Nectalab, ping ghetto, Akosua Osem Frimpong, The story behind Nectalab
Akosua Osem Frimpong

‘My passion for IT took me to the north to train young people’: The story behind Nectalab

We present to you Akosua Osem Frimpong, Founder of Nectalab, one person who is working so hard to help change the world. Steve Jobs once said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”.

That is actually true and one person who is living up to this saying is Akosua Osem Frimpong. Read on!

Akosua Osem Frimpong spent most of her early years in the southern parts of the country, between Takoradi and Tema. Akosua Osem Frimpong’s junior high and senior high school years were all spent in Takoradi, after which she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Regent University in Accra.

Akosua Osem Frimpong said growing up as an introvert, computers became her friends. She played with them and tried to understand how they function.

This desire to learn more about technology influenced her decision to pursue computer science and also take courses on hardware, networking and training in the use of Microsoft products.

Akosua Osem Frimpong currently has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Regent University in Accra. Her initial aim was to manage her parent’s real estate business, but things changed after she made a trip around the country.

Her quest to impact society with her knowledge made her visit various regions in the country after her tertiary education to see where her services would be most needed.

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Akosua Osem Frimpong has been passionate about relaying her knowledge in technology to other young people, especially girls, given the era the world is moving into.

“I wanted to start a hub but I did not know where would be appropriate, so I decided to travel from one region to another till I got to Upper West. Mostly, when I get to the regions I attend events to interact with the people. There was a Django Girls event taking place in Wa, so I signed up and travelled to attend.

“There, I got to know that most young people want to learn about technology and its related activities but have few centres. I thought it wise to bring the technology hub there because they were willing and eager to learn, plus I have always wanted to set up an information technology (IT) hub to change the narrative of girls not belonging to the tech space. Greater Accra, where I currently live, is not an option because it is choked with a lot of tech activities. And that is how Nectalab started in 2018,” she said.

Nectalab, ping ghetto, Akosua Osem Frimpong, The story behind Nectalab
Akosua Osem Frimpong, founder of Nectalab

Nectalab

Nectalab is an innovation and incubation hub, and a software company for businesses in the Upper West Region that is focused on innovations, training and development.

It is also a technology-focused business that creates products and services for clients while training and supporting the youth to gain the 21st-century digital skills required to empower leaders of the future.

It works with inspired people to deliver life-changing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education that enriches lives and transforms organisations.

Nectalab’s mission is to create an inclusive and accessible community for tech enthusiasts to learn, play and build together while creating value to make a difference.

Its vision is to enable and empower an ecosystem hungry for innovation, and to be a successful technology company trusted by its clients for service excellence, caring for its employees, and collaborating with clients to deliver innovative and value-driven ICT products and services

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Nectalab currently has over 100 volunteers and over 200 trainees who have become change agents in the Upper West Region – an effort to bridge the technology gap.

“We believe that young people have the power to change the world. Nectalab empowers young social entrepreneurs with the resources they need to make a difference.

“Thus, soft skills development, mentorship, networking, and use of hub space facilities. Nectalab makes them investor-ready and helps with resources to grow their business,” she said.

Nectalab supports high-potential startups to successfully scale globally. They help other start-ups to navigate a new market, set priorities, develop a go-to-market strategy, and quickly reach their goals.

Their programmes are highly customised to individuals’ needs to help them enter the international markets and succeed quickly.

“For STEM Training, we provide a space to think creatively, build confidence, apply knowledge to solve real problems, and embrace the role of trial and error in the educational process by focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she noted.

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How unique is Nectalab?

“What makes us unique is that we are not looking at numbers but the impact. I have done a few pieces of research that revealed a lot more of the information technology training hubs concentrate a lot on the number of people they enrol without necessarily looking at the impact they make at the end of the day; but for us, the impact is what interest us.

“If it’s a week of training and the training is unable to grasp everything within the set time, we extend it so they get basic knowledge before they move forward. We look forward to progress,” she said.

Vision

In five years, time Nectalab intends to help a lot of younger people, empowering young girls to be technologically inclined and other start-ups being enabled to stay relevant.

Nectalab has plans to extend its services to other parts of the country to bridge the technology gap.

As part of its vision, it also hopes to fully put into use its new product called Medoc – a mobile app that connects health patients with doctors to ensure timely and easy access to healthcare.

“I participated in another event, a Mobile App Hackathon that was also held in Wa. That was where I met my co-founder, Samuel Tengan. We won the regional competition and had to come to Accra for a national competition.

“We both had an interest in building a health tech-related product, which has now become one of the products of Nectalab called Medoc; a mobile app that connects health patients to doctors,” she noted.

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Challenges

Funding is always a challenge for startups. Given that those they train do not pay the full cost of training projects they organise, sometimes it becomes difficult for the startup company to finance projects. Hence, she is ready to welcome any investment or partnership for the project.

Again, Akosua Osem Frimpong said, being a female in the tech space is at times challenging – not because she is not up to the task but because society, until now, assumes it is not a space for girls.

This has however shaped the mindsets of young people to an extent that some, upon seeing her at a training session, tell her they thought their teacher was going to be a male.

Breaking the ‘pink ghetto’ mindset

“One thing I have come to realise is that, in a lot of cases, even though women are being encouraged to pursue technology, they are not being corrected as much. I think girls need to stand up now, get things done, and face technology squarely.

“We need to work hard and challenge other ladies around us to push harder. Most males will tell ladies what they are doing well and leave the bad. For every lady reading this, my advice is that you get to find out what you are doing wrong in technology and work to correct it so that you are as good as anyone.”

How government can support start-ups

Speaking on how government can support start-ups, she said a trend she has realised is that governments tend to support people or businesses it knows: hence, efforts must be made to extend support to other start-ups beyond their circles, especially in this dispensation when entrepreneurship is key to curbing the increasing unemployment rate.

She added that government must be circumspect with policy decisions so it does not hinder the activities of the start-ups and their entrepreneurial drive.

“I feel the government is funding people it finds in its circle or they already know, rather than do research to support other start-ups [like Nectalab]. So government must do well to support people beyond those they know,” she said.

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Sponsorship

Akosua said those who want to support her project can do so by donating information technology devices like laptops, desktop computers and others to help teach the youngsters.

Advice for prospective entrepreneurs

“No matter what people say, believe in yourself. Do not always listen to people and fail to pursue your goals. You might fail sometimes, but just make sure you are not quitting. Failure is also a lesson, so rise up, push forward and work hard. You can achieve that goal,” she said.

Contact Details

Phone number: 0555870603

Instagram: Instagram.com/maamefrimpong

Twitter: twitter.com/aqosuwafrimpong

The Choice Press
thechoicepress.com is an online news portal that seeks to project what the gallant small-scale farmers in Africa are doing. We basically report on everything that has to do with agriculture and agribusiness, especially in Ghana.
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