V8 Ventures Managing Partner Tobi Oke Talks Making Money and a Difference

Sylvana Lewin, Monday March 26th 2018

Managing Partner of Nigeria’s V8 Ventures, Tobi Oke, shared his experience with the MEST community during March Guest Lecture Weekend, alongside Brightpearl cofounder Andrew Mulvenna, Bestman Games founder Nimi Akinkugbe, and Dean of Microsoft 4Afrika Academy Lutz Ziob. Oke’s talk focused on making money, while making a difference. We’ve recapped some key highlights from his speech!

Making a Difference

Early on Oke realized that his vision was to solve problems, while making money. He initially believed building tech was the best way to solve problems, so he began working at Motorola as a software engineer. He found, however, that he became bored of solving the same problems everyday. He also wanted to solve problems that would make a difference. Oke explained his moment of epiphany, stating, “I wanted to give advice that actually made a difference and that would make me a millionaire. ”

After this realization, he did his MBA at LBS and entered private equity with a vision of investing in technology companies. From there he joined V8 Ventures, and his belief in the importance of capital has only been further instilled. Referencing the standard Bill and Melinda Gates have set for philanthropy, as well as the business empire they have created, he said, “You can use your profits to change the world. If you control capital, you can make things happen.” He further emphasized the importance of philanthropy and social impact, which he believes should be built into a company from day 1.

[caption id="attachment_6598" align="aligncenter" width="665"] Tobi Oke gives feedback to EITs at Guest Lecture Weekend.[/caption]

The Importance of Focus and Passion

Throughout his talk, Oke pressed the need to be focused and have passion for what you do. He told community members a question he always asks himself: Would you still do your  job even if you weren’t getting paid? For him, the answer should always be yes. He told EITS, “Let your passion guide you, directly or indirectly. Passion keeps you happy.”

When it comes to focus, Oke pushed us s to know our passions and strengths, find the intersection, and pursue it. He reminded us that, “Execution is everything; ideas are nothing.”

3 Things You Need for Success

Oke also highlighted the three things he believes you need for success - something he took from actor Matthew McConaughey. The first thing you need is someone to look up to. Whether an industry titan, a parent, or God, you need someone to admire. Next, you need something to look forward to that will drive you everyday. Finally, you need someone or something to chase. Oke continues to chase himself - but the self he will be in ten years.

[caption id="attachment_6599" align="aligncenter" width="665"] Tobi Oke talks at Guest Lecture Weekend[/caption]

Wrapping up his talk, Oke outlines some advice he wishes he had received from others along the way. He stated, “Every single moment, situation, disappointment, and encounter is an opportunity for you to learn.” Sharing that he had kept every rejection letter he received, he encouraged EITs to understand their failures and learn from them. He also pressed to surround yourself with people who value your dreams and to be your own advocate.

If you’re interested in learning more from industry experts, follow the MEST blog for recaps on the lectures by Brightpearl cofounder Andrew Mulvenna, Bestman Games founder Nimi Akinkugbe, and Dean of Microsoft 4Afrika Academy Lutz Ziob!