About Isaac Sesi
My name is Isaac Sesi. I am an entrepreneur and innovator recognized by the MIT Technology Review as one of the world’s top innovators under 35.
I lead teams of passionate change-makers building the next generation of technologies to lift the most vulnerable Africans out of poverty.
By sharing insights and experiences I am gathering along my personal journey, I hope to inspire the next generation of change-makers as they go along their own journeys as well.
I grew up in Accra, Ghana. I was the first of several kids. I grew up like a regular Ghanaian kid until I was 11. Then my dad lost his job.
Things got tough real quick and I went to bed hungry quite regularly.
At 11, I suddenly found myself in a situation where I had to contribute to helping the family generate income for basic necessities like food.
I took up the challenge.
My first business was making and selling homemade snacks to neighbourhood kids.
My second business was running a communication centre where people would make calls and pay by the minute.
High School – Mfantsipim School
In high school, I run a drawing sheet business where I retailed drawing sheets to technical drawing students.
One day in high school, my friend, Nehemiah, found an ad in a newspaper where we could get flash drives and external hard disks to buy for really cheap (by 2009 standards).
Flash drives and hard disks were in demand back then. So we decided to buy them and resell to our mates in school.
We printed posters and took pre-orders. We financed the first batch of inventory through monies we collected from pre-orders.
We retailed at high margins without committing any money ourselves.
After the first few sales, people heard about us. We got more orders. We were in business. We decided we needed a name. After a bit of brainstorming, we settled on the name Macrovisions.
We run Macrovisions throughout high school and, let’s just say we were successful enough that I was able to take care of a large part of my feeding, books, upkeep and several other high school expenses from the income I made.
The hardships I had to endure growing up and the joy I found in solving problems for profit birthed in me a strong passion to start my own company.
Before I left high school, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur.
University – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
After taking a gap year to teach in an elementary school to save money for university, I got accepted to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 2012.
At this point, I was quite good at electronics, having built the skill in high school and built experience by working on several projects with my friend, George.
From my first year, I started providing consulting for students working on electronics projects.
As an engineering student, I discovered how difficult it was to source electronic components for our projects so in my 3rd year I founded Invent Electronics
My Professional Life
2014 – Invent Electronics
Invent Electronics made it possible for anyone to order electronics components, pay online and have their order delivered to their doorstep – something remarkable at the time giving that online payment in Ghana was quite new at the time.
After my frustrations trying to get someone to build the website, I learnt how to code and I built the first website(which looked like crap back then).
Invent Electronics went on to win the KNUST Business Development Challenge in 2015.
Invent Electronics remained one of the top online electronics components retail companies in Ghana until 2021 when we decided to shut down due to COVID-19.
2015 – Wires & Bytes
In 2015, myself, my roommate, Peter, and two of our friends founded Wires & Bytes, a software development company.
Our flagship app, Pasco, made it easy for students in our university to access past questions and answers on their phones.
Pasco experienced some early success and in 2017, we won the Gold Prize in the Education category of the MTN Apps Challenge 4.0
After school, however, we all decided to pursue different career paths and we figured it was best to shut down Wires & Bytes but continue to work on Pasco as a hobby.
2016 – 2eweboys.com
In 2016, 2 friends (Michael, Leslie) and I came together to put our writing passion to good use.
We founded 2eweboys.com, a creative writing platform.
In the same year, we won the Ghana Blogging and Social Media Award for the Best New Blog Category.
After 5 years of running the platform, putting together events for the creative writing community and inspiring scores of new writers, we decided to say goodbye to 2eweboys.com to focus on other things in our individual lives.
2017 to 2021 – Sesi Technologies
In 2017, I led a team as a research engineer at the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems engineering to locally assemble a grain moisture meter as part of a USAID funded research project.
Our work was successful and my supervisors encouraged me to start a company to commercialize the meter. In 2018, Sesi Technologies and GrainMate were born.
Since then, I have grown to become very passionate about developing innovative solutions to solve pressing challenges within the world’s food systems, with a focus on Africa.
Through Sesi Technologies, I am working to create and live in a world where poverty and hunger do not exist.
2022 and beyond
In late 2021, I made the most profound career change of my life. It was a change that involved several weeks of prayerful reflection, seeking the counsel of the most important people in my life and embracing uncertainty.
More importantly, however, it’s a change that gives me the opportunity to impact more lives at a much bigger scale through technology, riding on the shoulders of giants that have gone before me.
I look forward to writing more about this in a future blog post.
I have received considerable international recognition for my work and startups I have founded have won more than 10 international awards.
I have been named one of the worlds top innovators under the age of 35 by the MIT Technology Review and I have been featured by several publications including Spore Magazine, Feed the Future, Royal Academy of Engineering, Citi Business News, Feed The Future, Humans of New York, Disrupt Africa among others.
As an international speaker, I have addressed hundreds of students, researchers and professors in several leading universities across the world including at MIT, University of Florida, Yale University, Technical University of Munich, among others.
My work has been seen by many prominent people including the president and vice president of Ghana, Angela Merkel (former chancellor of Germany) and Prince Charles of Wales.
My Passion for STEM
I am very passionate about helping young Africans develop skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
My friends and founded Nsesa Foundation, in 2014 to spur an “Innovation Revolution“ in Africa by equipping young people with skills in STEM and we run 3 projects every year aimed at achieving that vision.
Over 1000 young Africans have participated in our projects with many of them receiving full scholarships from us.
Our STEM WOW stories, which celebrates women achieving remarkable feats in the field of STEM have reached over 300,000 people globally.
I currently live and work in several cities across West Africa, including Kumasi, Accra and Abidjan, depending on what I am working on at the time. In my free time, I love playing the piano, working on engineering projects and creating content.
What About You?
Maybe you are an upcoming entrepreneur or innovator or you’re just passionate about getting to your next level.
You are inspired by my story and you’re wondering “How do I get here too?”
That’s a good question. Everyone’s journey is different, so while I don’t have the answer to that question, if there’s anything I want you to take away from my story, it is the following: that no matter your circumstances and the challenges you face, there’s nothing that cannot be turned around for your good.
Meanwhile, here’s how I can help:
While I am incredibly busy nowadays and currently unable to commit time to personal mentoring, I am happy to answer straight to the point, specific questions if you send me a message on twitter.
Thirdly, follow my journey on LinkedIn, as I post quite regularly there.
Whatever your dreams are, they can become your reality. No matter where you are now, it is not too late to chase those dreams.
You can start today!
“Whatever your dreams are, they can become your reality. Wherever you are now, it is not too late to chase those dreams”.