There's no shortage of entrepreneurs in Nigeria. No shortage of drive or ambition. People are succeeding inspite of govt not because of it.
— Richard Quest (@richardquest) April 28, 2017
I had seen this tweet earlier and said in my mind oh well that true but it was more of mental affirmation than a conviction, Now I’m full of conviction that the above statement is true.
On the 17th & 18th of May, 2017, I attended Mobile West Africa, a tech event focused around happening and future trends in the tech industry, Topics like Web & Mobile applications, Virtual reality, Augmented reality, Fintech, e-commerce, Telecoms, Funding for start-ups, Government involvement … were discussed during the course of this event. It was my first time there and I really didn’t know what to expect, I arrived at the venue quite early on the first day, as I looked for my name tag at the reception ( I was representing Virtual Reality Nigeria ), I saw the names of top people in Nigeria tech scene, Founders, Co-founders, CEOs, CTOs, Directors, Managers… So I felt it was going to be a closed, uptight elitist event but hey it turned out to be a regular well-planned event, there was room for interaction as most people were open to having a discussion. The event kicked off with a welcome message from the event organizer then Justin Spratt ( Head of Business, Sub-Saharan Africa at Uber) took us on a tour of the state of technology in different sectors and what the future looks like, Every sector apparently has an avenue to grow. I met a number of founders and representative from different companies that I didn’t know existed before, here are a few I can remember and would like to share because I found them inspiring.
Good Wealth, It’s a personal finance mobile app that brings all your bank account to one app, with the aim to help you manage all your transactions from one app. Now that’s so helpful because many people have more than two banks account Nigeria ( I have about 6 and counting). The integration is seamless with your other bank accounts once you install the app.
Bamitaja.com, set to be the alibaba.com of Nigeria seeks to promote the exportation of our local products, it’s an e-commerce site yes but I like the focus on only locally produced products.
Bamitaja means “Help me sell my products/services” in Yoruba language.
Astronaut, I remember him asking me whether I’d like to go the moon, I laughed and thought for a while and said I won’t mind but it’s not a craving because there’s nothing happening on the moon, it’s quite boring there, he smiled and responded we take your business to the moon, we help your business grow, the focus is on Sales Marketing for Tech Start-Ups. The business is already working with a number of tech start-ups, helping them achieve their goal of growing and being profitable. Pretty slick.
Nickzsom, Now this is still my favorite story, We met while at tea break, I saw the company name was immediately interested, we were still trying to get some tea and cake and the place was rowdy so he said when we’re done we could talk, fast forward to like 15 mins later, I asked him and he explained it is an App that helps you calculate anything and shows you the steps taken in calculation. I said no way and said I wanted to type something, he urged me to and having an accounting educational background, I couldn’t relate with the many physics, chemistry calculations there, so I chose simple simultaneous equation that I could still remember, I inputted random figures and Wala! Just as he promised it produced a step by step explanation of how the answer was arrived at! I was in awe because this was a deviation from the norm, I was used to most applications that just provided the answer. I am too sure that it would be very useful to students/ teachers/ researchers at all levels. The app was released last year, with almost zero promotion, it has about 5,000 downloads and a 4.7-star rating. Most users are actually from India at the moment. I know how I struggled with Maths and Further Mathematics before I finally triumphed ( or did I ? ) and I’m aware many people have similar challenges with calculations. You can visit the site here Nickzom Calculator and it’s also available on Andriod play store for download.
What’s more interesting is the story of how he came about this, it was a few years ago his sister was disturbing him to help her solve quadratic equations and he was busy with his phone, In order to get her off his back, he turned to the desktop computer they had at home and wrote a simple code that could help her perform and explain the step by step process of solving quadratic equations, after a while his sister stopped coming to him and just went to the Computer system to solve her problems, apparently quadratic equation wasn’t the only calculation problem she had so he just kept adding different codes for different computations, he once showed some friends and his friend encouraged him that he should build on it, he kept adding more computations and then showed people at his school, they loved the idea and they said it was amazing. He’s kept working on it since then, He’s set to start full-scale promotion later in the year, I can’t wait to see how many lives would be transformed via this application.
It’s always great to meet people who picked themselves and decided solve obvious problems in the society.
— Daniel Adeyemi (@DanielTAdeyemi) May 18, 2017
What got to me: Why software is eating the world & How Value Added Services (VAS) is important to Telecoms companies and the whole economy.
It was a great time, conferences are cool and intellectually stimulating, however, I’m more pumped about doing remarkable stuff and returning the next time a better person, The euphoria is over, back to work.