Founder Feature: Opeyemi Akinwoleola

Sylvana Lewin | Monday, January 22nd, 2018

This week we sat down with Dropque CEO Opeyemi Akinwoleola. Read on to learn why he believes it’s important to prioritize learning over selling in a company’s early stages.

 

Where are you from?

I am from the picturesque hills of Idanre in South Western Nigeria.

 

Tell me a bit about your company.

Dropque is a talent solution that enables companies to rapidly identify the best talent within their pools – anywhere and anytime – while creating a stress-free experience for the candidate. We do this through what I call “Selfie Interviews”, which are pre-built collections of questions a candidate can be invited to answer.

 

The candidate can use a PC or smartphone even in areas with limited internet connectivity to access the interview and record various responses to the questions posed by the company. This gives the company deeper insight into the personality of the candidate, their unique experiences which can contribute value to the company, and their potential fit within the organisation’s culture.

Why did you come to MEST?

I came to MEST because I realized I had an entrepreneurial flair, and I believed the future would be in technology. MEST ticked all the boxes for me. I came to MEST for business education, technology upskilling, critical communication skill-building, and access to mind-blowing networks.

 

How did MEST help get you to where you are today?

I think MEST is the main reason I am where I am today. MEST took a bet on me that I could learn abstract technological concepts and build a product while learning how to run a company. Even more important, MEST bet that what they had taught me was enough to build a successful business and invested significant capital in the company my team and I started.

 

What do you wish you had known as an EIT? Do you have any advice for this year’s group?

I wish I had known how fast a year rolls by, and I wish I had taken advantage of all the learning opportunities MEST had to offer. It’s a full year, and at the end of it you might not have the opportunity to be solely focused on learning again.

 

If you could go back in time to when you were just starting your company, what would you tell yourself?

Prioritize learning and not selling. In the rush to meet expectations and show value, it is easy to focus solely on knocking on doors instead of intelligently studying your market and creating lead generation systems that will bring in customers faster and more intelligently.

 

What have been some of the biggest challenge you’ve faced while at the MEST training program? How did you get past this challenge?

Ensuring that I didn’t get overwhelmed by the new things I was learning. I realized that if I didn’t keep moving, especially when I hit roadblocks and bugs, I would get swamped with frustration.

 

What would you say is your greatest success?

Getting our first paying customers. It made me really proud seeing the first companies that used our product because it solved a keen pain point for them. Our goal is to continue replicating that and solving this problem for a large enough number of people to make our company successful.

What’s your favorite food?

It’s Ofe Akwu and Iyan.

 

What do you like most about Ghana?

Ghana is serene and laidback – a welcome change from the hustle and constant bustle of Lagos.

 

What is your favorite memory from your time at MEST?

BBB hustles. I had to cook a Nigerian dish and sell it to help the team make more money. Sadly, we didn’t win, but I cemented my reputation as a good cook.

 

Who is your tech idol? Why?

Elon Musk, because of his knack of turning moonshot ideas into real companies making money.

 

Do you have any books about tech that you would suggest?

  1. Startup CEO by Matt Blumberg
  2. Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross

 

What is your favorite tech company? Why?

Amazon. Jeff has built a results-oriented culture and a monster platform that can challenge every other company in the world.

 

Who/what inspires you?

Problems inspire me. I am not kidding.