At the virtual semi-final pitches, a panel of seasoned professionals in the business, tech, fashion and start-up ecosystems assessed the progress made by all 30 entrepreneurs on the incubator. The extended nine-month incubator included 12 weeks of mentoring, remote business coaching from Faculty in the UK, fireside chats, a 4-week virtual incubator and a 10-day virtual design sprint to help the startups get their pitch decks and presentations ready and adapted for a virtual demo day.
Over 2 days and approximately 8 hours, 29 participants pitched their businesses with engaging digital prototypes used to showcase their products and services to the Judges; Mohamed Felata, Products and Innovation Manager, Ventures Platform Fund; Tracy Okoro, Partnerships Manager, Ventures Platform Fund; and Yoanna “Pepper” Chikezie, Founder, The Assembly Hub who assessed the brands viability for funding. Of the 30 entrepreneurs who presented, 10 were selected to move on to the finals based on criteria such as the strength of their business model, the use of digital technology for their solution, feasibility of product or service, value proposition, scalability and an understanding of the key stakeholders to engage; to name a few. Following the selection, the 10 finalists, Anthony Sule, Antoine Collections; Mabel Sontan, Adire Biz Hub; Bukola Odeyemi, Tribe of Elzar; Vivian Ogbuagu, Handsmithen; Yvonne Zendesha, Ari-Elle Fashion & Couture; Misan Atsemude, Omali Bridals; Cherish Ibeh, CherStunner; Rukayat Ogundipe, Acquire Hub; Rosemary Icha, Preggy Apparel and Elizabeth Madu, Omavia Maternity took the comments and suggestions of the panel to modify their pitches for the finale.
Tuesday the 22nd of September, 2020 saw the 10 finalists arrive at the British Council Abuja office and the virtual venue armed with their modified pitch decks and digital representations of their product and service offerings to deliver stellar pitches and persuade the judges that they, more than their colleagues, are the best choice to receive the grant prize of £2,000. Our A-List Judging Panel consisted of Yoanna ‘Pepper’ Chikezie, Founder, The Assembly Hub, a delivery partner of the CESP and an organisation dedicated to curating resources to power global African fashion creatives in shaping the face of the industry; Bayo Adelaja, Founder Do it Now Now, a delivery partner of the CESP and an open innovation organisation bringing social empowerment to black communities across the globe; Adetomi Soyinka, Director, Higher Education, Skills and Enterprise, British Council; Ivy Clem, Senior Communications Officer, British High Commission as well as Charles Okpaleke, Co-Founder, Play Network.
Streaming to an audience of Industry veterans, potential investors and partners, mentors, instructors, fellow participants and supporters; the pitches ran for approximately 1.5 hours and showcased innovative, tech-driven fashion businesses blazing trails with a marketplace for all things Adire; a range of mosquito repellant sleep/loungewear; perfectly fitting plus size apparel aided by body matching virtual mannequins; unique accessories, apparel and homeware made from recycled fabric scraps as well as minimalist bridal gowns tailored using precise virtual measurements collected real-time.
Following tough deliberations and amidst palpable excitement, Anthony Sule, Founder of Antoine Collections; Vivian Ogbuagu, Founder of Handsmithen; Mabel Sontan, Founder of Adire Biz Hub; Cherish Ibeh, Founder of CherStunner and Misan Atsemude, Founder of Omali Bridals emerged the top 5 fash tech entrepreneurs of the Creative Enterprise Support Programme Abuja, each winning £2,000 in grant prize.
To put it mildly, the finale of the Creative Enterprise Support Programme Abuja in all it’s virtual glory was an amazing success. Together with Ventures Platform and Do it Now Now, we’re excited at the successful delivery of the programme. The tremendous progress and commitment of the entrepreneurs through the Programme is a pointer to the benefits of collaboration and the tenacious African spirit.
Follow us on our social media platforms to stay up to date for future programmes and events and keep in the loop with everything happening at The Assembly.
Facebook: The Assembly Hub
You can also join the Assembly Hub Facebook Group to keep updated with news on all our upcoming workshops and connect with other creatives.