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Starta founder: Entrepreneurship ‘will soon disrupt higher education’

Starta founder: Entrepreneurship ‘will soon disrupt higher education’
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Dotun Olowoporoku, founder of Starta, a Nigerian business support platform says entrepreneurship will soon disrupt higher education in Nigeria.

The Starta founder says that more Nigerian younger generations will be investing their time on entrepreneurship on it than on pursuing degrees like Masters and PhD.

Olowoporoku believes that going for Master’s degree and PhD is a waste of time for young graduates that have business ideas they intend to pursue, admonishing them to use that time for their entrepreneurship dream instead.

“First of all, you need to be convinced about your business and yourself. The chances of you failing are high but when you succeed you change the world. That is the difference between the established businesses and startup”, the Starta founder says.

He gave this advice in a chat with some startups on Thursday at iDEA Hub in Yaba, Lagos during the Fireside Chat with Starta that was organised by the tech incubation hub to enlighten startups on range of issues, including how to attract venture capital funding.

dotun-olowoporoku-4
Dotun Olowoporoku, founder and CEO of Starta

“If you want to be an entrepreneur go there and prove yourself, you will continue to learn more as you move on. Startup is an experiment, the experience you gain in the process is better than Master’s or PhD.

“First of all, you need to be convinced about your business and yourself. The chances of you failing are high but when you succeed you change the world. That is the difference between the established businesses and startup”, the Starta founder says.

Olowoporoku who refers to himself as an accidental entrepreneur is an academic with Masters in Sustainable Environmental Management from Middlesex University in England and a PhD in Environmental Management from University of the West of England, Bristol. He however said that he would have gone into entrepreneurship earlier.

“Though I enjoyed my time doing PhD which I consider my best educational experience, but if I had known I would become an entrepreneur. I would have started with that instead because I learned more as an entrepreneur. You can do MBA however. I don’t even remember that I have a PhD; in fact my father is the only person that calls me Doctor. So for me, I think education will soon be disrupted,” the Starta founder told attendees at the chat.

Sharing his entrepreneurship story with the startups, Olowoporoku says that after his PhD at the UWE, Bristol, he remained there to work as a doctoral research fellow but got bored on the job after sometime and went to found meals.co.uk.

Starta founder: Entrepreneurship 'will soon disrupt higher education'
Cross section of the startups at the event

Meals.co.uk according to him connects restaurants that don’t have a delivery service to an integrated discovery, ordering and fulfilment platform. The company raised $1 million seed finance from private equity VC and angel investor and was on the brink of raising a further $4 million before being out muscled by a competitor with bigger investors, he says.

Olowoporoku in 2015 came to Nigeria and established Starta with the vision of providing entrepreneurs in Africa with business support content, tools and opportunities required to launch, manage and scale a business startup.

According to the company’s founder, Starta has introduced a premium membership with yearly subscription of $100. Starta premium members are guaranteed of premium contents such as research contents, connection and networking, discounted products and services.

He identified newsletter and email marketing as tools which are underutilized by startups and said it is the secret success of Starta.

Starta founder: Entrepreneurship 'will soon disrupt higher education'
Nnamdi Nwanze, Technical Adviser, IdeaHub

“No matter your business, customers don’t like to be advertised to, but they like to be entertained and educated and if you are able to give them that you will win their trust. Then whenever you have advert you can push it across, and because you have been entertaining and educating them, they will be willing to patronize you,” Olowoporoku advises.

Nnamdi Nwanze, technical adviser at Idea Hub told Technology Times that Fireside Chat is a monthly programme put together by the tech incubation centre to allow the startups, most of whom are university graduates, interact with more accomplished entrepreneurs.

“Nigerian universities don’t teach about entrepreneurship. Even technology is poor in our universities. When I first came back to Nigeria, I first lectured in the university and I know that most lecturers don’t know technology. We bring people like Dotun, who has raised $1 million before to mentor and teach them. How many people can raise that amount? I can give you the number for free; they are very few” he says.

Nwanze says that Google and other top companies have partnered with them on the programme and revealed that they have scheduled hotels.ng for January to teach the startups how to use technology to streamline their businesses and grow from there.

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Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Writer at Technology Times Media e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng

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