I have a thirst for knowledge and I tend to seek this out in areas that are away from my immediate environment for one reason, exposure. The partnerships with graduates from Ivy League institutions like Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Information of Technology as facilitators on the concept of innovation intrigued me.
The Innovation Readiness Training is one part of Innovate for Africa's 1 year fellowship which has a blended learning system of training its fellows on design thinking, personal branding, strategic analysis and hard skills. While learning these, the facilitators ensured we develop our soft skills and imbibe the IFA values of having a growth mindset, grit, collaboration, creativity, and inclusivity and diversity.
Design thinking enlightened me on techniques for not only thinking about ideas but developing these ideas to a meaningful solution. The process of empathising, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing was applied by me and my teammates as we developed a solution that looks into environmental degradation caused by bad waste management practices and low recycling processes, a massive problem to the economic and environmental sustainability of our community. The result of this is an app coined G4 CYCLERS which provides the flexibility to choose and schedule pickups of waste products for customers for a reward as a form of encouragement.
Personal branding centred on communication and professionalism. I learnt how to create and showcase my brand, skills and noteworthy achievements which allows individuals or organizations to understand the value I can add.
The session on strategic analysis exposed us to the knowledge of various frameworks for projects and organizations. This helps to organize one's research and understanding about an organization to enable proper planning and implementation towards achieving its goals.
The hard skills lab was the most tasking session, the facilitators availed us materials and consultancy projects for clients. I was in the product management skills track where I collaborated with my team to consult for a startup client; Afya Pamoja by Simon Debere, a startup seeking to provide government and health stakeholders with the support and understanding to deliver the best medical services.
I have to credit the efforts of my mentor provided by IFA: Hooman Tehrani, a first-class theoretical and practical product manager. He defied the mentorship walls with constant feedbacks, online and offline availability and humble interaction all that has ever since boosted my confidence as a Product Manager.
Finally, we were opportune to have noteworthy sessions with various guest speakers including Michael Olorunninwo, Efosa Ojomo, Faith Adesomowo, Chibuzo Opara, Chiedo John and Vivian Nwakah. I related so much to their words on entrepreneurship and team building.
My profound gratitude to all IFA team members: Quadri Oguntade, Mary Nagel, Margaret Wang, Cynthia Obiora, Viviana Rivera, Megan Christensen, Sima Haddadin, Maria Jaramillo and Omozusi Guobadia for showcasing and teaching all IFA values daily.
I intend to apply all this in re-addressing my talk show initiative to scale up, in contributing to a start-up, and in collaborating with my community of like-minds in identifying ways to solve as many problems as possible.
Partnering with a startup like yours will be an incredible learning experience for fellows like Obafemi, IN ADDITION to helping your startup accelerate with passionate African innovators. Sign in to our IFA Portal to see the range of talent that can join your startup today.