When Olaoluwa Adeyemi and Babatope Olajide met some years ago as employees of a multinational Oil and Gas company in Nigeria discussing, brainstorming, drafting, re-drafting, coding and debugging an idea for a real and virtual link between entrepreneurs and investors; an arrangement free from the hassles of bank collateral that start-ups can’t afford, the PitchOffice idea was born.
PitchOffice is a platform that brings entrepreneurs and investors together. It is uniquely designed with the sole aim of engaging a good business idea with a legitimate investor in order to realize a mutual business agreement. On PitchOffice, entrepreneurs can submit businesses for funding and investors can find a business to fund.
PitchOffice supports innovative ideas, those that solve real problems especially along technology lines while getting equity stakes in the supported businesses. Their current networks of investors are from their Nigerian Oil and Gas industry where both had worked earlier as well as Angel investors and venture capitalists across various sectors.
This is how PitchOffice works: an entrepreneur with an innovative business idea submits it to PitchOffice; a pitch office staff approves the idea for publishing on the online platform; investors view available businesses on PitchOffice both online and offline; selected project’s entrepreneurs are invited to undertake a two-weeks ‘due diligence test’ to ascertain the veracity of the proposal as well as understand the entrepreneurs. Successful participants of the due diligence program can then sign a non-disclosure agreement (to legally protect entrepreneurs from idea theft) and finally pitch their ideas to investors.
The 6 months enterprise already has over 787 members, over 79 projects, and ranks among Nigeria’s most visited website, 15 of the projects have passed the due diligence test.
Despite these successes PitchOffice still has some challenges among which are indiscipline of some entrepreneurs and sourcing of quality entrepreneurs. “Sometimes when projects are put up on PitchOffice and investors show interest, some of the entrepreneurs don’t show up. Many entrepreneurs are not disciplined enough to deliver on time” comments Olaoluwa.
Nigerian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Babatope Olajide the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of PitchOffice believes that the Nigerian government hasn’t done their best with respect to facilities and capital to better the entrepreneurial ecosystem. However, Nigerian entrepreneurs must strive to make the best of what is currently available.
In 5 years’ time, PitchOffice will be a brand that will be known for developing the Nigerian Economy as well as a place where investors and entrepreneurs with ideas meet.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Olaoluwa advises aspiring entrepreneurs that “entrepreneurship is not for everyone as you require courage to step out and differentiate yourself from the masses. Entrepreneurship is the art of starting, managing and maintaining a business. Nigerian entrepreneurs should be more innovative and create something that cannot be replicated overnight.” “We need to be thoughtful in our creation process and cling to the hallowed principle of integrity” – Babatope added.
Finally, get a web presence, even if the company is at its start-up stage.
Meet the Founders
Olaoluwa Adeyemi (CEO) is a Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Nottingham with practical project management experience and Babatope Olajide (CTO) has an information technology background and has worked previously in the Nigerian oil and gas industry prior to launching PitchOffice.
You can submit your project to PitchOffice at the www.pitchoffice.com