Get equipped for exponential growth

Unlock your business's
full potential

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✓ Access Experienced Advisors
✓ Develop Your Leadership Team
✓ Become Investor Ready


As a growing business owner, your company is becoming more complex. You need someone to dive into your business strategies with you. Ascent brings high-quality advisors and mentors alongside you and your leadership team with a structured team-based approach. We will help you identify trouble spots and key growth opportunities so you can 2X, 3X, even 10X your revenue.

Do you lead a growth-stage business?

·     Do you have annual revenues exceeding 30M KES?
·     Do you have a leadership team of at least 3-4 people?
·     Is your market growing?
·     Are you ready to 2x your business (or more)?

Yet you struggle with:

·     Retaining or affording the right talent
·     Accessing the capital needed to level-up your business
·     A chaotic environment where you’re constantly putting out fires
·     Feeling like everything depends on you

Start running your business instead of letting it run you

Connect with Investors

Not only will you be trained in what investors are looking for, but you will engage with our network of investors from day one

Strengthen Your Team

We work directly with you and your leadership team on your company's growth challenges and opportunities

Engage with Peers

Interaction is designed to sharpen ideas and provide constructive feedback within a community of other business leaders

“Ascent has been the best investment we’ve ever made as a company. We are now able to chart a pathway to bridge the gap between our current reality and envisioned future.”

- Nelson Ashitiva | Founder & CEO, Ashitiva Advocates

Think of us as your personal business ninjas.

Be supported by a team that has scaled businesses ranging from $5-200M USD across multiple stages. Our team has a depth of experience in the East African market as well as a passion for helping founders grow personally and professionally. We want to see founders and businesses thrive and experience strong growth while also striving with purpose, being grounded in one’s faith and values, and working as agents of transformation within the community.

Ray Barreth

Ray Barreth is a serial entrepreneur and has 35 yearsʼ experience creating, directing, and leading SME ventures in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. As a serial entrepreneur, Ray has launched six companies from product inception to scale. His companies ranged in size from $40M exceeding $100M U.S. in revenue. Ray coached entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and the Silicon Prairie, in the Kansas City Start-Up Village. Ray hasbeen training, coaching, and growing African companies through his Venture Village (V2) GROWTH Lab which operates in Zambia and Nigeria.

Martin Kibisu

Martin is a seasoned business and organizational strategist with over 13 years of experience working with a major Kenyan international company, including leading the innovation hub. Martin is passionate about innovation and co-creation with the start-up/SME ecosystems as a practical and mutually beneficial way of solving existing and emerging business challenges. He has mentored and coached start-ups to build sustainable business models. He believes in pushing boundaries and that impossible is only a figment of our imagination.

Toby Kilgore

As Managing Director, Toby leads Sinapisʼ acceleration and advisory services. He is passionate about seeing entrepreneurs flourish in frontier markets, embracing both building businesses with excellence and intentionally living out their faith and values through their endeavors. Tobyʼs career prior to Sinapis involved working with executive teams of leading domestic and international institutions successfully addressing core strategy and performance issues. As a partner at Deloitte Consulting and Kearney Consulting, he was responsible for building practices and serving Tier 1 clients. His focus-areas included growth strategy development and execution and customer experience enhancement. Toby received an MBA from Harvard University and a B.A. in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

Purity Wainaina

Purity Wainaina is an entrepreneur trainer and coach with over 18 years of experience in financial management, internal audit, risk management, and control systems assessment within national projects, micro-finance, and business accelerators. In the last four years, she has successfully facilitated training and coaching for more than 200 entrepreneurs from various sectors who have subsequently gone on to achieve exponential growth. A recent achievement was designing a business continuity and recovery program to support business growth during COVID - 19. The businesses that participated in this program made changes in their business models that enabled them to realize increased sales despite the depressed market and reduce costs to achieve profitability.

Mentors & Advisors

“Unlike other programs, Ascent has clearly delivered on the promise to connect with and engage investors.”

