This interview is part of the City of Philadelphia’s Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative. Campus Philly is featuring the “tech stories” of Black and Brown tech founders, entrepreneurs, and young professionals who are making an impact in the region, demonstrating why the Philadelphia region IS the most diverse tech hub.
Ayodeji Fowode is a Flexi-Tech entrepreneur and founder of Uneleap, BuddySafe, Borderless, TransAfrique, Afex. He is also a co-founder at FaithMeetsLove and Nbounz. He is most proud of his charity company called AF3CA which was started to help kids all over the continent of Africa.
Ayodeji loves traveling and meeting new people and enjoys the opportunity to talk about technology, sports, internet of things, physics, engineering, security, artificial intelligence, business, and much more.
Tell us about your “tech story” — what did you major in while in college? When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in tech?
I studied Chemical Engineering, Business Administration, and Business Management, and I have always been a technology person. My father was into tech, so I studied tech out of college and got my PMP certification. After college, I worked in the Silicon Valley for few years as an IT Project manager before branching out to start my own business as a MultiTech Entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve built several apps and companies. How do you determine where there is a need? What’s your personal mission when building these companies?
My personal mission is to have a huge portfolio of companies that are designed to solve problems people are facing. I love traveling and speaking to people. All the companies I have been part of or currently working on are based on helping people and providing solutions to problems people are facing. If there is a problem that can be solved using technology, then I will try.
How does your background and experience in tech help you as you’re building these companies?
My background in tech, business and engineering is a major part of the foundation of the companies I work on, but the ultimate deciding factor is my experience with people. Traveling and speaking to people drives the purpose of the companies.
Many college students and recent graduates in our community aspire to be an entrepreneur. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their entrepreneurship journey?
Start as early as possible. Failure is not a bad thing–the knowledge you gain from each failed experiment helps to mold the next decision. If you have any idea or a solution to a problem, then it is always worth pursuing as you never know who is going to benefit from your work.
Tell us about Uneleap. Who is it for, what does it do, and how can Campus Philly’s community start using the app?
Uneleap is the first global socio-educational media, information and networking community which is designed to help universities and students engage with each other. Our idea is to bring all the resources a student would need into the palms of their hands and make it very easy for the student to have the information on the go.
Imagine a student in the middle of the student center in a university, with access to library information, news, forums, tutorship, mentorship, events, community information, marketplace, etc. Now, imagine the student having all this information in the palm of their hands anywhere they are. We then take it further by connecting the students to all this information not only from their own university but also from all other universities globally who are part of the app.
What we hope to build is a database of information over a few years. Soon, all our prospective students will have the opportunity to access the app from their final year of high school to their last day of graduation and continue as alumni to keep helping current students.
What made you decide to create Uneleap?
As a student, I realized that there weren’t any global networking apps developed with emphasis on student learning and education lifestyle. Most students are limited to search engines, social media, and university marketing information to help educational decisions.
After graduating, I decided to make a change to that. There was a need for a platform that is designed with the students as a priority, and that is how Uneleap began.
Having an application designed for students, where they can support one another regardless of friendship, culture, language, location, and field of study, is a major advantage to student learning by bridging the gap between students across the world, and bringing them all under one platform to help unify and promote social learning.
If you were to offer ONE piece of advice to a young professional interested in pursuing a career in tech, what would it be?
This is the best time to join the tech industry. Everything currently runs on some form of technology and our dependence on it grows every day. There is so much to do in the tech space, so many avenues to get involved in – from research and development of new technological ideas, to maintenance of current ideas and the repurposing of old technological ideas, to the recreation of ideas that were not previously technology dependent.
And, it’s simply a lot of fun working in the tech space!