My education, entrepreneurship and how I can help you.
I am a product management executive and Leanstack Startup Certified Coach with experience identifying and developing innovative business solutions.
As with most people, I got introduced to the world of computer just after I completed my secondary school education. This set the foundation for the interesting journey ahead. 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, and also connecting people at different levels of the socio-economic pyramid with services / solutions that improve their lives and livelihoods.
Early Attempts At Startups
My journey into entrepreneurship started when I was in secondary schools but really gained pace during my undergraduate days at Obafemi Awolowo University. In my year 2, I started helping fellow students with their programming assignment for a fee. In year 3, I was part of the team that setup a home delivery photocopying and computer service business and in year 4, I led the team that set up the first student-body run internet cafe on campus. Also, in year 4, I started, with 3 other people, a company – studio247 – that delivered “year book” and “year CD” products to final year students.
During my service year, I continued with the year CD and year book business but not added instant photograph service at the NYSC camp and then phone call business afterwards. The company later became e-nnova media, the parent company of Nairahost – one of the leading web hosting service providers in West Africa at the time.
The journey after first degree
Straight after my first degree, I made two attempts at starting a Value Added Service business. First in 2002 (Cedarview Communications Limited) and the second time in 2005 (Voltron). On each occasion, we had great ideas and even secured agreement with key network operators. Despite our lofty ideas, we couldn’t push ahead as we didn’t have the funding required and the bills were piling up. So, the businesses died naturally.
At the same time, I was involved in starting an ICT firm (SystemGenii) with 3 of my classmates from the university – Obafemi Awolowo University. 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 team dynamic wasn’t right. Something was wrong with the business structure and governance. End result? We all went on our different ways. I hope to be able to share my lesson from this experience in a blog post.
I also got involved in an e-commerce business. I worked with some friends to launch eazeemarket in 2006 but guess we launched before the market was ready for that kind of product. And as you would expect, the business died naturally.
After 2nd degree
After my MBA program, I joined Nokia as a Senior Product and Business Manager. This gave me the opportunities to work on different exciting products and solutions and also worked in different roles.
In 2015, I went back into entrepreneurship and co-founded Tivas with the focus of delivering technology products and solutions to people at different levels of the pyramid. I served as the CEO and Product Lead until 2019 when the board appointed my co-founder as the CEO.
I am currently working on Startupcourt, a company working to empower members of the black community in Alberta with the education, tools and support to gain financial literacy, achieve financial independence and build wealth through their careers and businesses.
I started out as an engineer and then moved into product management. In 2005, I joined Globacom as a Product Manager focusing on the prepaid voice product and then Product Manager responsible for the Value Added Service business. I was accountable for all services over SMS, IVR and USSD channels. I left Globacom in September 2007 to start my MBA at Manchester Business School focusing on Marketing and Strategy.
In 2009, straight from MBA school, I was recruited by Nokia to lead the team that launched the Nokia Life services in Nigeria (first in MEA). I was the Senior Business & Product Manager, Nokia Life Services and was accountable for both customer acquisition and revenue generation.
In 2013, after Microsoft announced the purchase of the Nokia mobile device division, I moved into the Developer experience department where I was focusing on attracting top brands to build their mobile applications for the window platforms. I later joined Microsoft’s DX team once the acquisition of Nokia’s Mobile Device Business Unit was completed. This gave me the opportunity to launch services and solutions that help to improve people’s livelihood.
While in Nokia, I co-founded Mobile Monday Nigeria team in 2010 to provide a platform to foster open and independent innovation within the technology ecosystem. I was also 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 left Microsoft in June 2015.
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).
For details on my career, you can check out my LinkedIn profile.
I am a believer that having a degree in itself doesn’t result in learning. It only create a platform to learn. I am, at the same time, grateful for the opportunity to earn some degrees.
My first degree was in Electronic & Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (2002). I also have a Masters of Business Administration degree from Alliance Manchester Business School, United Kingdom (2009). Since I completed my MBA, I have been taking different courses online and in class.
In 2021, I attended the Leanstack Coach Academy and became a Leanstack Startup certified coach.
Other Interesting Facts
- I mentor and coach startup founders at Founder Institute and Black Business Ventures Association.
- I am currently the Secretary of Product Calgary since June 2022. Before now, I was the Director of Membership between 2020 and 2022.
You can find out more about me and my adventures by reading about my Interests
Are You Thinking About Starting Your Own Business or ready to rise to the top of your career ladder? Then, Read these articles first
- Before You Start That Business…
- Your owe yourself a living
- Before you go the crazy route
- Fire Your Boss
- Learn the Trade – Get Biz Experience or
- visit my Business & Entrepreneurship section