- Joseph Kamata | Founder & CEO, Nulands

Get Connected to Investors

Get honest, constructive feedback on your business and how you are presenting it. We have a group of investors who engage with you during the Ascent journey. They include:

You will also be connected with a broader array of local and international investors, through and after the Ascent pitch event. This includes preferred access to the Faith Driven Investor Marketplace, representing more than 750 accredited investors.


USD In Investment Capital Raised by Sinapis Alumni

“I’ve been through a variety of programs, but this has been truly distinctive and impactful.... it has enabled me to bring my leadership team along and for us to move forward.”

- Margaret Komen | Founder & CEO, Mace Foods

How it Works

1. Apply today

The application process just takes 10 minutes

2. Get a free consultation

Discuss your business challenges and goals to see if this is the right solution for you

3. Take your business to the next level

Break free from incremental growth


Program Timeline

Ascent takes place over nine months with a small cohort of similar level growth-stage businesses, and consists of four primary elements: multi-day leadership team workshops, founders round tables, investment readiness-related activities, and mentor engagement. Together, these are designed to provide structure, space, assistance, and active engagement with other entrepreneurs to chart growth pathways (both business and personal) and remove bottlenecks and obstacles.


Month 0
  • Ascent begins with the formation of the cohort and early engagement with each participating team. Through the initial discussions and application reviews, we select founders and businesses that align with the objectives of Ascent and who would work well together in a cohort of businesses of a similar stage and size.  

    Upon acceptance, there are two engagement activities: an investment readiness assessment (addressed below) and DiSC personality assessments of the founder and leadership team. These, together with early interviews and site visits, provide an ongoing understanding of aspirations, needs, and characteristics that will inform early workshops and participant-specific program goals.


Months 1-7

A key component of Ascent is a series of workshops that work through core business dimensions — strategy, sales, operations, and overall management — to define where and how to maximize growth potential and solve constraints to growth.

The first working session is held individually with each business’ leadership team. The DiSC assessment framework and results provide the context and content for working to enhance how the leadership team can work more effectively together. The work done here sets the direction for ongoing advancement of how the team can improve effectiveness in the coming months.

During the following months, we conduct a series of six multi-day workshops that bring cohort teams together with clearly defined objectives. Anchoring on a modified lean canvas structure and utilizing other frameworks, we will work with teams as they consider the “art of the possible” for their businesses, define and architect pathways to growth, and solve bottlenecks. These workshops also create space for peer-to-peer support and learning. Each team has the opportunity to provide constructive feedback and collaborate in the exploration of new ideas.

In these workshops, we also address how personal faith and values can factor into how businesses are built and led. How can brokenness in lives and communities be addressed through entrepreneurship? How can a business be an agent for transformational change? How could intentional consideration of these questions inform business design, decision-making, and stakeholder engagement? There are modules to explore these questions throughout.

The following is the slate of workshops and their objectives:

Individual Team Assessment
  • Develop mutual understanding and appreciation for relative strengths among the team members
  • Begin exploring options for enhancing team effectiveness
WS 1: Kick-Off, Identity & Team Alignment
  • Sharpen and align on ideology for each enterprise team — values, purpose, vision, driving 10-year goal
  • Foster team community
WS 2A: Business Modeling – Distinctive Value Proposition & Creating Loyal Customers
  • Introduce business model as the means to identify and document the unique value proposition and supporting strategies which enable break-out growth
  • Test and validate/pivot the business’ value proposition to achieve high growth traction
  • Focus on high-value customers and advance strategies for achieving conversion and improving customer lifetime value
WS 2B: Business Modeling – Delivering & Capturing Value
  • Deepen understanding of cost dynamics and considerations in a high growth setting
  • Review, challenge, revise pricing strategies
WS 3: Growth Planning
  • Define/refine customer targets to achieve growth aspirations
  • Develop actions and goals for scaling in next three years
  • Identify/prioritize the key elements enabling — and inhibiting — growth realization
WS 4: Processes and Performance Management
  • Identify and prioritize key process inefficiencies/constraints/bottlenecks affecting growth
  • Define and assess options for improving efficiencies
  • Equip leadership with the right dashboard for effective performance management and monitoring
WS 5: Financial and Cash Flow Management
  • Strengthen discipline of financial management
  • Understand levers for cash flow management and begin improvement plan
WS 6: Investment Readiness & Effective Capital Raise
  • Assess and prioritize capital needs — for what, when, and the type of funding desired
  • Understand investor expectations, and initiate development of compelling pitch deck
  • Gauge level of investment readiness

