Warning: session_start(): Cannot start session when headers already sent in /home/datavyaj/mcdanchallenge.com/jury.php on line 68

The Jury


Dr Daniel “McDan” McKorley

Chairman

Profile

Interview


Simon R Turner

Judge

Profile

Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Nam nec ante. Sed lacinia, urna non tincidunt mattis, tortor neque adipiscing diam, a cursus.

Interview

  • What attracted you to being a Judge on the show?
    • Apart from being able to contribute to growing something new, the great team and commitment behind it, I love that we’re more than just a show. We’re building an entire eco-system around the show.



  • What experience do you bring to the show?
    • As well as having founded a number of companies overseas, in Ghana I’ve worked with several hundred entrepreneurs and businesses. I’ve also watched thousands of pitches at Demo Days (particularly after being involved with MEC). Lastly, I’m genuinely passionate about helping entrepreneurs on their journey.



  • What did you most enjoy about being on the show?
    • Being able to pay it forward. This type of support and opportunity simply wasn’t around when I launched my first businesses.

    • The behind the scenes component as much as being on the show. We have a great team and crew, and great bond.

    • Of course, it’s also exciting to be able genuinely help so many entrepreneurs on their journey.



  • What does the audience not see that you’d like them to know?
    • The judges are genuinely helpful and constructive. After the editing, on screen the audience may only see about 5 min for each entrepreneur to pitch, but for many we’d spend close to an hour sometimes filming them.



  • What makes you different to the other judges?
    • Other than the fact I’m not Ghanaian (yet) but a white Australian? In terms of the show, I tend to be the most blunt, pull the strangest faces, and as I become more and more impatient it’s because I’m getting hungry. 12 hours on set does that to me.



  • What are you looking for in a pitch?
    • Entrepreneurs should always be able to back up what they’re stating with data or evidence. Research is key!

    • To be enthralled and excited by the entrepreneurs themselves as much as the product/service.

    • A clear solution to a clearly defined problem.

    • Innovation and creativity.



  • Having seen so many pitches, what’s a common trend that frustrates you?
    • Lack of preparedness.

    • Stating that $100,000 is required for the business which is conveniently the prize money.

    • When people “MSU” (Make s*it up!) or guess. If you don’t know the answer to something, it’s ok to say so.

    • When entrepreneurs have a fraction of the local market but say they’re going to go global (or “UK, USA” is a common phrase) within a couple of years. Build and solidify your position in Ghana first.

    • Solving one problem but creating another (eg. using single-use plastics in packaging!)



  • What are you looking forward to with Season 2?
    • Entrepreneurs having learned from season 1, and being even better.

    • Having even more exciting businesses, solving big problems

    • The behind-the-scenes filming we’ll be broadcasting

    • Seeing the fruits of the Startup Club paying dividends

    • Season 1 All Stars mentoring the contestants



  • What do you hope to see more of in Season 2?
    • More ladies taking part. We’ve been a bit male-centric



  • What are 5 pieces of advice you’d give to budding entrepreneurs? In terms of being an entrepreneur in general:
    • Always start with “why?”

    • Do your homework

    • Know when to listen to others and when to be bloody minded, ignore everyone and listen to your instinct.

    • Choose your Co-Founders wisely

    • Look after your mental health. It can be a lonely experience being an entrepreneur. It’s “tough at the top” as they say.



  • What’s McDan like?
    • As the only judge who hadn’t met him prior to the show, I was really pleased to be so welcomed into the McDan family. He’s very genuine and straightforward. He’s also very philanthropic and loves to give back. He has a very inspiring story and he’s doing the show to pay it forward, and open up opportunities for others. He also loves aviation and tennis…as do I!



  • What gives you hope for the next generation of Ghana’s entrepreneurs?
    • Ghana, and Accra as a hub, is increasingly becoming a highly credible location for startups and doing business in Africa.

    • Ghanaian’s are as creative and capable as anyone, anywhere.

    • Ghanaian’s are natural born hustlers…that’s essential for any entrepreneur.



  • Tell us something about behind-the-scenes
    • It’s hot! The A/C has to be turned off during film because it’s so noisy.



  • Closing comment…
    • I’m going to be much tougher on Season 2 contestants!




Leonora Appiah

Judge

Profile

Leonora Appiah is a seasoned Project and Operations Management Expert with a wide range of project portfolios and managerial roles in the inspection, logistics, agribusiness, and production space. Her knowledge and operational experience (processes and procedures) in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a fifteen-year managerial role in the verification business and project management cut her to fit into the capacity as the Executive Director, a position she currently holds at the McDan Group of Companies

Interview

  • What attracted you to being a Judge on the show?
    • I have always had the desire to impact positively and empower young people, therefore, the invitation to become a judge on the show was a welcomed initiative as it was in line with my personal goal.



  • What experience do you bring to the show?
    • Sustainability is a very important concept in our world today and the business environment is no different. I hope to bring my experience from multinational companies to bear by drawing the attention of candidates to the need to adopt sustainable practices as entrepreneurs that will ensure customer and employee satisfaction.



  • What did you most enjoy about being on the show?
    • I couldn’t have had the privilege to be on any other show but the McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge. Ghana indeed has a future, considering the depth of ideas that I am privileged to hear from these young vibrant up and coming entrepreneurs. Their enthusiasm and passion is so infectious; as a matter of fact, I always look forward to subsequent sessions.



  • What’s it like being the only female judge?
    • Apart from the gender balance, it is exciting as well as normal for me to be the only female among males. It always challenges me not be feel less but step up my game to rub shoulders with them. Irrespective of my gender or age, they respect and value my views and contribution to issues. It’s a great team to be a part of, we learn from each other.



  • What makes you different to the other judges?
    • Like I mentioned initially my experience from working with multinational companies has equipped me with the capability to analyse situations and concepts in its entirety to offer holistic and proactive solutions and perspectives to getting things done.



  • What are you looking for in a pitch?
    • It should must have a clear vision and attractive, viable (indicating profitability and return on investment). It should be solving an identified problem.



  • What do you hope to see more of in Season 2?
    • More businesses that could be scaled up to the multinational level.



  • What are 3 pieces of advice you’d give to budding entrepreneurs?
    • Exhibit high sense of professionalism by delivering on their promises.

    • Although they must not be afraid of taking risks. Risks must be taken after detailed research and analysis have been done as well as the courage to make mistakes and learn from past mistakes.

    • Human Resource is a very important element in all business endeavours therefore it is important for a budding entrepreneur to develop people management skills to manage both internal and external customers.



  • What’s McDan like?
    • McDan is a great place to work for individuals who feel highly motivated to achieve more as it creates an enabling environment due to management support to staff empowerment.

    • Dr. McKorley is a very ambitious and determined person who motivates his employees to become excellent at what they do by always encouraging them to think creatively. He does not take no for answer; you don’t just report problems to him but suggestions to solving the problems as well.



  • What gives you hope for the next generation of Ghana’s entrepreneurs?
    • Their desire and ambition to make a difference in their societies by taking the initiative to create and innovative ideas that will liberate them economically and create employment opportunities for others. This will reduce their over-reliance on government thus leading to a reduction in the rate of unemployment.



  • Closing comment…
    • In as much as capital in the form of money is important for building a company, young entrepreneurs stand to gain a lot in forming strategic partnership with other entrepreneurs. This will can enable them to pool their funds together, also they will also benefit from the synergy that such a partnership will create (technological, managerial, etc.)




Percy Amoo-Yanky

Judge

Profile

Interview