Tekedia Founders Series interviews people that are doing than talking. We mean people that are taking small risks in starting companies or beginning big ideas.We are happy to present Ademola Morebise who created Nigerian startup Gistcaster. He really likes to gist – web or mobile, bring it on. In the process of interviewing him, we noticed that he is still a student. That makes it even very interesting. He has his goal set that if all goes the way he is planning – he will hire himself.
Coming from Federal University of Technology, Akure, he must be taken very serious. His colleagues will be representing Nigeria in the Microsoft Imagine Cup in U.S. From all indications, innovation is happening in the classrooms of FUTA. Why? Ademola made it clear that Gistcaster is not a Twitter or Facebook clone. Rather, it ” is the mobile, social way to connect to the information you need based on where you are”.
People, here is a very promising Nigerian undergrad that hopes to create jobs and opportunities as soon as he graduates. We hope that some funds and support will get his way.
Tell us your name and background
I’m Ademola Morebise, native of Nigeria, citizen of the world. Everyone blames me for unleashing Gistcaster to the world!
I am the fourth child, first son in a nuclear family of eight (plus parents). Born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria and currently pursuing my first degree in Physics Electronics at the Federal University of Technology, Akure.
I read about the internet for the first time in 2001, little did I know I would later help set up businesses on it! My romance with computers started 2006, I quickly learnt HTML/CSS/JS and PHP from friends who had gone ahead of me.
My first venture was RiRanWo!, supposed to be an entertainment blog, but I shut it down now to properly focus on Gistcaster.
Introduce us to Gistcaster and its products and services
Gistcaster is a bootstrapped internet startup that wants to instantly connect people to the information they need.
I started working on this statement september 2009, initially it was just a hobby, I did it for the fun of it. But I have learnt a lot from this experience and now I have started designing the blueprints for a proper company.
So far I have developed two products for Gistcaster.
The first one: Gistcaster. Gistcaster.com is the flagship product, ng.Gistcaster.com is the mobile, social tool that connects people to the latest information around them.
The second one is g160: This is a SMS service that brings the latest gists to your phone via SMS.
Specifically, share with us how this company is doing and what your future plans are
We are not where we want to be, but we’re definately grateful to God that we are not where we were before. Everyday we work towards our vision – to instantly connect people everywhere to the information they need.
Your website was recently revamped. How is that helping the users?
The new Gistcaster interface makes it dead simple for our users to share and discover gists based on where they are. We removed a lot of clutter from the site, increasing accessiblity. And more goodies are on the way.
Tell us the challenges your business is facing
The challenges have been very much, the major challenge been funding and then the publicity, properly differentiating Gistcaster from the crowd of social/info networks we have around, infact once you start describing your startup as “a social…” people will cut in to say “Like Facebook?” and will expect it to work like Facebook!
Share with us how you are mitigating those challenges
I raised funds myself by working for people and I actively carry a postive brand image which I relay to everyone at every opportunity I get: Gistcaster is not a Twitter/Facebook clone. Gistcaster is the mobile, social way to connect to the information you need based on where you are.
You are a student and a CEO. How do you balance the two?
What I do is I try to do proper time management, ensure I devout time to both, because they are both important and so far God has been helping me.
What make your site different from other sites?
What makes Gistcaster different from other websites is our driving force, our vision. That’s what makes us stand out.
What are the motivational forces behind your success?
The little success I have can be easily traced to Reading, Plenty of research I carried out and networking with people much more knowledgeable than I am; and of course: I WORK, WORK, WORK AND WORK my heart out!
Ademola Morebise can be reached via his blog, Riranwo or follow him in Twitter: @amorebise