Screw Power Lists. Here’s a pick ‘n’ mix selection of some young people who are actually doing things. In this #EyesOn2016 series, they tell us what’s going to blow up in 2016.
Celestine Ezeokoye is a Nigerian entrepreneur, writer and software developer. He is the co-founder of Tiketmobile, an airport pickup and drop-off service currently based in Nigeria.
Celestine is currently working at the FinTech startup Neuronah Software which is better redefining the consumer-to-bank relationship.
Tell us about your startup journey so far.
We restarted Tiketmobile in February 2015, beginning again in Abuja. Even though we’re still running a pilot, we have recorded overwhelmingly positive ratings from users so far.
Growing a business in Nigeria with little funds is the toughest things I’m doing with my life. This makes me appreciate every little progress recorded in the process. Like when we launched operations at Port Harcourt International Airport in July and added one more cab service in Abuja in the same month.
Also, getting users to write detailed reviews and feedback almost always comes out awkward but this is the fuel needed to guarantee future users that they can trust the service. So the reviews, such as the one made here, make us grateful for the opportunity to serve and make people happy in the process.
On a different note, in October, I joined the amazing team at Neuronah Software as a principal programmer to build a personal finance-tracking application. My love for the scruffy startup process became even more evident to me with this decision. Our amazing product which we are currently putting finishing touches to, the experience of the founder who was a former country manager at Microsoft Nigeria and that of our investors, plus the dedication of other teammates gives me confidence that this is a startup to watch out for in 2016.
What are you going to remember 2015 for?
Mainly, the transition of government here in Nigeria made it a very slow year for business. Many things dragged and business deals got cancelled due to the high degree of uncertainty. But then 2015 is the year that truly local startups proved beyond reasonable doubt that they are ready for business. Hotels.ng, Printivo, Showroom.ng and a couple of other startups raised major funding. Paga and Andela raised follow-on funding. Social-focused ventures weren’t left out too, as BudgIT got funded hundreds of thousands of US-dollar funding and Wecyclers too.
They confirm the growing belief of investors in the nascent Nigerian technology startup industry.
Startup Weekend Lagos and Aba were held in November too. The innovative idea of fuel-flow monitoring startup Flobyte took the day in Lagos and I’m particularly looking forward to the solution and hoping they fulfil their promise.
What or who do you think is going to blow up in 2016?
Despite the growth in patronage of e-commerce, there’s still major issues with delivery. So I’m really betting on delivery startups like Max.ng to bring some more required competition in the delivery space. If they don’t fulfil their promise, hopefully, their presence can put the required pressure on other incumbents, like ACE.ng. I’m also looking forward to major growth in the FinTech space. In the payment space, I’ll say watch out for Paystack.
What’s keeping you busy in 2016?
Two things: Tiketmobile and Neuronah Software. Then maybe a couple of pieces of writing here and there.
Tiketmobile would still be in pilot mode for a couple of months, then launch properly later in the year. Also, look forward to a major activity planned by mid-year. We observed that Africans don’t know Africa as much as they should and we want to work on changing that. I won’t go into details right now, everything will be unveiled in due time.
For Neuronah, I’m mostly going to be working with the financial institutions, building tools to make sense of customers’ unsaid and subtle financial needs.
Check out Celestine’s blog here
Follow Celestine on Twitter @Celestocalculus
Want to join in? Tell us on Twitter #EyesOn2016