Nigerians are making a significant impact in the tech and industry sectors, not only in Africa but also abroad. Check out this list of Nigerian entrepreneurs who have founded and successfully led startups and companies in the United States.
Nigerians are pioneers in various industries, including the tech sector, both at home and abroad. Achieving the American dream is a shared aspiration for many immigrants in the "world's greatest country." In this article, we'll explore the stories of 5 Nigerian immigrants who are currently leading thriving businesses in the US, some of which are valued at billions of dollars.
Tope Awotona, a Lagos, Nigeria native, is the brilliant mind behind Calendly, an incredibly useful scheduling tool that eliminates the hassle of back-and-forth emails when setting up meetings, appointments, and events. With a current valuation of over $3 billion, Calendly has made a significant impact. Tope's journey to success included graduating from the University of Georgia and working at IBM, Perceptive Software, Vertafore, and Dell EMC. Although his initial startup attempts didn't take off, he struck gold with Calendly LLC in 2010.
Abbey Wemimo, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, made his way to Minneapolis in 2009. There, he pursued degrees in business management and public administration. In 2017, Abbey founded Esusu Financial Inc, a fintech platform that helps individuals with low-to-middle incomes save money and establish credit. Last year, Esusu provided $250,000 in interest-free loans to New Yorkers facing rent challenges during the pandemic. Excitingly, Esusu recently secured $10 million in Series A funding, with investments from Motley Fool Ventures and Serena Williams' Serena Ventures.
Anie Akpe, a Nigerian-born New York banker, moved to the US when she was just 10 years old. Her startup, African Women in Technology (AWIT), which has been running for 6 years, empowers African women to become leaders in the tech industry through seminars and mentorship programs. AWIT offers a valuable blend of hands-on tech workshops, discussions on education, tech careers, and guidance on how to pursue them. It's an incredible initiative!
Kelechi, the founder of Zuvaa, a New York-based marketplace for African-inspired clothing, is truly inspiring! With a master's degree in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon and a spot on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, she's made a significant impact. Kelechi's frustration with the lack of fashionable African-inspired clothing led her to create Zuvaa, an e-commerce platform for merchants from the diaspora to showcase their products. The name "Zuvaa" comes from the Shona language, where it means "sun" or "sunshine." In 2016, Zuvaa achieved an estimated $2 million in sales.
Chinedu Echeruo is a well known serial entrepreneur. He is more commonly known for his startup Hopstop, a pioneering travel app that helped millions of users navigate public transportation in major metropolitan areas around the world, Apple Inc acquired the city transit app in 2013 for $1 billion.
His most recent endeavour is the tech for good startup MindMeet, which allows users to share knowledge and raise money for charity whilst doing so.