The Fine Art of Pitching and other Highlights from Week 2!

Nigeria Summer 2012 Blog

Written by: Dibia Victor

July 15, 2012

Getting the best out of the time we have.

Teaching technical material in 6 weeks is quite interesting , engaging , daunting and rewarding too. Our students are currently in school session (meaning they still have coursework and associated engagements), and thus have limited time to work on homeworks and labs after class. To work around this and ensure the students have the much needed practical coding time, each technical class has been structured to fit in at least 1.5 hours specifically for working on part of each lab. During this lab time, I and bolu are constantly working with them, providing clarifications and the result has been a higher completion rate on lab submissions!! The rest class time is used to teach new material and have discussions. Thus far we have had a chance to cover the basics of java over week 1 and 2, covering the semantics of programming in java, working through several labs and finally an introduction to android! I’m excited and look forward to the apps we are going to start building!


A little this and that on pitching!

This week, we also saw the students pitch about  their ideas! Elevator pitch .. 2 minutes and guess what? Great stuff came out! I’m quite amazed at the great work Teju is accomplishing with the students this early and delighted at how fast they are learning!  I also learned a lot – that an elevator pitch should hit on 4 major parts

  • Your name, company, competence .. establish credibility  
  • Your product, name what it does, problems address, usefulness
  • Your potential market, customer segments and channels
  • Your ask .. price, investment, signup

Teju also went ahead to describe a top down approach to making back of the envelope estimates (also called market sizing). For example -  How many people buy cars each year in Lagos ? Seems insurmountable, but there’s actually an organic method that could ferret out such information -  without asking anyone.  It’s a about asking the right questions, piecing the information together and synthesizing an output. For the question above, we star from what we know and hack away with questions like

  • What’s  the population of lagos ? (20 Million)
  •  What’s the average size of each family in lagos ? (say 5 .. means we have about 4 Million families)
  • How many cars are owned by each family ? (2 .. considering poor families .. leading us to 8 Million cars)
  • How often do families buy new cars ? (Every 5 years … 0.2 cars per year … 1.6Million Cars each year by all families in lagos)

After a few questions, discussions and agreement,  we actually arrived at a well thought-out estimate. (The above is just a simple attempt to re-enact the real process done by teju .. Im a techie learning about business J ) . I reckon this would be a great skill for any and all entrepreneurs, awesome in quick market sizing to aid on the spot decision making! I’ll try to practice it as often as I can J.  

Like I mentioned in my first post, I'll leave you with a flick from one of our students - busayo! Yay, thanks!