Celebrating Young inspiring entrepreneur – Chris Kwekowe
Chris Kwekowe - Founder of Slatecube
"Chris is a young MIT/Harvard trained innovative Ed-Tech entrepreneur from Nigeria. He's passionate about technology and the average African youth.
His venture, Slatecube, aims at developing young African talents into world class professionals for today's distributed workforce. He's shared this model with the likes of US President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and across several continents and countries within the last 2 years.
With a massive interest and substantial knowledge in computers and technology spanning a little over a decade (nearly all his life) he has an unflinching desire to impact his immediate world most importantly, teenagers and young adults with this knowledge, and also demonstrate to them the path to societal and global relevance.
He believes that every good success comes from God and that there really is a lot to learn about life."
Do read below the exclusive interview with Chris
1) How did you start Slatecube
Slatecube started as a small portal to help friends and classmates (and their friends), do their internships at our parent company, Microbold, from wherever they were. It was some “not too serious project” at the time in 2014.
2) What was the top 3 greatest challenges and how you solved them when starting this business?
Slatecube became a business when we realized it could solve one of African’s biggest problem - unemployment; So we had to do a couple of things to get ourselves positioned to solve it;
- We had to understand our market. There was a massive challenge in getting the data we required. We had to pay to get credible data. I had to build business knowledge, hence I went over to MIT Sloan School of Management at Cambridge for a course in Entrepreneurship and Management.
- We had to fund the idea. Cash was invariable needed. We bootstrapped by winning competitions, awards and secured some institutional seed investments.
- Know when to switch off the plugs. Not everything would work, at least not at the time we want it. If we have tried and re-iterated the development of our ideas with no change whatsoever, we might have to stop, and channel resources to other things. Sometimes, many businesses fail because they started way beyond their time.
3) What are the top 3 advice that every entrepreneur needs to start and succeed?
- Pay yourself. We often under-estimate our personal expenses and if we don’t make provisions to pay ourselves as founders, we end up using company cash to run personal expenses. This is eventually fatal for the business.
- Get a co-founder. Businesses that have several high-impact individuals with different but complimentary skill-sets have higher chances of success than solo entrepreneurs. Be wary of having a crowd though.
- Don’t wait until it is perfect else you’d be too late. You can’t have the entire process figured out before you launch your product/service. Do your research, reduce risk to its barest minimum, then get into the market. Make mistakes, learn, and correct quickly.
4) What is your advice for kids and young adults?
If it is not working, change something.
5) Where do you see your business in the next 5- 10 years?
We would have developed over 20 million African-talents into world-class professionals. Helped at least 5,000 entrepreneurs start scalable businesses. Helped governments reduce their unemployment rates by at l