He surely likes to pray. If not he would not have built a website to help families and friends pray. Oyelaja Oyekan is the CEO of OutPrayerBox – a Lagos startup that has this mission:
Our main goal is to create something that would have a high positive impact in the life of it’s users. We believe strongly in faith aggregation and that is what ourprayerbox does. We believe we are on a mission that would have huge impact in the world and for the first time, there is an online platform that brings people together to engage in prayer and share the good work of the lord. Welcome to the start of something new, we hope you find your heart desires using the ourprayerbox platform.
We got up with the man of prayer and a graduate of the Babcock University where our Founder is an Adjunct Professor. People, enjoy this discussion as part of our Founders Series.
Tell us your name and background
My name is Oyelaja Oyekan, I am a 23 year old software developer from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state Nigeria. I studied Computer Science at Babcock University. I am the current CEO and founder of Ourprayerbox.
Thank you, now introduce us to ourprayerbox and its products and services
Ourprayerbox is a religious social networking community that enables people share prayer points and testimonies with their friends and people from around the world. It is focused on helping people share their prayers and testimonies, find people to pray with, discover what people in their place of worship are praying about, discover what people around the world are praying about and generally improve a users relationship with God using technology. I launched it with Taslim Akerele(CFO), Irabor Okosun(Marketing), Micheal Rhema(Social products) and Tola Balogun(Operations) they are an awesome team.
Specifically, share with us how this company is doing and what your future plans are
Having launched only three weeks ago, Ourprayerbox has grown significantlly and we are very inspired to take the project to the next level. We have over five hundred users, over a thousand prayers, over a thousand amen said and over ten thousand pageviews already. We’re impressed with the growth which key to shaping the future of the product. Our mission is to seamlessly integrate technology into our user’s religious lives, we’ll be
looking to deploy sms integrations and building a platform that becomes the destination for anybody looking to pray. We hope to make Ourprayerbox just as important as going to church or the mosque is. It’ll be interesting to see what the whole world is praying about at any given time and also what my friends and church or mosque members are praying about.
You stated that you are working on the User Interface of your site. What do you plan to accomplish?
Yes I take care of the major codebase of the site and the user interface. The main idea behind the interface of Ourprayerbox is to make it as simple, powerful and beautiful as it can be without complicating or jeopardising
the interest of the user. We are working hard round the clock to make sure that Ourprayerbox works and feels like a religious app, we hope to build a system that gives people the power to express their prayers easily and
What are the opportunities for your business line
The oppotunities of building a business around the Ourprayerbox idea are endless and we are currently working on testing out a few of them, but at the momment Ourprayerbox is focused more on growing the user base and the idea behind the platform. As we see the project as an effort towards humanity and a contribution to the community. But at some point we’ll need to generate revenue to sustain the plat form and it’s services. We are currently working on a line of promoted analytics and statistics features for religious organisations.
Tell us the challenges your business is facing
The challenges are quite interesting and they are some really serious problems we are creating construtive approaches towards solving. We’re faced with people believing the project is some sort of scam, some people
are confused about the target audience the platform is meant for and generally faced with technical challenges that come with running a website of this nature.
Share with us how you are mitigating those challenges
Like I said these challenges are interesting and solving them is even more interesting. We have assembled a quality assurance team that is focused on improving trust from our users and visitors. This team is working closely with our technical team to build better security systems and our social interaction team is developing modules that would focus more on helping a user understand the website upon visit by pulling related content in form of friends and posts from their social networks upon visit to the website. We’re also working with churches and mosques to help drive their audience towards this platform as this promotes and endorses the product among the general public. Our technical team are also constantly evolving the technology behind Ourprayerbox to support our growth. We’re also coming out with a rock solid publicity scheme that would really convince the public about the product.
Your message to other founders and entrepreneurs
Find a market and unique problem and be the best at solving it. Think of how you can be different at what you do, how to be better than the competition and dedicate the rest of your life to that purpose.
Should you become a LGA chair, Governor or President, tell us how you will
make technology to flourish in your country I’ll invest more in empowering the public to establish themselves
independently. We need more problem solvers and solution providers. It is time we invested more in our intellectual ability and cut down the costs of importing things that could be easily created by the young minds of this great country.