It was the last day of ReadySetWork 2.0 and the atmosphere was so charged, students as well as the selfless RSW faculty were obviously excited to wrap up the 13 week cycle. No doubt it was a day of mixed feelings – the joy of ending the rigorous weekly routine mixed with the reality of missing new friendships made during the programme. ReadySetWork 2.0 has not only been educative, it has also been a journey of self discovery for both students and facilitators as well. Many of the students say they have discovered skills and potentials they didn’t know they possessed.
However, the energy in the Main auditorium of Lagos State University, Ojo was not just the excitement of the end of RSW 2.0, it was the grand finale of the RSW Business Pitch Competition. 23 teams were fired up to pitch their business ideas to the panel of investors. The audience were ready to cheer their favourite teams on, the Pitch coaches in the RSW faculty were giving their teams final preps and pep talks, while the project team members made sure all was in place for a successful event. The panel of judges were seated and as expected tension was high.
The panelists included the Honourable Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Wale Oluwo; Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun; Managing Director of ARM Group, Jumoke Ogundare; Permanent Secretary in the Office of Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr. Shamsudeen Allison; Provost of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, Dr. Ladele Aina and Mr. Aderemi Atanda from SystemSpec.
Also at the event were the Biogas Team – Sarumi Oluwafemi and Dada Samuel, winners of the first RSW Business Pitch Competition 2016 to encourage the contestants. They told the students not to take the opportunity lightly but give it their best shot. “Believe in yourself and believe in your business ideas even if nobody thinks the business will be viable. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will” they said.
I was time for the main activity – The Pitch – one after the other, different teams mounted the stage to woo the panel as well as the audience with their business pitches and to field questions from the judges. It was different shades of oratory presentations with the teams showing off their physical products and services as props to convince everyone that they are worth the investment. The audiences were thrilled and the panellists impressed too as they interrogated and graded each group.
During the breaks from the back to back pitches, we had the RSW Global Challenge Finals. This is the component of ReadySetWork aimed at inciting RSW participant to be more aware of current affairs and global events. Teams representing each RSW centre (LASU, LASPOTECH and UNILAG) picked questions from a pull and had to proffer the correct answer within a stipulated time. Though LASPOTECH team came out tops in the first round, the table turned in the second round and there was a tie between UNILAG & LASU. Eventually Team LASU emerged as winners of the RSW Global Challenge 2017.
The day eventually wrapped up with a burst of excitement, dance and exchange of last hugs after a long stretch 13 weeks of hard work, commitment and sacrifice from all stakeholders.
Winners of the Pitch Competition as well as students who have been selected for internship or apprenticeship positions by partner organizations and SMEs will be announced at the RSW Graduation Ceremony scheduled to hold on Tuesday October 17, 2017.
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