What motivated you to get started with Bekkah Artificial Intelligence?
In 2021, after successfully planning and launching one of the most successful campaigns in Nigeria that glamorized Agriculture and raised over 3 billion Naira for the AgriTech/ Agriculture Real Estate company I worked for and the companies that benefited from the spill over of the campaign, I quit my day job to focus on my mental health (A lot of things come with success, I might share some in the cause of this interview). Looking back now I feel I am not made to take breaks off things that gives me joy (working on almost impossible things), I didn’t spend up to a month at home before I started Bekkah AI from scratch with less than dollar to my name. In that one month of being at home my therapist asked that I stayed away from strenuous mental activities that will lead to a relapse (I was clinically depressed, diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder and I was suicidal), but I realized I was feeling unfulfilled and sinking more into depression, I stayed off my Prescriptions and started building Bekkah from scratch with this main goals, to honor my Grandma (Rebecca, the business was named after her by the way), and to build a Company that will Align Africa for the future that is coming with Artificial Intelligence. I wanted to do something with my mind before I lost it to those mental struggle. So we can say my Major inspiration was to continually bless humanity with these beautiful mind God has blessed me with.
What specific problem are you solving with your startup and how are you solving it?
When we started Bekkah we had a goal to build one of the biggest Tech Company out of Africa, we wanted to help Automate the lives of Africans by utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in the safest way possible, we also wanted to create a database for African Histories, Culture and Languages, to help save endangered ethnic groups in Africa, these was to also help them learn about the modern world in their native tongues and have the ability to utilize modern tech to build local solutions for their Communities. These are mega projects that even companies with bigger capital base are struggling with, so how was someone with zero capital base going to achieve this great feats? We started off by rendering services to create cash flow for the company, then with the Cash flow, we created a great team, we attracted bigger partners and now we have generated revenue of over 100 thousand dollars in less than two years. We have built a paying game app called CYSTADS which will be launched in a few months which will be the first phase in building the Database for African Cultures, history and languages.
Describe what makes your business unique?
When majority of African Tech companies are looking at Fintech, we are looking at something different and unique, we are moving wild on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Big Data and Edtech. We do not just want to be another Fintech company, we have sophisticated Fintech apps we can launch but we want to tread path where a few or no one is treading. It is always difficult at first but once we gather the right momentum things will fall in line.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
I feel what has helped us so far is consistency and delivery velocity. We have a team of over 40 developers who can help any business achieve their tech goals. We also recognize that no matter how much we spend on marketing nothing is as important as word of mouth so we ensured that we retain our clients by rendering quality service, in turn they refer us to other businesses and individuals, but we compensate them with up to 20% commission. Profits made from business are plunged back into our Company for expansion.
How did you fund your startup?
Like I previously stated I had almost nothing when I started out, apart from an Idea, brains and the drive we had zero capital, but Elon Musk was an inspiration in the sense that he explained the idea of fixing cash flow starting in the easiest way possible. Armed with that information and my five year background in the Technology industry we started rendering tech services, which we still do till now, we were able to gather the right team, and soon attracted partners that believed in our dreams as much as we did and we started scaling. We are still in our very early stage for where we are going. In our really early stage, we are in search of the right funding Partners for our next phase. We estimate that by next year we will stop the service part of the company, we will only be maintaining and updating what we have built.
What were the biggest challenges you faced and the obstacles you overcame?
Finance is one of the biggest challenges all Entrepreneurs face, but I have a saying “An Idea is as good as its ability to raise the funds to execute it”. If you have an idea and you do not have a way to raise funds for it then the idea is not concrete enough. We were able to sort our financial issues by rendering Tech Services. By doing this we have generated a revenue of over a 100 thousand dollar in less than 2 years.
What is your greatest business achievement to date?
Hmmmm, I will just say getting Bekkah off the ground, there are some come back from debt story and heart breaking stories but I will stick to getting her off the ground with zero capital. When something else beats that in my mind I will definitely update y’all (Lol).
Awesome. Where would you like your startup to be in five years?
In the next five years we want to have accomplished at least 30% of our founding goals, we want to have partnered with a lot of tech giants, we want to have trained about 2500 techies for free (Yeah we have an academy that trains people for free on digital skills, we do this in partnership with an American Tech Company) and employ the best trainees, we also want to be a profit making Tech Company by then, I am not a materialistic person but by then I want to see Bekkah Employees living their best lives, getting access to the luxury they deserve and have earned.
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started on your business journey?
I wish someone had said these is all the money you need to excel (Lol). Well, wishes aren’t horses, but one thing I wish I was told “No matter how persistent a problem seems, in the long run it will sort out itself”.
Have you had any failed business?
I have not had any failed businesses yet, but some strategies we applied to raise capital for Bekkah failed and landed us in serious debt, well it was not a total loss we raised awareness for the business, but the debt humbled me, I almost gave up on Bekkah, I was burnt terribly, and I was scared of even trying after, thank God for my Mother. She literally drew me out of the debt and shame that came with it. As an Entrepreneur if you have not failed and lost money, you are probably on a path of being too careful to be successful. One of the major factors in building an Entrepreneur’s character is debt management, you aren’t really ready for wealth when you have not managed Debt and the shames, pain, embarrassment and heartaches that comes with it.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources for you?
If I start writing books that have influenced me we might not finish this interview now but I will mention some, All of Yuval Noah Harari’s collection, Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck (Now you know why I am almost always unbothered), Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, Napoleon Hill’s Think and grow Rich, George Clason’s Richest Man in Babylon, Robert Green’s 48 laws of power and Art of Seduction, Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, I could keep going on and on but I guess reading just these books mentioned so far you could have the right shift in your mentality to create even better beautiful things than even the writers and I.
I listen more to Joe Rogan’s Podcasts and I watch YouTubers who help me learn more about people I want to be like. I have a motto that drives me which is ‘we live and we learn’. Also like Father would also say “we only die the moment we stop learning”.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Nike it! Yeah like the Swoosh said “Just do it!”, now that was the simplest form to put it. These is the thing, all the ideas in your head are brilliant, till you say it out then people will tell you how dumb it sounds, all you can’t achieve but once you have the courage to say it to people more than a thousand times, you have broken the barrier of communication, hence you are ready to go. This is what saying it to people more than a thousand times does to your idea, it helps you fine tune it. Their disgust, arguments, disbelief, questions, advice and so on are the furnace the idea needs for refinement. That’s how I do my thing, didn’t learn this from no one, it was from deep thoughts, after realizing everything around us as humans are just refined ideas from humans like us. Now don’t just sit on that refined idea, start and you will be marveled at how things will make more sense as you go. It is easier now to start a business, with internet connectivity you can own an office space online and reach people. Almost everything you need to excel initially are free.