A mango juice product by three students at the Ho Technical University (HTU) has been adjudged winner of the fourth edition of the HTU Chartered Institute of Marketers Ghana GOIL Pitch and Awards.
Osman Kadri, Favour Odukoya, and Sedem Nyadi-Korkore, all students of the Department of Food Science and Technology presented their “improved” mango juice product and business idea and won over a student accommodation and other entrepreneurial initiatives competing for a business support package of GH¢10,000.
The owners of Star Fruits presented an aggressive marketing strategy that targeted students and other essential groups and showed an unrestrained urge to take competitors “out of business.”
The Company said its juice had been improved using “other” methods and would rely on the availability of the extremely common fruit.
Star fruits beat Residency Easy Find, an online student accommodation portal, with just two points in a cumulative score.
Zoe catering came third with some innovative beverages, while a baobab milk drink producer, Fetuli Foods, and snail farming business, Sey Foods, got fourth and fifth places respectively.
First and second runner ups also got funding for their ideas, and all participants got certificates of participation.
Dr Daniel Agbeko, Deputy Director of Technical and Vocational Education and Training at the University, and who led the panel of judges, said to the Ghana News Agency, that the winning idea had the potential of scaling up, and had a high sustainability rate.
He said the business Model of the emerging company would help address the perishability of heavy succulent fruit.
The Deputy Director noted the sure presentation by the “solid team,” and said stakeholders would follow up on the winners to ensure they received the needed help.
He said previous winners of the competition were successfully gaining ground in the market, and that the University was helping address challenges with funding, publicity and other business nodes.
Prof. Christopher Mensah, Pro Vice Chancellor, commended efforts to sustain the pitch and awards, and said it help provide a “clear demonstration” of the practical enhancement of students.
He commended the committee for sustaining the program and promised it would be supported as entrepreneurship and innovation remained critical to development.
The Pro VC encouraged students to develop entrepreneurial acumen to help expand the job market and the nation’s economic outlook.
The Awards was instituted Mr. Patrick Akorli, a former Group Manager of GOIL, and a three-time winner of the Chartered Institute of Marketers, Ghana Marketing Man of the Year Award, and the HTU has become the only one of five tertiary institutions sustaining the five-year award scheme.
Margaret Achiadi, a third-year marketing student at the University won the third edition of the Awards, with electric lamps made from PVC pipes.