The Durban University of Technology (DUT) attended a webinar that was hosted by the Advancing in Healthcare Innovation in Africa (AHIA) in partnership with Africa Bio to help healthcare innovators turn their ideas to successful businesses. This webinar which was facilitated by Angela Udongwo took place online on Microsoft Teams on last Thursday, 21 January 2021.
The AHIA hosts a series of webinars on relevant business and law topics to help African bio-innovators grow in the next step of their journey. Topic of the day was You have an idea, then what?
The panel consisted of Professor Charles Goetz who is a senior lecture in Entrepreneurship from Emory University. Professor Goetz was joined by innovators from Ghana and Uganda. Maureen Etuket from Uganda, a Bio Medical Engineer, Med tech innovator, an engineer entrepreneur and she is the Co- founder of a company called: Principality MedTech. The last panellist was Yaw Bediako from Ghana. Yaw is a founder and CEO of Yemaachi Biotech.
Professor Goetz took the attendees through the entrepreneur journey which he sectioned into three phases, namely: Idea phase, Pre-launch phase and the Launch phase.
“There is a lot of different ways of finding new ideas, sometimes they are right in front of you, some may arise from problems and some ideas arise from unexpected things. I developed this process called have to know questions under the pre-launch phase. When you ask these questions before starting your business, divide your business into categories. The categories include: marketing, sales, distribution, pricing, operations and management,” explained Prof Goetz.
Goetz closed off his presentation by sharing a secret to a successful business and that is finding out exactly what your customers want and giving it to them.
Maureen Etuket focused her presentation on the maternal child health. Etuket explained: “Postpartum haemorrhage is the excessive blood loss by the mother after giving birth and many mothers succumb to death because of this. Our focus is on Uganda. We introduced a device to be used by midwives on mothers. The device is called the Maternal HPP wrap, it is locally made, non-invasive and easy to use.”
Etuket emphasised the importance of conducting research when it comes to innovating, have the right team, ask the right questions and have a well understood vision.
Yemaachi Biotech is an African cancer research company with the mission to try and redefine how cancer is diagnosed and treated on the continent.
“When you want to start a business, yes you can identify the problem but, you have to identify why you are that person who can solve that problem. Cancer is fatal in the African continent, that is due to late diagnosis. Our product is here to pioneer personal development service, basically providing Africans a platform to be more active when it comes to their health,” said Bediako.
Pictured: Angela Udongwo and Yaw Bediako