The Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list is out and we are celebrating game-changers in the Nigerian tech sector. These are individuals who are changing the rules and taking bold risks to take Africa to the future. Out of 30 Africans in the tech category, 10 Nigerians made the list. Today, I will be sharing their names and their businesses in no particular order:
Evans Akanno, 29
Founder and CEO: Cregital
In 2015, Evans started Cregital which designs and builds websites and platforms for African startups and corporates. Despite the challenges in building a business in Nigeria, the mantra: Character over skill has kept Cregital strong. Evans is also the founder of Farmkart – a tech company which enables people to invest in fish farming.
Fred Oyetayo, 25
Founder and CEO: Fresible
Femi Oyetayo is a trained lawyer who developed an interest in the digital space and started Fresible from his university dorm. Fresible provides services such as website development, software development, digital marketing and events management. The company has trained over 60 individuals in entrepreneurship, digital marketing and web/app development; and have worked with big clients including Dangote Group.
Damilola Olokesusi, 29
Co-founder and CEO: Shuttlers Logistics
Lagos though small in size houses — of the total population in Nigeria. This makes transportation a major problem in the city. Inspired by a bad ordeal her sister went through on her way to work, Damilola started Shuttlers Logistics, a web and mobile app technology to enable users book trips along fixed routes at 60%-80% less than ride-hailing services.
Chinedu Azodoh, 29
Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer: Metro Africa Xpress (MAX)
MAX is a bike-hailing service that allows passengers or packages to move around Lagos conveniently at the tap of a button. Azodoh and his co-founder, Adetayo, came up with the idea of MAX while studying at MIT Sloan School, Massachusetts. Starting the business in 2014 with five staff members and three riders, today, they have 70 employees and over 1,000 bike riders.
Josh Okpata, 27 and Tochukwu Mbanugo, 29
While in the incubator phase in 2016, Josh and Tochukwu’s business idea was replicated online. They received backlash from the media and prospective clients but with massive PR campaign and hard work, they regained their integrity. Eazyhire is a digital peer-to-peer sharing platform that enables individuals and businesses to rent items. They have grown the business from less than $2,000 in 2015 to an estimated $4 million today and have processed over 60,000 transactions.
Muhammad Salisu Abdullahi, 28
Co-founder and Managing Director: eTrash2Cash
Muhammad is a young Nigerian turning waste into wealth. In 2016, he co-founded eTrash2Cash, a social enterprise in northern Nigeria, using technology to exchange e-waste for money. Using the website, mobile app and SMS platform, low-income communities can earn money in exchange for their everyday waste.
The waste is sorted, processed and recycled into products such as organic compost from food wastes, raw material pellets from plastic wastes, and tissue paper from paper waste. Since inception, he has collected 106,222kg of waste, recycled 99,348km of waste and paid N5,575,273 ($15,487) in incentives.
Silas Adekunle, 26
CEO and Co-Founder: Reach Robotics
Pursuing a childhood dream, Silas studied robotics at the University of the West of England in 2010. In 2014, he made his first robot prototype – MekaMon, the world’s first augmentative reality gaming robot. Together with his co-founders, they spent years building the business and developing the technology. In 2017, they launched the world’s first AR gaming robot and secured $7.5 million in investments. This year, they plan to allow the technology to be used for study and research at university and postgraduate level.
Joshua Chibueze, 26, Somto Ifezue, 28, and Odunayo Eweniyi, 26
Joshua, Somto and Odunayo have helped Nigerians save $15 million through PiggyVest. PiggyVest is a financial technology platform for online savings and investing, helping the youth improve their saving culture.
Uka Eje, 29
Co-founder and CEO: Thrive Agric
Through many failed businesses, Uka started Thrive Agric. Thrive Agric is an agritech company that works with smallholder farmers in Nigeria to give them access to finance. They have been able to fund over 15,000 farmers across Nigeria, have 96 permanent staff and 14 ad-hoc staff.
Chika Madubuko, 27, Nigeria
Co-founder and CEO: Greymate Care
Inspired by a family crisis, Chika created a business as a solution to the problem. Greymate Care is a digital platform that connects patients to an insured and professional caregiver 24/7. Launched in 2016, the team has since grown to a staff of 20 and looking to expand into other African countries.
Who knows, your idea may be the next story we are telling. Keep at it!