Class of 2021
When he was 11 years old and his father lost his job, Isaac Sesi developed an entrepreneurial spirit to keep his family from facing hunger. He hawked homemade snacks and resold flash drives and hard discs to his friends in school to pay for food, books and other essentials. Just over a decade later, after completing a degree in electrical and electronic engineering, he led a team as a research engineer at the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering to assemble a grain moisture metre. The project set the foundations for the creation of Sesi Technologies, a company that develops hardware and software solutions for farmers and agribusinesses across Africa.
A natural-born thinker with a passion for electronics, Isaac used his skills to empower African farmers with affordable technologies, hoping they would never find themselves in the same predicament he faced as a child. Sesi Technologies’s main product, GrainMate, is a grain moisture metre that makes it easy to accurately determine the moisture content of harvested grains before storage to help reduce post-harvest losses. It sells for $85, a fraction of the cost of comparable devices and, as his company begins to produce at scale, Isaac hopes to further reduce the price.
Using the hardship he endured to help others, Isaac has also created a non-profit foundation to equip young people with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “Through Sesi Technologies, I am working to create and live in a world where poverty and hunger do not exist,” he says.
“We hope that by pioneering agritech hardware technology development in Africa, many other bold entrepreneurs with amazing ideas will take the plunge and begin to turn their ideas into solutions for the benefit of the continent's farmers.” – Isaac Sesi