Founders Round Tables

Months 1-7

In addition to the workshops, a series of four round tables are held during the initial seven months. These are designed for founders only, recognizing their unique responsibilities and challenges.

These sessions address leadership, culture, governance, and personal wellbeing. These times together are also intended to be energizing and reinvigorating. The founder’s journey is often a difficult and lonely one. We desire to foster honest discussion and sharing, which leads to the building of relationships that can be sources of support that continue beyond the program.

Below is the slate of founders’ round tables:

RT 1: Leadership Model Development
  • Explore founder leadership orientations (insights from DiSC), desires, challenges 
  • Identify personal growth needs to empower team and lead exponential growth
  • Craft individual founder leadership models
RT 2: Business Model Disruption
  • Identify disruptive innovations which lead to exponential growth
  • Address constraints to innovative breakthroughs
RT 3: Corporate Governance
  • Understand value and core elements of effective governance and having an impactful board
  • Develop governance strengthening plan
RT 4: Investment Readiness
  • Identify and prioritize capital needs
  • Conduct Investment Readiness #2 (post workshops)
  • Explore core obstacles and “must-haves” in raising capital
  • Establish a construct for assessing the fit of investors with the founder/business


Months 1-9
  • During Ascent, participating founders have access to the program leaders and a mentor aligned with them. These individuals are themselves successful entrepreneurs who have been down the path of successfully growing businesses. They have endured the trials of charting new avenues for growth, the dilemmas of making hard strategic choices, and the ongoing tension of balancing personal, family, and business responsibilities. Given their experiences, they are well-positioned to be sounding boards, points of review, and counsel.
In Ascent, mentors come alongside the founder to provide:
  • Guidance – act as a sounding board, provide input and counsel
  • Accountability – help ensure founders and teams are progressing
  • Encouragement – support through times of difficulty, discouragement
Those who we select as mentors have several distinguishing characteristics:
  • Experienced in building businesses, leadership, and management
  • Passionate about entrepreneurs
  • Desire to mentor others
  • Active faith
  • Sound judgment and good listening skills

Investment Readiness

Months 1, 7-9
  • The absence of capital is an increasing constraint on growth as a business advances. All too often, however, a firm’s readiness for investment does not advance together with its need for capital. Recognizing both dynamics, we initially work with founders to assess their investment readiness, identifying critical gaps and limitations. This informs points of focus to address through Ascent. An assessment is also conducted towards the end of the program to take stock of progress achieved and determine areas of continued work.

    Also built into the program is staged participation of select investors. Investors of all types commonly express the desire to be able to see potential investees before being asked for funds. There is an opportunity for them to understand both the business and the founder better and provide perspectives about areas of potential concern. These investors are keen to see growing businesses advance and are active in this stage.

    During the final months of Ascent work, we work with the business leaders to develop investment raise material, including investment memorandum elements, associated financial modeling, and a pitch deck.

Pitch Day

Month 9
  • Ascent concludes with a live pitch day where investors will be present and for whom this will not be the first time of exposure to the cohort participants. We will support the engaged founders as discussions continue with interested investors after this event. Our goal in Ascent is to assist the participant in their progress toward investment readiness, to allow each the opportunity to engage with and ultimately pitch to investors, and to see some early success in raising capital.

Current Cohort

Are you curious who's in our current cohort of Ascent? Browse their business bios!