business · Design · Development · Education

Embracing Open Source

For the last couple of years, my companies tiphub and ParallelScore have been working at the frontier of emerging challenges. We’ve had a lot of learnings that we’ve used to build and scale our initiatives over time.

I believe the best way to create more value is to share learnings and observations with the larger community of technologists and investors. To demonstrate our continued commitment to growing the pie for all – Over the next year, I’m pledging to increase our learnings and open source some of the methodologies we’ve built over the last couple of years. My hope is that we can help our partners in the market learn faster and drive more impact.

Open source has been transformative in the technology space. We hope we can leverage the success of open source in code and apply it to processes, documents, and models/frameworks.

Africa · business

5 Reasons Why HNIs Aren’t Investing in the African Tech Space

This is in response to a twitter thread

Nigerian startups are yet to be backed & championed by local high net-worth individuals on a large scale. The result is a tech ecosystem powered mainly by foreign capital.

With thoughts from @TomiDee, @asemota, @OtunbaSho, @oviosu, my @qzafrica latest:— Yomi Kazeem (@TheYomiKazeem) January 22, 2019

HNIs = High Net-worth Individuals

  1. They’re too old– Average age of an African billionaire is 62ish… They are probably struggling to manage in the current world of emails and text messages. How would they see the value technology can provide to society and even their companies?
  2. If it ain’t broke – If I amassed my wealth by relationships and tangible / assets, why would I take a chance, let alone several chances, in something that only holds paper value? I’ve already established several moats that will keep me rich forever, why do I have to speculate on an industry when I can focus on things I can see.
  3. It doesn’t make financial sense– Alright, maybe I want to invest but the risk start-ups take on in Africa is higher than their counterparts ( I’d love to do research on this but we all know its true). Why would I invest in such a risky proposition when I can just buy government bonds or some land and see better returns?
  4. Not enough 0s- Even a later stage investment in some tech companies don’t make sense. An entry point for investment doesn’t even seem viable in the way some of the HNIs. Scale seems to be a problem
  5. They are afraid of their own death – African tech could be so dangerous, they stand to destroy the companies HNIs built. They are collectively starving out the competition.

Ultimately, the best way for HNIs to engage the tech space are as partners and not competition. I believe working with tech companies to figure out ways applications can solve real business problems and create scalable opportunities is the way forward. Think of further integrating Dangote’s supply chain by leveraging more digital solutions, or improving Otedola’s exploratory efficiency leveraging predictive analytics and drone tech. All thats possible with collaboration.

business · Current Events · Technology · venture capital

The Real Opportunity to Re-Invent Healthcare

It’s been a while…. I’ve been quite busy over the last couple of months trying to build stuff….. I’ll explain in another post. In the mean time, I thought I’d share some content I had the chance to write for another reason on to my blog. I’ve realized I do a lot of writing but not a lot of posting. I hope with such a nice set up and audience, I’d switch that around for the rest of the year. So here’s an exercise I worked on a couple of weeks ago on defining an investment thesis for the healthcare sector. Thought it would be interesting to think of how the healthcare industry is changing as a whole and where the opportunities are for the entrepreneur, investor, and everyone else. 

Over the last 20 years, I’ve had a well rounded set of experience and exposure to the healthcare industry. I grew up in a healthcare household. My father worked for several cutting edge biotech companies and my mother has worked as a nurse in hospitals and did home care. I had cousins who all became different types of medical doctors. For several summers, I worked and interned at hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in my teens. I’ve been through two near-death experiences where I had to be hospitalized for an extended period of time due to mysterious diseases (a story for another day).

The healthcare industry faces some tough challenges in the next 10 to 20 years. An evolving regulatory environment and changing business models have created declining margins for public and private healthcare in the United States. While margins have declined, demand and costs have significantly increased. We’re seeing growth in our population but also a demographic transition. Baby boomers, for example, are entering a phase in their lives where healthcare will become the primary expense but with diminished savings and labor costs on the rise, how will baby boomers afford to have the same kind of care their accustomed to while dealing with a longer life expectancy and more expensive care?   

While the healthcare industry faces regulatory, demographic shifts, and margin challenges, there are some major themes that get me excited about its future. Healthcare, just like other industries, is shifting from responsive to preventative. With the proliferation of the internet, mobile, and other smart devices, healthcare is something that doesn’t just happen when you’re in a hospital. It has the potential to happen 24/7 and this has a significant implication on service delivery, business models, and product innovation.  Preventative medicine flips the traditional healthcare business model on its head and allows for an endless possibility in ways we can treat people before they ever step foot into a doctors office.

The shift to preventative health is also driven by access and the creation of information in ways we haven’t seen in the healthcare space. For example, I used 23&Me to learn about my genetic makeup/lineage but also received health reports. This information wouldn’t have been available to the average consumer or even a medical professional 10 or 15 years ago. We’ve also seen an increase in the digitization of health records too. Combined, I see a future trend of personalized and holistic healthcare service delivery that isn’t beholden to location or labor costs. This presents an amazing opportunity to solve for population growth and demographic shifts. We can improve quality of care and also deliver high-quality care at scale.

Africa · business · startups · Technology

Strengths and Weaknesses of Nigeria’s Tech Ecosystem with Chika Umeadi from Tiphub

I got a chance to talk about the Nigerian Tech Ecosystem with Andrew from Global Startup Movement Podcast. We discussed the following:
  1. Outside of access to capital, what are the common challenges for Nigerian entrepreneurs I works with?
  2. How has deal flow coming out of Nigeria evolved since I started Tiphub?
  3. Have I seen an uptick in startup activity outside of Lagos?
  4. Whats the balance of Venture vs. Angel capital in Nigeria?
Listen to it on:
Africa · business · Current Events · startups · Technology

Foresight Africa viewpoint – African entrepreneurship in technology: Challenges and opportunities in 2018

I wrote a viewpoint on African entrepreneurship in Technology for Brookings Institute’s Foresight Africa 2018 Report. Here’s a link to the blog post here.

My Notes:

  • My 1st published article in a major publication… ***touchdown dance***
  • Updates on Fundraising in Africa from 2017: Read this CNN article here.
  • After all the Black Panther fanfare, I wish I could add more information on the diaspora’s role in advancing entrepreneurship and technological advances In Africa. I believe they have a major role to play in funding, ideas exchange and actual implementation.

That’s all for now. Cheers!!