I am a pro-active professional with experience identifying and developing innovative business solutions within the ICT and Telecoms Sector. I started out as an engineer and then move into product management before focusing on business development and strategy.
I got introduced to the world of computer just after I finished writing my SSCE and internet as early as 1995. I see myself as a natural strategist who enjoys identifying, presenting and communicating new ideas to solve pertinent problems.
I have gained strong leadership skills through managing projects from strategy to implementation. I am passionate about innovations, startups, developers eco-system within Sub-Sahara Africa and also connecting people at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid with services / solutions that improve their lives and livelihoods.
I was the co-founder of Mobile Monday Nigeria team and works on how to connect Startups / businesses to Angel Investors / Venture Capitals. Aside this, I was a member of the steering committee of Lagos Angel Network – an exclusive network of angel investors focused on supporting start-up entrepreneurs in Lagos and environs.
I am always on the look-out for business / startup to help. I am the co-author of “Maximizing Your Service Year“ book (written to give practical tips to serving youth corps members on how to maximize their NYSC year). And Yes, I am a Venture Capitalist in Training and contributed at BITS.
How could I miss this out? Hmm…I was the Business Manager, Nokia Life, Nokia West Africa and led all Developer Experience activities in Nokia West & Central Africa afterwards. I later joined Microsoft’s DX team as part of its acquisition of Nokia’s Device Business Unit. This gave me the opportunity to launch services that help to improve people’s livelihood.
In January 2014, I co-founded Nok360 which later became Tivas in 2016; I lead a team of passionate people focusing on connecting people at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid with services / solutions that improve their lives and livelihoods. We currently do this through – Jama, Nok360 and Tigali. Through Jama, we are trying to two problems – lack of access to relevant data for small businesses and unemployment.
The Past Adventures:
I have been involved in some start-ups before I went back into corporate employment :). While some failed, I experienced some form of success in others.
- Secondary School Days: As most children do, I caught the entrepreneurship bug. I was selling groundnuts, bread, drinks and ice blocks to university students. It was an interesting adventure. And yes, I made some cool cash too.
- Got involved in setting up another startup in my 2nd year in the university – Obafemi Awolowo University. We were writing codes for fellow students. I still remember when I had to write different versions of a program that can aid in the posting of potential corps members to different states in Nigeria based on sex, state of origin and marital status. The codes were written in Fortran.
- Studio247: This was a business I started with 3 friends while on campus for the sole aim of delivering year books to final year students. We were able to deliver year books to 7 departments and fellowships. Did we make money? I think YES. I later went ahead to found e-nnova media with two of the friends immediately after school.
- Student Konsult: This was a business arm of my fellowship – Student Christian Movement – that I helped to run. We started the first home delivery photocopying business on campus and at cheaper rates. Students just needed to drop the documents they wanted to photocopy and we would handle the rest.
- In 2002, I started e-nnova media with two friends (Seun Olajide and Abimbola Fashua of blessed memory). We focused on delivering high quality web design services, value added services (mainly SMS-based services), flash animations, CD productions and even graphic works. Our clients were individuals, private and government institutions. Some of our clients were multi-nationals and government universities. I still believe this company would have gone ahead to deliver great services if Bimbo is still alive. I have vowed to revisit this dream one day.
- In 2004, I started Nairahost with a friend – Kayode Muyibi – that I met online. The interesting thing is that both of us are still yet to meet face-2-face till today. I later brought in Seun Olajide from e-nnova media on-board. This web hosting company being run by e-nnova media, started out of the need to provide affordable and reliable hosting solution for Nigerians, became the leading web hosting provider in Nigeria within 3 years. The company was eventually sold to Web4Africa.
- I was also involved in helping to setup Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PINigeria). See http://www.pin.itgo.com/Team.html
Failed Attempts At Startups:
I made two attempts at starting a Value Added Service business. First in 2002 (Cedarview technologies) and the second time in 2005 (Voltron). On each occasion, we had great ideas and even got registered by the network operators but the will to survive took over. We had no funding and guys were not ready to sweat it out. So, the businesses died naturally. This is still an area of business (though crowded) that I feel need disruption in Nigeria.
Before the attempt to start VAS business, I started a n ICT firm (SystemGenii) with 3 of my classmates from the universities – Obafemi Awolowo University. We were just fresh from school and had little knowledge about running a business but we were blessed with technical skills. Our service offerings were simple: web design, networking (LAN & WAN), printer toner recycling and off course PC assembling & supplies. We had huge ambition, got some cool projects on-going but the union didn’t last. Something was wrong with the governance. End result? We all went on our different ways. I hope to be able to share what I learnt through the process in a blog post soon.
I also got involved in e-commerce. Joined a team to co-found eazeemarket in 2006 but guess we launched before the market was ready. And as you would expect, the business died a natural death.
My first degree was in Electronic & Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (2002) and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Manchester Business School, United Kingdom (2009). Others are mostly online via coursera.org.
You can find out more about me and my on-going adventures by reading about my projects.
You can contact Emmanuel through the Google Hangout or skype: eolutosin. Please send a chat message to introduce yourself and explain your reason for making contact. I will respond as soon as I am available.
You can also reach me via email – emmanuelAToluwatosDOTin
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