AMA

AMA With Joseph Agunbiade the founder of BudgIT

On the 9th of March, we hosted one of our bi-weekly AMAs on slack, our guest for this insightful session was a Techpreneur, Joseph Agunbiade.

Joseph is the Founder of Univelcity a tech school that teaches young people software development, Data Science, AI and Product Design then connect them to Jobs. So for Devs and upcoming software enthusiast he is your plug.

Also he is the co-founder of BudgIT. A civil organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. He currently sits on the board.

He is a Techpreneur per excellence with companies like Getmobile Technologies, SmartED with over 15 years experience.


Ayobamigbe:

Yes, and we need you to head over to the ingressive blog to read more exciting stories like this.

Ayobamigbe:

Good evening House. Welcome to another exciting AMA session and today we have @joseph taking the session.

Ayobamigbe:

Great…

So we see that you have started a lot of tech companies and 3 not for profit organisation, can you share your motivation with us.

Joseph:

Thank you for the question.

BudgIT was the first of them. I cofounded BudgIT with Oluseun as a call by CCHUB then for a Tech solution that can solve Governance issue

That was in 2011 and ever since I have worked on a couple of ideas while some survived others did not

So at the Moment apart From BudgIT, I have Univelcity, SmartED, Resolute40(resolute40.com) and a few others in the pipeline

Ayobamigbe:

Amazing.

Joseph:

My Motivation: I am a natural problem solver

And since my training was in Technology, I have always believed that I can use Technology as a tool to help change the world

Funmi Aliyu :

@joseph when is the right time to start/ launch your startup idea or realize a MVP?


Sean:

Nice! I'm curious as to what advice you would give people like university graduates or novice devs who want to start ventures and solve problems.

Joseph:

The result is what we see today as a all this startups/company

@Funmi Aliyu MVP is your first attempt to the market. Before you go out you must have done sufficient market research and possible Market fit


Joseph:

@Funmi Aliyu And on the question of when it is the right time. As soon as you think you have a solution the world needs please launch it

Joseph:

@Sean I always recommend that as a university graduate you work first for some time usually between 3-5Years and gather experience, build your network before starting out on your own.


Olayemi Oluwadurotimi:

@joseph what advice would you give to a start up founder who has been running for almost a year and needs funding ?

Joseph:

@Sean Also develop your skills and volunteer in ventures that naturally you may not qualify by your CV to join

@Olayemi Oluwadurotimi Depending on how far you have gone. I will advice you work first for sometime. When we launched BudgIT in September of 2011 the first time we raised money was in 2013. And we had to travel multiple times pay for hotel and travel tickets. If we had not worked it would have been very difficult


Olayemi Oluwadurotimi :

@joseph I worked for two years full time in the same field before going back for HND and later worked part-time for two years during my HND

Joseph:

@Olayemi Oluwadurotimi then you can reach out to several venture capital out there for funding. You need to join platforms like F6S.com etc. Just be sure you are solving the right problem with the right Market size

Timothy :

@joseph I don't know if you ever had issue getting developers or designers to work with when starting up. My questions it's how do you get people to work with you on a particular product when starting up with little or no funds to pay them.

Joseph:

@Timothy for most of the startups I cofounded I was called in to co-found it because I am the Tech guy. So the easiest way to get a free tech service is to share equity and make the developer(s) your cofounder.

Timothy:

Oh, okay. Thanks for this @joseph

Joel Osoba :

@joseph what are the best approaches for establishing a new product in an existing market,

Joseph:

@Joel Osoba First of all how did you come about knowing that the market exists? My assumption will be that there are other people with Similar product in the Market.  And If that is the case you have to ascertain the Market Size whether you can seize a part of the market

By offering Unique product Offering, better Pricing, additional Feature etc

Joseph:

For Example, Pure Water has a massive Market in Nigeria and you want to launch your own brand of Pure Water you might just add a mouth like that of bottled water to it or make the packaging triangular  etc

Sean :

@joseph Please feel free to come to this later, but what informational resources including reading, networks, and etc.; would you suggest for those ready to launch a tech startup?

Joseph:

@Joel Osoba Whatever you do just make sure you are the PURPLECOW

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable https://g.co/kgs/k9ai4y

@Sean Travel is one of the most powerful informational resources you can have. For example, today if you have a lot of money and you are looking for an idea to start with Just travel to China and spend a week or two(2) the amount of education you will get will be mind blowing for you.

Ayobamigbe:

Wow, I don’t want this round of knowledge sharing and information to end but we just must call it a day…

Hey house it's time to say a big thank you to @joseph i am sure he has given everyone something to think about

Joseph:

Thank you @Ingressive Community, @Ayobamigbe and the entire team. Have a Good evening!!!


