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Adebayo, young entrepreneur, seeks to reshape Nigeria’s tech industry

Ishola Adebayo is a certified trainer and technology guru. Although, a graduate of Economics from the prestigious Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State but the young entrepreneur is making ends meet through his passion to create positive change in the society through technology.

He is the Creative Director of Online Hub Educational Services, also known as OnlineHubNG; Nigeria’s foremost digital content platform and also the Project Lead for RockSpace Nigeria; the first Co-Working Space & Ideation Lab in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

He started the Online Hub educational services in 2016, just in a bid to create an educational technology platform where people, who are computer science and technology enthusiasts in Ogun state and Nigeria as a whole will have access to contents, training and workshop.

“We provide contents on our website around educational technology for educators, students of educational technology and entrepreneurs in the technology industry. We evolved in July 2018 when we saw a gap that was existing and that is because we have always been doing the work online since we were lacking a physical office then,” he said.

Later in August 2018, Adebayo and his colleagues established RockSpace Nigeria; the first Co-Working Space & Ideation Lab in Abeokuta, Ogun State, just to create an enabling environment for technology enthusiasts to sit and carry out their daily work activities.

“When we started, we work sometimes in restaurants in Abeokuta. I and my colleagues will just plug in our laptops and work from there, but in July 2018, during the Co-working Day, we realised the need to have an office and that was why we created the first co-working space and ideation lab in Abeokuta called RockSpace Nigeria.

“We realised a lot of people like us go about with their laptops and phones but they don’t have an office to work with, they have ideas and they need somewhere to work from but they don’t have the money to get an office. So, we created a space where people can come with their phones and laptops, meet people to share ideas, use our space, internet and power from 9 am – 5 pm from Monday to Friday and on weekends, we provide space for those who need event centre for about fifty people.

Adebayo believes the role of entrepreneurs that are leveraging on technology to bring about a positive impact in the society cannot be overemphasised. He believes a lot of young Nigerians can still key into the space to drive and create ideas that can illuminate the country.

“There are lots of problems in Nigeria right now and when you use technology to solve them, or your solutions and services leverage on technology, you are a Techpreneur. The space is large for entrepreneurs in the technology sector to create solutions for the good of the society,” he said.

He said his enthusiasm for greatness and passion to see tech-driven solutions has remained his drive to thrive in the technology sector.

“There are diverse opportunities abound. As a young person in Abeokuta, I see a city where everything is tech-driven and that is why we have started RockSpaceNG for technology enthusiasts to thrive in Abeokuta. I’m looking forward to seeing young people and more start-ups creating more solutions in our environment.

Adebayo believes he has attended several training that are focused on technology outside Abeokuta and believes he could stay in Abeokuta where he hails from, to teach and build a formidable team of young individuals that will be using technology to reshape the city, Ogun state and Nigeria as a whole.

“I was in Lagos for two months after my NYSC programme but seeing that Lagos market is more saturated, I decided to return to Abeokuta my hometown and to contribute my own quota in building a formidable technology platform. We have attended different programmes, Techaholic, AfricaCode Week, Social Media Week and so on. Since we started, we have been able to open more people’s mind to do a lot of things with technology,” he said.

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He believes he could still achieve his goal of becoming the number one technology guru in the country even though he studied something different from the sector during his undergraduate days, hence why he has started pursuing his Master’s degree in Educational Technology.

“ I was a commercial student in secondary school where I had knowledge of commerce which prompted me to pursue a degree programme in economics at TASUED. I graduated with B.Sc. (edu) in economics in 2013. The whole drive started after my NYSC in 2016 and for the last three years, I visited TASUED, my Alma mater to have sessions on technology and digital skills, It was there that I saw that the school now offers a Masters Degree in educational technology and I am part of the second set of people studying for M. Ed. in educational technology. I hope to take it all the way to Ph. D level so that we can continue to offer our best in experience and expertise in technology to the country,” he said.

He said his company has evolved from just being a digital platform to a more educational platform, where young people who are technology enthusiast are trained, just as he looks forward to creating educational technology applications for the benefit of the young entrepreneurs that are just growing in the field.

“Now, we have evolved from just a digital platform but also as an educational platform for content providers. Also, every July 15 we convene Techpreneurs hangout in Abeokuta to mark the World Youth Skills Day. Our expansion plan is to provide more space and facilities to accommodate more people. We want to expand our coast and revitalise our platforms by creating educational technology applications we can push and call our own, to provide technological solutions,” he said.

Adebayo believes the country can thrive if more attention is given to the technology sector where new innovations are spurring on a daily basis.

“The technology sector should be more looked into because there are lots of innovations happening globally. There is a global brand that has 7,000 products with various leverages of technology and they are constantly evolving every day. Why can’t we do the same in Nigeria! We can even grow our GDP with more revenue if they look and see through technological innovations,” he said.

He believes there are more technological organisations trooping into Nigeria to offer technological opportunities to teeming Nigerians that are ready to learn and acquire the knowledge in the field, just as he urged Nigerian youths to key into these opportunities

“There are lots of global brands that are currently coming into Nigeria, Google is presently doing Digital Skills Programme where they empower Africans to understand digital skills and build careers with it. IBM, Oracle, Facebook and others are also doing this too,” he said.

Adebayo believes his brand will be globally recognised before the next ten years with the type of expansion plans on the ground.

“In the next ten years, I think we will be a bigger part of the global conversation because we have the talents, passion and the unity of purpose. A lot of innovations are happening, young people are learning coding, robotics and I’m looking at the nexus between technology and education, which is pushing me further into studying and we can look at programmes that leverage on technological education. There is a platform we are test-running right now called MyClassroomNG. Technology is evolving and we are looking at how we can grow Nigeria’s technological space through innovation, research, development and training,” he said.

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