Emmanuel Adegboye attempts to bring order to the chaos of African public transportation systems with his tech startup, Bus Stop, and he has attracted the attention of some seriously connected players.
Adegboye is one of 50 entrepreneurs from 24 countries, including five from Nigeria, selected to participate in the 2015 MITx Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, ITNewsAfrica reports.
The bootcamp will be held Aug. 23-28 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Entrepreneurs from around the world will be able to connect to the entrepreneurial ecosystem that encompasses the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Participating entrepreneurs will get a taste of “drinking from a fire hose” that all MIT students experience, according to the MIT website. They’ll start a company in one week and pitch their startup to a panel of investors.
Adegboye talks about what inspired him as an entrepreneur in ITNewsAfrica.
From ITNewsAfrica. Story by Darryl Linington.
Bus Stop is a transit application for navigating through African cities using public transportation. In Lagos alone, the current population is estimated at 25 million people and a major percentage of these people rely on public transportation for their daily commute.
The problem, however, is that the transportation system (in Lagos) is quite chaotic. Things are never the same. Bus times cannot be accurately predicted (There are actually no bus times! You just go to the garage or stand at a bus stop hoping to get a bus), bus routes change, new routes open up, prices fluctuate and all of this makes moving around a challenge. It’s even worse when you’re going to a new part of town.
This can be daunting for both residents and visitors. Every now and then, someone gets to ask around how to get to wherever it is they want to get to.
I do it a lot too, but I think things can be better organised. My first time travelling alone in the U.K., I wasn’t afraid I would get lost or anything because I had my routes planned out before I even left Nigeria. I was very confident because I knew exactly where I was going, exactly where to get the bus to move me around even from city to city, and exactly how much it was going to cost me.
That’s the problem Bus Stop is trying to address. We’re trying to understand the patterns in the seeming chaos and model the transport systems as is so that navigating using the app feels very natural and gives you an exact representation of the reality on ground.
Bus Stop is still in development, but we will launch soon starting with Lagos, Nigeria. There’s, however, already a lot of expectations and I know because we have people signing up daily even though we haven’t launched.
The exposure at the (MITx) bootcamp is important for me because of the mentoring I would get for my startup, the experience I would gain by networking with other entrepreneurs from across the globe, and the other benefits of being plugged into the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The training at the bootcamp would also provide valuable insights into how to move my startup to the next stage of growth including how to pitch to potential investors and how to acquire customers. I intend to harness the knowledge and networks I would acquire to further develop Bus Stop into a product that is an integral part of how millions of Africans commute daily.
Prior to Bus Stop, I developed a web-based geographic information system for Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. It is the first of its kind for any Nigerian university and for that I was awarded a fellowship to present a paper at the 10th International Conference of the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Source: IT News Africa