A year ago, we successfully launched the PHL meter and the idea for Sesi Technologies was born. How far we have come today would not have been possible without the support of our partners, advisors, customers and our team.
As we enter into February 2019, we take a trip down memory lane and highlight the significant events that characterized our 2018.
First Quarter, 2018 (January to March 2018)
The idea for Sesi Technologies was born after a meeting with the team from Feed The Future PHL Innovation Lab and USDA. We quickly got incorporated as a limited liability company under the name Sesi Technologies.
We christened the new moisture meter “GrainMate” and got our first contract to supply 120 units of GrainMate to AMPLIFIES. In March. Our CEO, Isaac Sesi pitched GrainMate at the Next Einstein Forum in Kigali, Rwanda. At the end of March, we were selected as one of 1000 startups out of over 1200,000 who applied for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.
Second Quarter 2018 (April to June 2018)
The second quarter of 2018 began with us making key modifications to GrainMate to improve the product while reducing our production costs. We commenced our 1st production run which included the 120 units from AMPLIFIES. We participated in a number of exhibitions including the Mobex Exhibition which afforded us the opportunity to showcase GrainMate to Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
We also received a number of Interns over the summer break including two from Ashesi University in Ghana, one from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University both in the United States. They began working on our GrainMate Android App.
Third Quarter 2018 (July to September 2018)
July began with us getting the opportunity to meet President Macron of France in Nigeria in an invite-only event organized by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. In August, we had the opportunity to showcase GrainMate to Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, who was impressed with our work. Meeting the German Chancellor gave us the opportunity to be on one of Ghana’s most popular radio stations, Citi FM, to speak about GrainMate, which led to significant sales.
After some unexpected delays due to unforeseen circumstances, we successfully delivered the 120 GrainMate Moisture Meters in a short handing over ceremony. In attendance was the Chief Of Party, Madam Ligaya Diaz, Dr Kankam-Boadu , Project Manager of AMPLIFIES Ghana and other top executives of AMPLIFIES.
At the end of September, we had the opportunity to attend and showcase GrainMate at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of New Champions in Tianjin, China. The Annual Meeting of the New Champions is a top global summit on innovation, science and technology, promoting entrepreneurship in the global public interest. We met and interacted with other professionals working in the Agric value chain.
Fourth Quarter 2018 (October to December 2018)
October began for us with a trip to Dakar, Senegal to attend and exhibit GrainMate at the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa Partnership Platform meeting which brought together several hundred people including policymakers, private sector, farmer groups, researchers, donors and other stakeholders related to aflatoxin from across the continent. It was a tremendous opportunity to expand our visibility.
We even sold the sample GrainMates we brought and have since begun developing business partnerships with some of the people and organisations we met. Our invitation and attendance was made possible by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss through the efforts of Dr Jagger Harvey. Later in October, we attended the Tony Elumelu Conference in Nigeria.
In November, we had the opportunity to showcase GrainMate to Prince Charles of Wales and President Nana Akuffo-Addo, President of Ghana at the Accra International Conference Center during the Prince’s working visit to Ghana. Later in November, we were adjudged National Winners at the World Summit Awards event in Accra.
We ended 2018 by joining Prof George Opit and Mr Kwabena Adu Gyamfi to train poultry farmers in different parts of Accra on the use of various post-harvest loss mitigation technologies including the ZeroFly Hermetic Storage bags and of course, GrainMate as part of an AMPLIFIES Project.
Our huge strides will not have been possible without the efforts of a lot of people. We at Sesi Technologies want to express our sincere appreciation to our advisors; Ing. Joseph Akowuah, Dr Paul Armstrong, Prof. George Opit, Mr Kwabena Adu-Gyamfi, Ms Dena Bunnel, Dr Jagger Harvery, Dr Ahmed Kablan, Dr Enoch Osekre, Ms Caroline Kolins and everyone whose advice, support or effort in one way or another has helped us get this far.
We also express our gratitude to the following organizations; KNUST Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, USAID, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss, AMPLIFIES, USDA, GIZ and Tony Elumelu Foundation who have played different roles in helping us get to where we are today.
The Way Forward – 2019
2018 was great but we believe 2019 will be greater. Our plans for 2019 include boosting our production capacity while actively pursuing new opportunities to scale GrainMate in and outside Ghana including raising significant funding. We plan to launch the GrainMate app, which besides making it possible to remotely take moisture readings will serve as an avenue to create more awareness about post-harvest losses and drive the adoption of GrainMate.
We’re still committed to the vision of reducing poverty and hunger and creating economic opportunities for many by developing affordable technologies for farmers and other stakeholders across the agric value chain and we look forward to the months ahead!