From the dens sweepers diary
Yusuf the Dragons Slayer

The seventh, and the last entrepreneur for episode 2, Yusuf Bello came to the den seeking a 10 million naira investment in “”, a mobile directory solution company. He was able to demonstrate the service on his mobile phone, and gave the dragons the opportunity to do the same. And it worked perfectly. Yusuf Bello was also confident, and articulate, even when the dragons began to spit fire at his business idea, asking why he felt he was qualified to do this business, he quickly reeled out a very impressive CV which boasted of a Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, an MBA, and a Microsoft Certification in Software Development. He was able to prove to the dragons that he had the passion, the focus, and the prerequisite skills for running “” but how well did he sell himself as a business man?

He was able to demonstrate his passion for the immediate kick-off of this business by confirming that he was ready to resign form his day job in order to run this business. When asked if he was ready to transfer the working knowledge of the programming required to run the business, since it was risky to have a huge idea like this vested on one man alone, he readily confirmed his willingness to mentor a programmer and transfer the knowledge. Finally Alexander Amosu, impressed by this entrepreneur’s dedication invested 2 million naira for 10% equity; sensing the viability of the business, John Momoh offered the entrepreneur a whooping 3.5 million naira worth of advertising on Channels TV in addition to 2 million naira cash investment for 35% equity; Femi Tejuoso came on board the business with 2 million naira, while Ibukun Awosika invested 2 million naira…in the end the entrepreneur had an offer of 11.5 million naira from four dragons. Now his negotiation skills came to the test when Ibukun Awosika assured him that the four dragons were ready to provide the 10 million naira which he was asking for, in addition to coming on board the business with the various levels and areas of expertise and experience for a total of 75% equity to be split between the four dragons who had invested. He was offered time to think the offer through, and was even encouraged to consult his financial or legal adviser or anyone who could advise him before making his final decision. Yusuf Bello got on the phone and called a close associate of his, who advised him to accept the offer the dragons were making without further hesitation. He returned to the den, and accepted the offer. Handshakes were exchanged between Yusuf Bello and the four dragons…sealing the first deal in the Dragons’ Den.

Ibukun Awosika later revealed that the dragons had expected the entrepreneur to bargain the equity, but choosing not to do so shows that he understands the value of their contribution to the board of this business.

Speaking to Yusuf Bello after the deal was sealed; he expressed his delight in being able to persuade the dragons to invest in his business. On the issue of the 75% equity he ceded to the dragons, he posited that though it seemed like much, but in reality he sees their investment and the fact that they will be running the business with him as a milestone achievement which will ensure the huge success of the business.

Yusuf Bello goes down in the history of Dragons Den Nigeria as the first entrepreneur to have slain four dragons with one idea.

What do you think?

Here is my take once again, this guy came prepared. He had the qualifications, had already set the ball rolling on his idea. He was able to demonstrate his idea on the mobile phone and so could the dragons. He came with the right qualifications, of course this is Nigeria where "MBA" counts big time. Though in my opinion it would not matter as much "Bill Gates", "Larry Ellison" to name a few did not have an MBA, what the had however was a passion and a drive to succeed. One concern I have however is the 75% stake on the business. That seems like a lot but considering this is Nigeria where funding can be quite an issue; I suppose he had no choice. Previously I profiled the founder of HOPSTOP.COM, now if you are in the US. I urge you to try the service especially in New York, It is a must. Also, what did both entrepreneurs have to make it succeed passion and technology. If I were going in front of the dragons today. I personally will stick to technology that bridges the digital divide. Kudos to Yusuf though, hope we stay updated on this or what do you say readers?

The sixth entrepreneur, Carl came with what seemed like a bright idea; he claimed to have found a way to eliminate the cumbersome processes involved in bus-ticket booking in Nigeria. He was asking for 3 million naira for 20% equity. In the description and presentation of this business idea, he failed to convince the dragons that he had the technology, nor the exclusive rights to the technology, a direct market link, and a justifiably viable motive for consumers to patronize this business. Also the cost of his service to the consumer (200 naira) was not thoroughly researched, “the cost is important because the people who use the buses have some economic constraints…” remarked Ibukun Awosika. What however broke the camel’s back for Alexander Amosu who due to his experience and expertise in the digital terrain, was the fact that this entrepreneur had not bothered to secure an exclusive agreement with the hardware/ software manufacturer to cover his operations in Nigeria. The dragons opted out.

He ignored an essential document…How else was he hoping to convince and persuade the dragons that the business was viable if he had not agreement whatsoever with the manufacturer?

