Ghana’s MEST48 Business Development Competition 2013 winner: Picket


Last week, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Ghana hosted the second MEST48 Business Development competition. Picket, a web service that helps event visitors purchase tickets with their mobile phone credits, was selected as the overall best business.

This year was the second edition of MEST48, an annual two-day product development competition. The event took place January 14-16th and was opened to students from MEST, Ashesi University and the Open University of West Africa (OUWA) in Ghana. In total, the competition had over 70 participants from these institutions.

On the opening day, 12 ideas were shortlisted for development within the 48-hour interval. At the end of the event, Picket was selected as the overall best business. Picket sends bought/sold ticket codes to event visitors via text or email. For event visitors, the ticket acquisition costs are lower, as compared to traditional means of buying tickets (going to brick-and-mortal locations). At the same time, event organizers enjoy attractive discounts given Picket charges less than regular industry fares.

The winning team was made up of students from MEST. Team members are Samuel Kyemenu-Sarsah, Yaw Boakye, Claude Ayitey, Eric Engmann and Precious Nyarko.

“We chose to develop Picket because we saw a pain point in the ticketing industry and an opportunity to create value out of solving that problem” says Samuel Kyemenu-Sarsah, Picket’s team leader. “Both event organizers and event goers need Picket”.

“We hope to change the face of event ticketing in Ghana and subsequently the sub-Region”, he adds. “Currently we are still in development and iterating over the product  with input from the various stakeholders, we are also in talks with potential partners.” Samuel explains: “Some major event organizers in Ghana are very interested. We will work with them and iterate in order to build a more customized solution that will meet their business needs.”

He also mentions the team needs mentoring and a solid support network in both the event organizing industry as well as the mobile payment platform space. Going forward, the team wants to pursue the idea beyond the competition, and these points will be key to the success of Picket.

The second placed team at the MEST48 Business Development competition was made up of students from OUWA. They developed Ndanu, a service that helps international students find their way around Ghana by introducing them to the nation’s culture, urban student life and customs via web and mobile. The third placed team was made up of students from MEST. They developed Plugged-In, a web service that plugs event rental services to event planners.

VC4Africa congratulates all MEST48 winners!

We thank VC4Africa member Charles Mensah for sharing this news story with us. When you know of news which you feel should be shared with the VC4Africa community, just send an e-mail to miguel@vc4a.com