Ato Bentsi-Enchill ’17, the winner of the 2014 Stu Lieblein ’90 Pitch Contest at Hobart and William Smith, was recently named winner of the 2014 StartUpAfrica’s Idea Generation competition. At both Idea Generation and the Pitch, Bentsi-Enchill landed top honors for his business idea, RevisionPrep, an online educational service that combines exam preparation with gaming programs for students in Ghana.
The Idea Generation contest was held during the 2014 StartUpAfrica’s Business & Entrepreneurship Conference in Delaware during the fall semester. Centered on the theme of “Investing in Sustainable Success,” the StartUpAfrica conference and contest built upon its mission to support young adults as they enhance their business skills and work toward fostering financial independence, creating jobs and growing African economies. Bentsi-Enchill attended the conference with his business partner, Ike Kyei, a student at MIT.
“I am excited about this second win,” says Bentsi-Enchill, who was the first first-year student in the history of The Pitch to not only win the finals, but also to compete in the competition. “This fall semester has been tough with handling schoolwork and the running of this business, which is in its pilot phase. But I am glad we are reaping the benefits of our hard work.”
RevisionPrep is an alternative to traditional exam preparation in Ghana, where ninth-grade students take the Basic Education Certificate Examination, a standardized test that’s required to get into high school. Test results can determine which school a student will attend. RevisionPrep uses gamification to engage students in the learning process, boosting critical thinking, creative problem-solving and analysis.
“Working with Ike is a fun experience because we grew up together and know each other very well,” Bentsi-Enchill says. “We work in a very unique way and our inputs into RevisionPrep produce exciting results which help the company move forward.”
StartUpAfrica CEO Erastus Mong’are says the RevisionPrep team is persistent and detail-oriented, giving them an edge for success.
“The StartUpAfrica’s Idea competition is designed to challenge participants to think about problems and opportunities facing society and come up with business solutions to solve them,” Mong’are says. “RevisionPrep exemplifies this objective and I believe there is massive potential for it.”
At the Idea Generation competition, the panel of judges were Director of the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware Dan Freeman and John Currie, principal and founder of Iterate Ventures, an accelerator for emerging technologies and ventures.
“I like RevisionPrep the best for several reasons,” says John Currie, who has previously been involved in startup development. “First, they picked a very big problem: Improving education, standardized testing, and overall score improvement are huge problems. It’s one that everyone can get behind. Next, they were the best presenters, and the practicing showed through. And thirdly, I like the go-to-market strategy. Selecting one country to launch, get traction there, and expand into others. The fact they pointed out two existing competitors tells me there’s a real market. I hope the team makes this venture a priority and a full-time commitment.”