Successful Immigrants: Chinedu Echeruo

Chinedu Echerio is a Nigerian born techpreneur who has made billions by creating various apps and selling them. What is fascinating about him is that he is still young as compared to other billionaires around the world. Here, we look at his background and his path to success.

About his early life
There is no much information about Chinedu’s early life. From 1985-1991, he attended Kings College, Lagos where he attained his basic education. After which he proceeded to the United States where he studied at Syracuse University where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting between 1991 and 1995. He then proceeded to Harvard University where he got an MBA in general management from the institution in 2000.

While in school and university acquired a number of skills that contributed to the repertoire of skills that have contributed to his success. As gleaned from his Linkedin account they include start-ups, private equity, mergers, strategy, investments, hedge funds, venture capital, finance, valuation, business strategy, due diligence, emerging markets and analytics among others.

Previous Work Experience

J.P. Morgan and Co.
After graduating from Harvard, he worked at J.P. Morgan and Co. from 1995 to June 1998 as a financial analyst. it is that he gained intimate knowledge of mergers and acquisitions, which he practiced and used while working in the company.

AM Investment Partners
From January 2002 to January 2005, he worked at AM Investment Partners as a Financial analyst again. This company was driven by volatility in the financial markets to make business and was based in New York. His hunger for success saw him leave this job in 2005.
It was not long before Chinedu got his breakthrough with Hotspot and Tripology. he began by the founding of Tripology.com in 2008.

Tripology.com
In January 2008, Chinedu alongside another partner co-founded this amazing website. The website offers information about the global travel industry. The main aim of tripology.com is to connect global consumers to travel professionals. The website provides consumers with high quality leads through connection with travel specialists. Chinedu worked as the Company’s CEO from January 2007 to December 2008. It was at Tripology that he amassed enough capital that was pivotal in his breakthrough moment with Hopspot.com.  Rand McNally acquired Tripology in 2010 through the US travel media group.

HopStop.com
This was the real breakthrough for Chinedu Echeruo. After gathering enough capital from his previous jobs, he founded Hopstop.com. This was while working as the CEO of Tripology, He developed and incubated the idea that he used to invent HopStop in 2005. HopStop is a website that deals with urban navigation. For tourists and even residents who may not know the city well, this website gives door-to-door directions to pinpoint the exact place. The website uses public transportation systems to achieve this. However, the app is not only limited to bus drivers but also helps subway drivers in their navigation. The Company delivers its services through its main website www.hopstop.com, SMS and voice interface. All these are downloadable to the users’ mobile phone.

The selling of HopStop to Apple
According to the Wall Streets Journal’s AllThingsDigital report, in July 2013 Apple bought HopStop from Chinedu for $1 billion. This was a financial breakthrough for Chinedu who joined the billionaire bandwagon. The sale of this website received both negative and positive criticism from users and stakeholders but this did little to sway Chinedu who was having none of it.

The Thought Process that led to HopStop
According to the many interviews that he has given, Echeruo confesses that it took a long time before he could finally put his ideas into practice. For a long time, he thought of the difficulties that people (tourists) endured when finding their destinations. He then thought of how he could use the technology to solve this problem. At that time, his main question was whether he could make it into a viable business opportunity. To him, creating the solution was not a problem. His main problem was whether people could accept his website as a solution.
He however went on to launch the program and as we all know, it ended up making him the billionaire he is today. Currently, even though he is not the owner of the website anymore, it continues to serve over one and a half million customers each month.

After HotStop
After Chinedu sold HotStop to Apple, he embarked on business in Africa where he set up a food company. This year (2017), he started working at Love & Magic Company. This is a start up studio tasked with nurturing people’s imaginations into possible reality. The studio is located in New York City.
Earlier in May 2017, Chinedu joined the MindMeet platform. Here, he encourages people with knowledge to inspire others with the aim of making money for charity. The money collected in the process is donated to a designated charity centre.
Currently, Echeruo is working on another business project as any other great entrepreneur would. Whether it will grow to another massive business Company or not it waits to be seen.

Chinedu’s Personal Values of Success
Like any other successful techpreneur Chinedu has some strong values that he espouses. He believes you do not become great by not having something that you stand for. For instance, according to Chinedu, he believes that there is no reason why every entrepreneur should have to re invent the wheel every single time in the countries of Africa. For him, he would rather create one place where entrepreneurs can access templates for starting their business opportunities. From here, they can personalize their situations to suit the markets. That is what he calls business-in-a box.

Critical Acclaim
Many household names agree that Chinedu knows how to do his work and he has some accolades to show for it. On his LinkedIn account, Chinedu has two great recommendations from A.J Lawrence and Jason Griffith who is the Co-Founder of SiteCompli. The former describes Chinedu as an amazing client with a perfect strategy. He is also precise and demanding in all sorts of ways. On the other hand, Jason Griffith has many praises for Chinedu too. He describes Chinedu as one of the most intelligent and self-driven people he knows. After working together at one of their Companies named Tripology, Griffins says that Chinedu has a unique ability and is a person who can find solutions in situations where there seems to be none. He foresees a time when Chinedu the techpreneur will create even bigger products than he already has created.

What they have to say
According to Forbes, Chinedu is one of the top ten most powerful people in Africa. His resources and success give him a voice to advocate for various causes within the continent.. According to the Black Enterprise Magazine, Chinedu appears in the Global Top 40 Under 40 category. Various media houses such as CNBC, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal identifies him as one of the people committed to making the world a better place. They are amazed by Chinedu’s love for free flow of information and the hunger for education.

Take on Social Media
Chinedu appreciates the need to use social media especially with the ever-growing interests in the use of the various platforms. He has a LinkedIn account; he is also on Facebook as Chinedu Echuruo.

Take Home
Born in Lagos, Chinedu is a Nigerian techpreneur based in the United States and is responsible for inventing one of the world’s most useful websites known as HopStop. Through this website, people have ease in finding their locations through some cities in the United States. Chinedu is well educated who has attended various institutions of higher learning including Harvard University. He then proceeded to be the CEO of Tripology where he was a co-founder too. After the selling of HotStop to Apple for $1 billion, this served as a breakthrough in his career. Currently, he is working at MindMeet and Love & Magic Company as a Dreamer. He also owns a Food Company in Africa that contributes to his daily income. Forbes and other recognized magazines recognize Chinedu as one of the most powerful people in Africa and is committed to seeing the world get forward and being a better place. He has been successful as an techpreneur and now that he is working on other projects, we can only wait to see what is cooking.

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