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AMA with Chidi Nwaogu the founder of Publiseer

On the 16th of March, we hosted one of our bi-weekly AMAs on slack, our guest for this insightful session was a Techpreneur, Chidi Nwaogu.

Chidi Nwaogu is a serial Internet entrepreneur, computer programmer, Westerwelle Fellow 2019, Yunus&Youth Global Fellow 2019, SensX Fellow 2017, winner of Startup World Cup Nigeria Regional Competition 2019, and first place winner of OD Impact Challenge 2018. Nwaogu started his entrepreneurial journey when he was 16 with the creation of 9ja Boi Interactive, a video game development company. Today, Nwaogu is Co-founder and CEO of Publiseer, a digital publisher for African Creatives, described by Konbini as “one of the largest digital publishers in Africa” and identified by IFC as one of the startups “that could speed up innovation in Africa.”

What was the main motivation to starting a company at 16?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Well, for me, I have always been fascinated about how things are created more than how to use them. While playing video games with my peer, what always runs through my mind is "the process in which the game was created." So after graduating from high school, I decided to learn how to develop video games. Before this, I had already starting web design by learning HTML and CSS when I was 13. Within two weeks, I had learnt the basics of ifelse, dowhile, dountil, and a bunch of other statements. I had learnt about sprite and object oriented programming. And in the second month of learning to code, my twin brother and I created our first video game. This was when we decided to start a video game development company.

"Before this, I had already learnt web design" [correction]

How did you build your team?

Chidi Nwaogu:

My team was built gradually though. I started off with my twin brother, Chika. It was only logical since we have done this several times before. We've worked together since we were 16, and had co-founded, grown and sold two tech startups since 2009. My twin and I ran the startup together for a few months, before meeting an old university friend who was also a software developer. He liked what we were doing, and jumped on the wagon. Along the road, we met a blogger with a wide connection in the media ecosystem. He offered to handle our PR, and we jumped in. And that was how we grew until now.


What were the major challenges you faced while building your first two startups, and how did you overcome them?

Chidi Nwaogu:

The major challenges we faced was getting people to know about what we were offering and signing up. It was an easy task, so we had to develop an incentive for them around our offerings, which paid off in the long run.

For the social network we developed, people earned airtime for updating their status, adding new friends, and sharing multimedia like photos and videos. And when the airtime accrued reaches N100 threshold, they receive it into their phones. This made up grow by over 10,000 new signups every month.

What is your primary focus or in a better way what is your african dream?

Chidi Nwaogu:

My primary focus is to solve problems using technology. It is what gives me the most satisfaction in being a tech entrepreneur; the ability to create something extraordinary out of nothing and having that thing change people’s lives for the better.

In a country like Nigeria that there seem to be a different problems facing all entrepreneurs what has been the greatest challenge you have faced in this few years and how have you surpassed it?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Piracy: This is has been one of our greatest challenges at Publiseer. At the moment, we mitigate this by contacting our author, artist or filmmaker when we notice a different merchant selling a book, song or film in our catalogue, to verify if they are aware of this, and if they aren’t aware, we take legal actions against such merchant. The reason why we contact our Creatives first is that we don’t take away their publishing rights, which means they're free to republish their works elsewhere without our permission.

However, piracy seems to top our list of challenges.

How was it easy for you to figure monetisation model and do you still adjust it or you just want to keep scaling users(on the finished model)?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Copyright Infringement: This is a big issue as sometimes some Creatives plagiarize works of others and submit it to us for distribution as theirs. To mitigate this, we always verify the originality of any work we want to distribute. We have several tools we use for this, thanks to the great folks on the Ally team of Google. Their tools have helped us ensure that the works we distribute are free of plagiarism and are 100% original.

@RightSilicon.com when we started, we only had the 'freemium distribution' package because our target was independent creatives who don't have the money to distribute their works. And we monetize this package by taking 25% of the revenue generated when a unit of any work we distribute is sold.

However, we started receiving emails from record labels and book publishers seeking to keep all the revenue from sales, and that was when we introduced the 'premium distribution' package, which lets the right holders keep all the revenue generated from sales of their work by paying an upfront recurring distribution fee.


What is your motivation and what keeps you going.

Chidi Nwaogu:

I'm motivated by my reason "why". It's what keeps me going especially when things aren't working out as planned. When the rough gets rough and the situation is tough, I remember why I started in the first place, and it keeps me going. In my years as a tech entrepreneur, I have discovered that it's better to be the man who knows "why" than the man who knows "how", because the man who knows why something is being done is the man with the vision, and the man with the vision is the man who leads.

Ayobamigbe:

Thank you so much for this session @Chidi Nwaogu it was really amazing and eye opening.

Chidi Nwaogu:

You're welcome.

Hope y'all have a great day ahead!

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