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  Entrepreneurship comes with a lot of ups and downs for most business owners. Success is often the result of hard work and resilience in the face of several setbacks and multiple failures. For Obasegun Ayodele, building hardware solutions has always been the dream even though he has launched many business startups.
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Ayodele first got acquainted with the hardware space while he was in secondary school at LAUTECH International College, in Ogbomosho, a town in the South-Western part of Nigeria. Studying at a school in partnership with the Electrical and Electronics Engineering department of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) allowed him to explore the practical aspects of the discipline. He became involved in numerous communities as a student, honing his technical and leadership talents. He also tried his hand at a couple of hardware startups, all of which failed. Alcacia Systems, his first company, was a hardware consultancy firm that assisted businesses in developing hardware solutions such as billboards and screen displays. After it failed, he founded Pragmatic Embedded, a home automation machine-to-machine solution. PubCulture was his second startup, a platform somewhat like Canva. Users could develop a design using a template on the platform before downloading it. That, too, failed. Ayodele founded two more startups, namely Airmoney and Humane, which also failed to take off. In 2017, he moved to Lagos and joined iQube, a tech company offering solutions to businesses. It didn’t take him long to realise that the reason for the failures he experiences while building these startups was due to his lack of business acumen.
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“At iQube, I was not doing anything hardware. I was in sales and marketing because one of the biggest lessons from Humane was that we knew nothing about sales, marketing, or business development. They’re not taught in any engineering school, even though there are entrepreneurship courses. Everybody is just focused on building without thinking of how to sell these skills.”
In 2018, he launched Vilsquare, which started as an IT consulting firm, offering a variety of services, including digital marketing. They were able to sustain the company thanks to the money they earned from consultancy jobs. Vilsquare organized a national hackathon in 2018 that brought together people from all different parts of the country to address challenges with hardware solutions. The hackathon assisted the company in establishing a community that it would later leverage* The coronavirus epidemic hit in 2020, and one day they received notifications cancelling their retainerships one day. They were forced to design solutions to the problems that resulted from the pandemic. They designed VoltMicroscope – a handheld digital microscope that was ten times more affordable than its counterparts. Vilsquare has gone on to launch more versions of VoltMicroscope which have been sold in large amounts to several universities, the Nigerian Defence Academy, and the Airforce Institute. Featured Image Source: Techpoint Africa
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This article was first published on 30th September 2021

samuelokoruwa

My name is Samuel Okoruwa. I am an ardent researcher, reading is life and writing is fun.


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