African Diaspora SME Pitch Workshop

bothLogos30 attendees learned how to increase their chances for success when pitching to investors at the African Diaspora SME Pitch Workshop held on October 15th. The event was co-hosted by the U.S.-Africa Chamber of Commerce and Young African Professionals (YAP) Network, part of Global Diaspora Week 2015. The three-part event included a panel of five experts who served as coaches to the participants.The coaches discussed best practices and shared their personal experience on challenges and success.

The panel of experts or coaches included Michael Okomo, Nana Kweku Nduom, Marti Tirinnanzi, Angelina Nonye-John and Adebayo Dawodu. Each panelist gave participants a unique perspective and had a wealth of knowledge about the operation of small to medium enterprises.

Meet the Coaches:

Michael Okomo – Former Head of the Kenyan Diaspora Network Michael led projects on the strategic use of technology in business development. Michael’s depth of operational and management experience covers both the private sector and joint public-private sector partnerships.

Nana Kweku Nduom – Vice President of Business Development and Finance at Groupe Nduom, a family-owned business group with over 3,000 employees in Africa, Europe, and North America. He has worked in the Fiance industry for over 10 years and has participated in deals as underwriter and account manager (GE Capital), broker (Marsh and McLennan), investment banker (Merrill Lynch), and borrower (Groupe Nduom).

Marti Tirinnanzi – Financial Standards, LLC – Ms. Tirinnanzi specializes in financial risk management, hedging strategies using derivatives contracts. and financial instrument accounting. She has worked with African SMEs extensively, especially to finance projets. Marti was recognized in Futures Magazine as among the top 25 Most Influential People in derivatives markets.

Angelina Nonye-JohnMansa Colabs – Ms. Nonye-John advises scalable startups and social enterprises in African and the Diaspora. She coordinates the Virutal Advisory Service and supports larger advisory projects. She received her BS in International Relations and Politics from Carnegie Mellon Universit

Adebayo DawoduTipHub – With over a decade of tested experience in the tech industry, Adebayo Dawodu is a veteran in IT sourcing and brand development. His professional experiences have received accolades from the likes of Accenture, Marriott International and other fortune 500 companies. His philanthropist efforts have benefited many nonprofit organizations like Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Africa Needs U, and other religious organization both nationally and internationally.

Attendees participated in a dynamic and informative training workshop lasting a little over two and a half hours.

The conversation in the room was driven by a good mix of panelist discussion and attendee participation. During the pitch workshop attendees were encouraged to network with each other and other entrepreneurs to discuss ideas and explore opportunities.

DSC_0018Part 1: What is a Successful Pitch?: Attendees were given advice by the experts/coaches including insights, tips, and case studies on the dos and don’ts of pitching.

Part 2: Practice your Pitch: Participants put Part 1 into practice, creating a 30-second pitch in small breakout groups. The groups elected the top pitch in their group to be presented in Part 3.

Part 3: Perform 30-Second Pitch: Participants with the top pitches that were selected from each group during Part 2 performed their 30-Second Pitch in front of the coaches.

Part 4: Pitch Review: Participants received in-depth feedback and tips for improvement from expert facilitators.

Part 5: Networking

More information about the African Diaspora SME Pitch Workshop can be found by clicking here.

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