by Wilfred Okiche
For the sixth consecutive year, YNaija brings you its annual ranking of the most powerful young persons under the age of 40 who are getting things done in the brave new world of technology. From serial investors chasing the next big wave to developers and communication leaders. These 10 are breaking all the boundaries.
The founder of the payments startup, Flutterwave may be the most influential person working in technology at the moment. A serial entrepreneur, Aboyeji has been part of initiatives like Bookneto and Fora, before hitting big with Andela, a Zuckerberg-certified global talent accelerator that trains young intelligent Africans to be world-class developers. Aboyeji moved on to float Flutterwave, a fintech company that recently raised funding over $10 million in a Series A funding.
A Frontend developer and user interface designer, Aderinokun who holds degrees in Psychology and Law, is the first female Google development expert in Nigeria. Because of this distinction, Aderinokun has been able to travel the world, sharing her work experiences. Former technical lead at Big Cabal media, Aderinokun runs bitsofcode, a blog dedicated to submissions on technology and front-end development. She presently works as a software developer at eyeo.
Sola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi
Online payment trends in Nigeria have been less than impressive, to say the least. Akinlade and Olubi’s Paystack is a promising payment solution that is set on challenging Interswitch’s chokehold on the market. Paystack tries to deliver a safe, modern payment experience for customers and merchants in Africa. Paystack is enlisted into Y Combinator, a major Silicon Valley startup accelerator and has enjoyed seed funding of $120,000.
A rejection slip from Paypal was the prompter that led Olaoluwa Awojoodu to consider operating his own online financial solutions company. The result of this determination is Electronic Settlement Limited, a financial solutions entity, present in Nigeria and Ghana that delivers payment infrastructure services through a host of companies, CashEnvoy, Paypad and Paycenter, to a wide variety of industries ranging from MSMEs and banks, to governments and multinationals.
After moving back to Nigeria, Olamide Bada project managed Jumia’s Black Friday event and worked as an operational development manager before she was tapped to run Jumia Food. This position puts her in the difficult position of managing an expanding team that includes a fleet of 100+ delivery riders across Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Bada sets the strategic direction of the business across all functions including sales, operations and marketing.
With degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University, plus a decade experience in IT, Information Systems, Telecommunications and Mobile Communication, Roseline Ilori is the chief executive of MTech Communications. A business strategist and growth catalyst, Roseline acts as EMEA board director for the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), the global trade body that acts as an impartial and authoritative champion for addressing issues affecting the broadening mobile ecosystem.
Finding a house in Lagos can be tough. Dealing with landlords, agents and shady middlemen can be overwhelming. Fisayo Ogundipe’s ToLet which he founded with three of his University classmates is here to make the process a lot smoother. And it is all online. As CEO, Ogundipe has guided the company to raise $240,000 seed funding from Jason Njoku’s Spark and a further $1.2m in a Series A funding round led by the Malaysia-based Frontier Digital Ventures.
Oluyomi Ojo is one-third of the trio that founded Printivo, an exciting company that leverages cutting edge technology tools to make the printing process more fun and less cumbersome for individuals and corporates alike. Since inception, Printivo has received grants from the federal government’s YouWin programme, as well as Etisalat’s Innovation Award and early-stage technology venture capital firm, EchoVC Partners.
Inspired by the Toy Story film, Damilola Solesi took her passion for animation into a business enterprise, setting up the SMIDS animation studios, a company that creates 3D computer animation, content production, motion graphics and visual effects. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Solesi co-founded Women R.I.S.E, a platform that inspires women to pursue interests in technology through collaboration, networking, training, mentorship, and funding opportunities.
Would there be a vibrant tech culture in Nigeria without the Co-Creation Hub? Perhaps, but none can deny the overall influence that CcHUB continues to wield from its Yaba location. Started by Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe, Co-Creation hub remains the biggest and most influential ideas hub in the country. From BudgIT to the Relearn centre in Abuja, some of the finest and most influential IT projects in Nigeria have been conceived or developed at the hub.