Akim Adjibi is the founder of the IDEE association, one of Get in the Ring’s main partners promoting our competitions on the continent. The IDEE Association has been running since 2015 in Congo-Brazzaville and has grown in Benin and Nigeria.
What is the origin of your organization?
Akim Adjibi: “I am an entrepreneur and I believe in the power of founders. I created the IDEE association seven years ago to promote entrepreneurship in the Republic of the Congo. First, we created a forum event for entrepreneurs to meet and network. Then after finding out about Get in The Ring, we became licensed partners and started organizing African competitions. IDEE focuses on coaching founders to prepare them for Get in The Ring, to train them to pitch against each other and have the best chances to win the competition.”
What is unique about IDEE?
“On top of our mission to train the entrepreneurs to be ready to compete in the competitions, we also care a lot about what happens afterward for them. Many entrepreneurs joining the IDEE programs were not born entrepreneurs. Some of them had a great business idea but needed help to prepare it for the market and potential investments. Not only do we train these entrepreneurs to participate in GITR, which will give them great exposure even if they do not win, but we also follow up with them after the competition to make sure that they keep going and developing their business. And this follow-up part is quite unique.”
What domains do you focus on?
“We are a multi-sector association. Our main goal is to promote entrepreneurship globally which would not be possible if, let’s say, we focused only on digital innovations or FinTech. We remain open and look for impact.”
What is your proudest achievement at IDEE?
“By joining our association, people make the conscious choice of trying entrepreneurship, and more often than not, they remain entrepreneurs afterward. So at IDEE, we convince entrepreneurs to follow this path; they get a real shot at it because we provide strong support and connections and meet inspirational founders who made it work. Founders who made a career out of it, which is why we are so proud to shape some people into entrepreneurs.”
Can you tell us one bold solution from a founder within your network?
I enjoyed Samuel Sevi N’guessan GBEKPON’s solution a few years back. He is the winner of GITR Côte d’Ivoire 2017. He developed a very innovative solution in the agricultural sector to prevent losses in latex production. It is called Rain Protect, and it is a cover that you attach directly to trees to prevent rain from getting into the latex collecting buckets. His invention was patented since then, and it had a tremendous economic and social impact because farmers could reduce their production losses and provide better quality latex.
Why did you choose to partner with Get in the Ring?
It made a lot of sense to partner because it was a win-win partnership from the beginning. GITR helps us develop activities we are passionate about shaping entrepreneurial spirit, pushing startups to evolve and compete against each other. This license also gives us authority in a way, it validates our model, and the partnership allows us to innovate and change our methods over time after seeing what works and what does not. We work hard in preparing entrepreneurs, and we work hard on organizing competitions of high quality every time. The GITR pitch exercise is so powerful that it offers methods and discipline to the entrepreneurs, which they will use for their entire careers. So, for all these reasons, GITR is the ideal partner for us.
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