing getting out of the building Advisory Board members paired with teams 4
  4. 4. Ashesi Learning Goals Goal Class Activity Ethics & Civil Engagement Code of Conduct, Engagement in Critique Critical Thinking & Quantitative Reasoning Canvas Development, Writing Assignments Leadership & Teamwork Team Assessment and Charter Innovation and Action Development of Business Idea Curiosity and Skill Getting out of the building! Technological Competence LaunchPad Central and MVP development Scholarship Citizenship Leadership
  5. 5. Course Outline
  6. 6. The TeamsInitial Concept Final Concept A spa offering Ghanaian specialty treatments. A mobile spa focused on massage in-home. A culinary school for young professionals. A system to help caterers develop and manage an online presence to attract and engage customers. Locally made sports apparel for primary and secondary schools. Locally designed and manufactured sports bras focused on young professional women. An app that would enable weekly online delivery of food for busy professionals Soup delivery focused on young urban professionals in the Accra business core. An add-on to external water tanks (Poly-Tanks) for households to determine water level more accurately than by thumping on the tank, and without climbing to the roof or other tank locations. A water monitoring and delivery service that insures businesses wont run out of water. Bakery Restaurant. Housekeeping Service. Market place for idea exchange between African Diaspora and local African Projects. Crowdfunding service for educational projects in Ghana. Pizza delivery for rural college campuses. Pizza and Wing delivery for rural college campuses. Soccer Academy for high potential soccer players. Video site to connect high potential soccer players and soccer scouts looking to acquire talent. Plastic waste collection from households for recycling. Device for compacting waste in trash cans, sold to households and businesses. Online site for download of Trap style music targeting Ghanaians. Integrated event promotion and music site for Trap style music. Individual packaging of cut and cleaned vegetables for commercial kitchens Pre-made frozen West African dishes (fried yam and kelewele) targeted at students and young professionals.
  7. 7. Instructors Perspective
  8. 8. What is was like: Todd I loved working with Sena! Sena understood the local context and could help me translate She had a better understanding of the students, including subtle relationships between people in the class Sena had better class room control: 60 close-knit Ashesi Seniors can be tough! Sena was instrumental in tirelessly recruiting a first class set of advisors We would push each other to get material done Sena brought a different bag of tricks I could learn from as an instructor 9
  9. 9. What it was like: Sena My first attempt at team teaching and it was a career enhancing opportunity. Todd has been great from the very first time we shook hands. His command over the methodology and his personality made it easy for us to work well together. Our different backgrounds helped us to bring different perspectives to critique sessions. In my view, our strengths were complimentary which helped us achieve most of our objectives. The students were great, and eager to work on the projects so it was easy to push them to succeed. In my opinion, team teaching is better than individual teaching if structured well and the personalities involved are compatible. 10
  10. 10. What worked Doing team formation in class Using the MOOC + Text Book Focus on case studies/ learning the business model canvas up front Having students Get out of the Building, doing interviews Berekuso location is tough Tracking in launcpadcentral Adding a writing component at Midterm and Final Engaging a local advisory board to pair with teams Though difficult to get them to travel to Berekuso Need to work on teams to manage the relationships well 11
  11. 11. What didnt work Industry Analysis Should be a larger part of the course Should focus on more divergent ideas Need more analysis of good ideas Launchpad central for critique Internet problems Counter to No-laptop Ashesi norm Ashesi Students engage more in critique than US students Quizzes are a must have to insure students do the reading/watch the MOOC Hard to implement Minimum Viable Product concept without engineers Method is not well geared to capital intensive businesses Number of moving parts can make things hard to manage 12
  12. 12. Purpose of the 2nd Semester Goal was to focus on Execution -Customer Creation -Company building But -MVPs needed more testing -First 3 weeks of semester was used for this
  13. 13. Successes Stronger conviction and belief in their businesses. They speak about it with confidence, they believe in it Interacting with students, some seem to think entrepreneurship is a career as well Valuing their businesses improved their investor pitches significantly Some teams with challenges in first half had new leaders step up---teams realize the CEO is a serious role.
  14. 14. Shortfalls We did get advisors, but some are not responsive and some not in the direct area. Students need more structure / coaching on engaging with advisors By mid-semester, teams are getting fatigued. We did not do a good job of painting a good picture of the journey of the entrepreneur More team dynamics challenges in second half
  15. 15. What We Would Change Its a year class, so there is no reason to rush Insure they understand more fundamentals before jumping into teams More exploration up front Greater Industry Analysis More speakers/analysis of successful ventures Greater idea generation More Exposure to local social and for-profit entrepreneurs Wait until the week before mid-term break to form teams Delay canvas creation until value proposition, customer segment, and customer journey are clear More focus on pitches rather than presentations Develop a process flow for the business Do back of the envelope cost analysis early This is more of an issue in Ghana and for Capital intensive businesses Consider other ways of getting advisory board to see final pitches Perhaps do in Accra? Provide funding support to the teams as going outside the building and testing the MVP is capital intensive. 16
  16. 16. Key Takeways in adapting LLC to a new geography Team teaching with someone who knows the method and someone who knows the local environment For non-venture funded startups, understanding cash requirments and alternatives is essential. Get input from a local advisory board. Cast a wide net.
  17. 17. Thank You!