Who is Isaac Sesi?
I am an entrepreneur and an engineer passionate about global, fundamental problems affecting the developing world using science and technology and inspiring other young people to do same.
I lead the team Sesi Technologies where we are developing affordable tech solutions to solve some of the biggest problems in the food value chain.
My story, my journey and how I got here…
I grew up in Accra like a regular Ghanaian kid. Everything was fine till I was 11. My dad lost his job and we had to move from Accra to Kasoa in the Central region. Things were very tough and I often had to go to school on an empty stomach.
My family had a phone at the time so during weekends, while my friends were in school, I went round asking neighbours if they’d make phone calls for a fee.
Sometimes business was great. Sometimes it wasn’t, but the joy of being paid for a service rendered was wonderful and that was when entrepreneurship really got into me.
I noticed that the kids in my neighbourhood liked groundnut cakes so I asked my mum to teach me how to make them. During the week, I saved my pocket money and on Saturdays, bought groundnut and sugar and made groundnut cakes for sale.
It turned out to be a very profitable venture and I shared part of the proceeds with my family and used the rest to buy books and other necessities for school.
In high school, (Mfantsipim School) things got tough again and I became a real hustler; doing whatever I could to make ends meet.
I studied technical drawing as one of my elective subjects. We used to draw on A3 sheets so I realized I could sell A3 sheets to all technical drawing students in the school and make a lot of money, so I did just that!
I sold about 300 sheets weekly for 2 years and made enough profit to feed myself and take care of other school necessities. I was 16 years at the time.
My first real ‘company’, which we called Macrovisions started back in high school. My friend, Nehemiah, saw this ad in a newspaper where we could get flash drives and external hard disks to buy for very cheap. So we decided to buy and resell them to our mates in school. Flash drives and external hard drives were in high demand among students at the time.
We printed flyers and posters and asked our friends to order their flash drives and external hard drives through us. We made a whole big deal out of it!
After getting a sizeable order (we made sure they paid for the orders first) I travelled from Cape Coast to Accra (against the school rules), bought the drives and came back to school to distribute. Sometimes the journeys took 8 hours or more and I often got back to school after midnight.
The profits we were making was so much that I didn’t mind travelling every week to Accra.
I was also science club vice president in 3rd year and the science club had a big TV so occasionally, my friends and I got a few science fiction movies, and advertised film shows and sold movie tickets. We made some money in the process!
In 2012 I got into Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to study Electrical/Electronic Engineering but I quickly got disinterested in school because school had almost been reduced to cramming course content and regurgitating them during exams….but I wanted more than that.
So I decided to give myself some real education outside the classroom. I read voraciously, took a lot of online courses, learnt more electronics, web design and software development and read pretty much everything I saw online related to business. I applied all of what I have learned online to start my first business and I haven’t looked back since!
Fast forward >>
All of these experiences groomed me to become what I am today.
In 2014, I set up and registered Invent Electronics Ltd, and in 2015 I co-founded Wires & Byte with 3 other friends. In 2016 I co-founded my 2EB Media with 3 other friends. In 2018, I founded Sesi Technologies, which is what I am doing most of the time now.
Altogether, my startups have won more than 10 international awards. I have been featured by the MIT Technology Review, Spore Magazine, Feed the Future, Royal Academy of Engineering, Citi Business News, Disrupt Africa among others. I have spoken at international events and in universities in the United States and in Ghana including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Eastern Connecticut State University.
I have had the opportunity to showcase my work to several heads of states including the president and vice president of Ghana, the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel and Prince Charles of Wales.
I was recently named as one of 50 most influential young Ghanaians in Science and Technology for 2018.
Other Stuff I’m doing
I am very passionate STEM and together with my friends, we run Nsesa Foundation, a non profit whose vision is to spur an “Innovation Revolution” in Ghana by equipping young people with skills in STEM and we run several projects every year aimed at achieving that vision
Outside of work, I love playing the piano, coding, writing on this blog and taking pictures of nature and wildlife.
It’s been a thrilling journey so far and I am committed to continuing to develop technology solutions to big problems on the globe and enjoy life as it comes.
I will continue to inspire young people to be innovative and solve problems too.
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