What’s your take?
My take is anyone can have an idea, have a demo available that works show you have secured technological agreements with the companies. No working demo no nothing! In my humble opinion. Don't worry though keep up the idea Carl. Gosh it is so simple take an idea already implemented in the USA and tailor it to Naija market. What do you think ?


The second entrepreneur who may be referred to as “Mr. Rebirth” came to the den looking for 24 million naira to develop his idea for what he tagged ‘Centre for the rebirth of African culture and arts’, and in exchange he was offering to give up 30% equity of this business.

Shortly after he introduced his idea, Femi Tejuoso made a remarkable observation, “this business plan you’ve given us looks like one written by a very confused person…you call it the Centre for the Rebirth of African Arts and Culture, yet you’re advertising a breakfast menu that parades Scrambled eggs and bread, German potato salad, Sandwiches, French fries etc…where’s the Akara and Ogi, where’s the moi moi?”

Chris Parkes, as an advertising guru advised the entrepreneur to device means of encouraging Nigerians to tune in and be proud of their culture, while Femi Tejuoso insisted that entrepreneurs like him in the arts and culture business should endeavor not to dilute our culture, while disguising western culture as the prevalent culture of Nigerians. All the dragons opted out. But Ibukun Awosika shared a motherly concern after the entrepreneur had left the den, “I’m tired of our children having the best of education but having no understanding of Nigeria, which is the reason I refused to send my children to British-curriculum schools…I don’t want a British Nigerian, I want a Nigerian that understands who he is first…” Alexander Amosu concurred immediately, humorously indicating that that was the reason why he returned to Nigeria to understand more of his culture. The dragons shared a brief moment of humor.

How many Nigerians have sandwiches for breakfast, not to mention German potato salad?

Well, what’s your opinion?
Oh my lord! This one tops the cake in my book! What in the world was this guy thinking? You are trying to set up a so called center for African culture and you are serving "German Salad"? Pardon me for asking but are you nuts? German Salad? Please serve some suya or some akara or even Pounded Yam and Gbanga soup (I love Gbanga soup by the way) then you would have me interested. What next? A school in Africa that is staffed by only expatriate workers?


The fifth entrepreneur, Simon came in search of 7 million naira for a sports viewing centre he’d tagged “Just Football”, and in exchange he was offering the dragons 70% equity in this business. After describing the infrastructural, mechanical, and logistics requirement of this viewing centre, which he enthused was to seat at least 300 persons in a football-inspired environment, Chris Parkes who we discovered was also in the football viewing centre business told Simon, “I don’t think you’re asking for enough money because I do football viewing centers too, and just the equipments without the rent (for the space) will take up all your budget…” His choice of Surulere, a densely populated area in Lagos, excited Chris Parkes, who felt the site was a good choice, who advised the entrepreneur to go home, do his homework and get in touch with him personally to discuss this business idea properly. Simon was offered a partial deal by Chris Parkes, like Ibukun Awosika put it, “the idea is good, but the business is not together yet” and on that basis, Ibukun Awosika and all the other dragons opted out of the business.
Bottom-line, he didn’t ask for enough money…but the idea was great, and Chris Parkes offered him an opportunity to do this business with him when he gets his figures right

Here is my take on this one, I love the idea. Not that I am a football fanatic as such but it works. At least Madam at home can watch other programs while her husband is out at the viewing center. Or ladies how do you view it? It is a great idea! Okay readers now you have to give your take...comment away


micro cap stock said...

its good to know about it? where did you get that information?

lotto numbers said...

Yuts, daw palagpat imo blog.

Oz Omodudu said...

Glad to see some VC efforts in Nigeria. Not bad no bad. About the MBA stuff, like any other degree, it helps you put some structure into your thinking process. It never hurts and it reduces your risk. Keep in mind that Bill Gates and Ellison and Jobs and co are outliers.

TMinx said...

Hey Naijagal, good synopsis but you should cite where you got the information (not in bold) from just so he can get some kudos for the work hes doing too.

naijagal said...

updated to include the den's sweeper diary

naijagal said...

oz omodudu
you do have a point there that it helps with place some structure into your thinking and it does not hurt. However, i know many people who get MBAs just to have it and I wonder why that is?

doll said...

am happy for him. but 75% is too much jore....its his idea and his hard work. what is 10M?

coolgal said...

@doll I thought the same thing too!

eseoraka said...

thanks for the update! as per the 75% I would have negotiated, but after the fact, its relative, i'd rather have 25% of something than a 100% of nothing. when it comes

eseoraka said...

thanks for the update! as per the 75% I would have negotiated, but after the fact, its relative, i'd rather have 25% of something than a 100% of nothing. when it comes