RENEW Strategies

RENEW Facilitates a Pitch Event in Nairobi

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Justin Reesor
| January 8, 2019

During the last week of November, the governments of Kenya, Canada and Japan came together to host the 2018 Sustainable Blue Economy Conference at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi. The forum gathered entrepreneurs, delegates and policy leaders from across the globe to advance the discussion around the Blue Economy which consists of two main pillars: 1) sustainability, climate change and controlling pollution, and 2) production, accelerated economic growth, jobs and poverty alleviation.

The event provided a setting for NGOs, governments, and the private sector to converge and work towards sustainability. As Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries put it, “The blue economy framework that has been talked about here allows us to integrate conversations that have been happening almost in silos. So issues around sustainable fisheries management, issues around illegal and unregulated fishing. Issues around plastics pollutions in the oceans, issues around climate change, and issues around economic opportunities and prosperity.” (Source:

RENEW was honored to play a special role in the event by facilitating an entrepreneur/investor pitch session during the Business and Private Sector Forum on day two of the conference. For this event, four impressive entrepreneurs with businesses and products related to water and oceans preservation and sustainability pitched their businesses to a panel of seasoned venture capitalists including RENEW’s CEO, Matthew Davis, alongside Sunir Chandaria of Conros Corporation and Ladé Araba of Convergence Finance.

At stake for the entrepreneurs was not funding, but rather real business and growth advice to help scale their ventures and create positive social impact by helping advance the UN’s sustainable development goals. The session was also meant to create a buzz at the conference and demonstrate the real conversations that happen every day between entrepreneurs and investors. Playing off of the format of popular TV shows such as Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, the pitch event added an exciting and authentic component to the conference that hopefully inspired those in attendance to engage the private sector on conversations around international development.

A full recording of the event is available for viewing on YouTube.

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