Adeniyi Ibukun: “We should not export solutions that work in Silicon Valley and try to recreate it in Nigeria.”
1. Please introduce yourself. What is your name? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
My name is Adeniyi Ibukun. I was born and spent most of my life in Lagos, Nigeria. I studied computer science at Redeemer University located in Lagos. Before that, I attended Awesome college, Lagos.
Bukka is my business. It is an app that allows chef/cooks to connect to customers online. It is a platform that enables chefs to cook from their home, pretty much do everything a restaurant would do. It’s a food management software.
3. How did the idea for your business come about?
I wanted to create something that would have an impact. The best way for technology to have a large impact is if everyone shares something they have. It prevents waste and optimizes the economy. In return, everyone gets something, either money or convenience.
4. How does the sharing economy work in your business?
The chef shares their domestic kitchen and cooking skills and the customer gets a delicioushome cooked meal.
5. How did you recruit chefs?
Social media & advertising. In the first 2 weeks of advertising on Instagram, we had over 300 chefs sign up. Instagram was the biggest social media platform for us. We had a ton of comments and aton of shares.
6. How do you promote a technology-basedbusiness on Instagram?
On Instagram, a lot of people cook and post pictures of their food. So it’s a massive database of chefs & cooks. The first thing we did was create our Bukka page and placed sponsored posts (adverts).
7. When did you start Bukka?
The idea was conceived in July 2015 and then we started writing code in August 2015.
8. What were your first steps?
The first thing I did was find a partner. Then together we started researching, reading, writing code, looking at the competition, & thought about what to do differently.
We met online. We have only met each other once in real life. We met at Free Code Camp.
10. What is Free Code Camp?
Free code camp is amazing. It’s an online community where anyone can go, without coding experience and they teach you to step by step, from 0 to 100. I was doing Free Code Camp to brush up on my programming skills because before that at that point I didn’t code for a year. I also thought I was going to write a lot of the code for Bukka myself.
However, I meet my cofounder in a chat room. Since Free Code Camp is available to everyone in the world I didn’t see too many Nigerian names. So when I saw his name I decided to introduce myself. We started talking and assisting each other whenever either one of us had an issue. Then I told him about my project and we started writing code together. Exactly, 5 months after we met online we formed a business.
11. Where is your business based? What cities do you service currently?
My business is based online and we currently serve just Lagos but we are looking to expand quickly. At the end of the year, we want to be in the UK.
12.How does the Bukka app work?
When you log into the app, you select your location, then the app uses GPS that will give your delivery location. Then Bukka gives you a list of all the chefs within a 5k radius of where you are located. You can search by cuisine, proximity, and even the name of your favorite chef.
13. Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?
When the idea came to me, I thought about a namefor 2 weeks, created a logo, reached out to partners then we decided what coding language we needed. This is very important. In programming, there’s a ton of language, so you need to be very careful.
The technology has to be on point. So we got, even more, developers involved so all we did in the very beginning was programming, programming, programming. So when we finally created something, we reached out to www.techcityng.com and put out the first article about Bukka. It was very exciting and many people went online to register. Then we changed, even more, programming, added more code, changed some things, this was a constant process. We were constantly changing things. We didn’t have a blueprint and we did our own testing.
14. How long were you running the business before you started paying yourself?
I am not paying myself yet.
15.How did you live through those first few months since you are not paying yourself?
I was living off savings but they are gone at this point. Sometimes when it gets too bad, I take another job. I am a web designer so I can design web pages. But at this point, it’s a distraction. I am bootstrapping and I also get things from friends & family.
16. What has been your most satisfying moment in your business?
When we did chef registration, spent $10 on advertising and had 1,000 hits on the website. That is when I knew that my work has been worth it.
17. What are the unique problems in establishing a tech startup in Nigeria?
The problems are plenty. To get people who want to do the right thing, people who will support you and people can’t write code. A lot of people say that they can write code, na la lie!
18. How did you find skilled coders?
You can find a coder anywhere, Nairaland and reader so many places. I also go to Github where people can store codes they have written. I look at it and gives me an idea of how good they are.
19. How did you raise the funds to launch your business?
Bukka is self-funded.
20. What are the major barriers for startup companies in Nigeria to set funding?
Finding someone with interest and finding people who understand the tech business. When I started, what made me lose interest in getting funding, was one of the first people I spoke to about money. He could not even conceive the business because he did not even understand how Uber operated.
21. How would some get in touch with you? Related social media accounts, web page, etc.
22. Anything you want to say?
We have a lot of opportunities in Nigeria. Yes, we have a lot of problems. The market is wide open if Nigerians do not jump on it, it will be a shame. It is now or never. We need to wake up! And if we want to solve issues, we need to solve Nigerian issues in a Nigerian way. We should not export solutions that work in Silicon Valley and try to recreate it in Nigeria.
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