KNUST’s Mathias Charles Yabe Wins 2021 OpEx Prize

Mathias Charles Yabe

Mathias Charles Yabe, a third-year Communication Design student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has been adjudged winner of the OpEx Prize 2021.

The OpEx Prize is a competition that aims at unleashing Ghana’s tech potential by unearthing and sponsoring young Ghanaian tech entrepreneurs who are using technology and have a sustainable business model which could be scaled.

This Prize is a collaboration with Dalex Finance and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (INSTI)/Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC). The OpEx Prize Competition covers the thematic areas of Finance, Agriculture, Health, and Education with the objective to give young Ghanaians between the ages of 18 and 35 the opportunity to leverage technology for wealth creation.

Mathias Charles Yabe

After a series of elimination rounds, a final pitch and interview session, and with over 130 applicants all across Ghana, Yabe was selected among the joint winners of the maiden edition of the OpEx Prize competition.

As a winner, he will receive a cash prize of GH¢10,000 as well as mentorship, coaching and training during a six months incubation period. He will undergo a week-long training exercise to orient and impact the necessary skills and knowledge. He will also receive a 6-month MAKERSPACE from the Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (INSTI) which will serve as the Incubating Centre providing world-class facilities and a conducive environment with experts to support his startup, AkoFresh.

AkoFresh is a Green Cold Chain Enterprise offering farmers practical and affordable preservation services to put an end to post-harvest losses with Ghana as a pilot country. Yabe started AkoFresh with his co-founders Arina Machine and Dhruvika Sosa from Finland and India respectively.

Earlier this year, Yabe and his team were adjudged winners of the second edition of the Fishbowl Challenge, a product and business planning competition that brings college students from around the world together to solve the world’s most complex social and environmental problems.

Mathias Charles Yabe presenting his pitch

According to Yabe, work on the Akofresh project has begun and it would be launched in September 2021.

“My team and I have started the project this month. We are doing the necessary paperwork, product development, shipment of materials and other logistics within the next four months. We are hoping to launch the project in Afrancho, our pilot community, in September 2021,” he told Kuulpeeps.

Yabe is a member of the KNUST chapter of Enactus – an international organisation dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. He is the Vice-President of Technology of the association.

In 2019 he was selected to join the Millennium fellowship class which is an initiative of the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network (MCN). He is also a 2021 Jim Leech MasterCard Fellow.


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