Hi, I'm Daniel.

I am a goal-oriented, decisive entrepreneur and software developer passionate about making a positive impact in Nigeria and Africa at large. As a lover of new challenges, two of my strongest competencies is the ability to manage several projects at the same time and find innovative ways to make business processes more efficient. My goal is to use my skillsets to help build innovative, sustainable and efficient solutions as regards the Environment, Finance, Energy, and Agriculture.

Before the Innovate for Africa readiness training, I used to think entrepreneurship and innovation were about creating solutions and businesses that can stand the test of time but now I think and believe in addition to that, everyone is an entrepreneur and our first business is our individual goals and careers. If you can succeed in this, you are your own Zuckerberg, Dangote and whoever we might have thought is more entrepreneurial than ourselves. There is no greater investment than in oneself - this I came to understand in the 4 -weeks Innovate for Africa readiness training. During the four weeks of training, the well-curated curriculum includes Personal Branding, Design Thinking, Strategic Analysis, and a Hard Skills lab. Personal Branding & Strategic Analysis Personal Branding focused on how to put me out there as a brand using the right tools and frameworks. Here, I understood the importance and techniques of professionalism and proper communication in showcasing my strengths and weaknesses.

Strategic Analysis was an eye-opener for me especially as it helped me understand how to conduct a SWOT analysis for any organization. I personally conducted SWOT analysis for no less than three firms and it helped me gain insight into how I could fit in if given the opportunity. This is very important when preparing for Interviews as it is expected that you have some information about the organization you intend to work for. Design Thinking Design thinking was more about how to properly understand a problem, curate a problem statement, ideate the solution, and test. However, it does not end there, it is an iterative process until you get a market-fit product. One major point that stuck with me during design thinking is the ability not to be biased when pinpointing the problem. Many at times, innovators tend to be engrossed in their supposed problem that they fail to actually reach out to their would-be clients to know what the real challenge is. To further strengthen and test our understanding of Design Thinking, we had a hackathon competition where we were grouped according to the challenge/ problem we were interested in solving. I and three others collaborated and applied every design thinking process stage to pitch a solution that would help mitigate plastic pollution and improve recycling in Nigeria. Our solution – G4cylers is a mobile application that connects an average waste generator (you and I) to nearby recycling firms, book for a recyclable pickup, and get rewarded for it. Hard Skills Lab This session introduced me to the Product Management track, which I was interested in. It was rigorous especially having to read several materials, product management books recommended, and do the weekly tasks. My skills and knowledge from the design thinking processes were very much applicable here. My team had to consult in real-time for startups having challenges. We worked on improving the product and management system at Innovate for Africa. As a Product Manager, I was expected to proffer solutions to improve and make these processes efficient. Having employed the concept of divergent thinking to explore all possible solutions along with the aid of my mentor; Christian Desrosiers, all PMs working on the IFA challenge were brought together to converge their ideas/solutions. Thus, alongside other PMs, we were able to pin-point the challenge and proffer an efficient solution which you can read about here. Finally, I enjoyed the sessions with the guest speakers; Faith Adesemowo, Efosa Ojomo, Michael Olorunninwo and a whole lot more. I guess because their Nigerian experiences are what I could typically relate with and I learnt a lot from their experiences of trying and failing but never giving up. Efosa emphasized understanding that the sustainability of a solution is more important than the solution itself. Any solution no matter how brilliant or efficient it is, if it is not sustainable would not stand the test of time. Faith was very vocal and passionate about the team and how to build the right team, while Michael was very keen on being an optimistic innovator by daring to think or do differently. I can confidently say, I am a better version of myself, I can articulate better, think through a problem better, design solutions better and collaborate better. Moving forward, I would consciously apply these skill sets to add value to any organization I find myself in.

Partnering with a startup like yours will be an incredible learning experience for fellows like Daniel, IN ADDITION to helping your startup accelerate with passionate African innovators.

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