On the last Saturday in October, I attended BUILDFest by My African Corner and it was one for the books! It was an immersive learning and networking event designed for entrepreneurs and professionals. The event space was beautiful, the host Tosan Martey was fantastic and kept the audience engaged and there was a complimentary coat check (one of my favourite things).
I have never been to an event where the description so aptly matched the experience. I give this event 5 stars + a 6th that says, “Trust the Hype”. This conference does not come cheap but I can tell you confidently it is well worth every cent you pay. The KScope has discounts and occasionally gives away free tickets too so keep an eye out. This event packed a punch and I could write pages upon pages but I’ll spare you and only share my highlights.
Karlyn Percil-Merciaca’s session titled Elephant Stories left with the feeling that I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Karlyn says,
“If your dreams match your [skill level or bank account] then you need to upgrade your dream”.
That one really stuck with me. Your dreams should stretch you and leave you feeling a little uncomfortable. In that space of discomfort comes the real growth. In order to BUILD, Karlyn says:
B – Beleive in yourself
U – Unlearn behaviours that no longer serve you and your dream
I – Invest in your Emotional Intelligence and growth mindset, upgrade, reskill and keep learning
L – Learn, Lead and Live. Don’t build in isolation
D – Deliver imperfectly, done is better than perfect
Next up was a crash course in Design Thinking and Ideation hosted by Gbemi Akande, Sefunmi Osinaike and Nouhaila Chelkhaoui. My personal favourite was the concept of producing the minimum viable product first. When starting a business or working on a passion project most people want to deploy the very best version with all the bells and whistles. Sefunmi says:
- Build the bare necessities
- Improve based on feedback
- Release updated version
- Repeat steps 3-4, as necessary
To really drill in the teachings, we had a hands-on session. We got to use design thinking tools like dot voting and crazy 8’s to come up with a pitch for an enriching Afro-Caribbean food experience. I worked with a group with five other super dope people and we came up with this wicked plan. Watch this space, I just might be writing about the launch of my restaurant soon.
After an enriching morning, we broke for lunch (food courtesy of Chef Abi) and I attended one of the two breakout sessions by Chivon John on Hustling with Intention. Chivon shared so many quotables:
“Secure yourself before you secure the bag”
“Don’t forget to pay R.E.N.T – rest, exercise, nutrition and thoughts”
When times get tough, Chivon says find your non-negotiable and schedule it in whether it be the gym or good sleep.
There were several other sessions including a rapid-fire session with awe-inspiring melanin queens. As much as I would love to, I can’t possibly write about all of it but I encourage you to check out my live coverage on @thekscope on Twitter with #BuildFest. I won a book at the event for this coverage so you WANT to check it out 🙂
Kudos to My African Corner for a successful, enriching experience. KScope will definitely be attending next year and we look forward to seeing you there!