Itanna Accelerator Experience by Isaac Omonayin

If I were to christen the 6th of August, I would undoubtedly call it the “Ignition Day”. This is because the 6th of August 2018 was the beginning of an amazing, intriguing and exposing experience for me and my entire team.

The journey started on the most interesting note. The structure that houses Itanna is a mind-blowing paradox. An old building that looks like an abandoned warehouse from the outside  but as soon as you step in, you enter one of the most colorful, lit, and exquisite co-working spaces you will find anywhere. The Itanna structure truly reflects its name; and the ambiance oozes excellence.

Itanna provides an avenue to meet some of the industry’s leading founders and CEOs that we look up to, and presents them in their realest form. Something we’ve noticed about all the CEOs that have had a session with us is that they come to us in their truest and most honest state; sharing stories of their successes, failures and naivety from their journeys in business and entrepreneurship. One such story is the best I have heard, and it’s of Mitchell Elegbe – CEO of one the fastest growing tech companies in Nigeria. He shared with the Itanna Cohort at one of the sessions how he and his co-founder were engrossed by the passion to see their vision grow that they forgot to keep a share in the company they founded for themselves. I remember getting home after that session asking myself all through the night If I am driven by half the passion these guys had.

 

And yes, that’s what Itanna does for us as a team. After one of the sessions with the Itanna Business Development Team, we (KoloPay) decided to work all weekend in the facility because the Business Development team illuminated the points we needed to improve on. It was basically the spark we needed to make us restless enough to work on what needed fixing. These little weaknesses in our business model were not obvious to us; but with the help of Itanna,

The Monday morning meetings that are held every fortnight have also been revealing, as they open me up to how uniquely intelligent members of the other startups in the Cohort are. The various approaches to solutions suggested to challenges shared are nothing short of amazing. The session is referred to as our BONDING session but I jokingly call it ‘Family Meeting’ maybe because of the round seating formation we take during these sessions or because we all try to find a solution to the challenge any one of us is having.

 

For sure, our business isn’t the same as it was before we stepped into Itanna few weeks ago. Our technology isn’t the same, and our communication isn’t either. We have benefitted from the immeasurable human and other resources available at Itanna. We have amazing testimonials from our customers about how improved our system is.

By the way, I must add how badly I get beaten at fuzzball by everybody in the Cohort.. The Fuzzball game would have been one of my best memories of my time at Itanna, but I have suffered so badly at the hands of everyone I’ve played with,  that I have resigned myself to only watching or maybe running the commentary for those playing.

Do you want to guess who the undefeated champion is?

 

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