US-based startup mentor, entrepreneur and investor Oji Udezue builds products that enhance the way we live and work. Oji is former head of communications products at Atlassian and spent a decade with Microsoft with the team that built Windows, before joining the world’s biggest hedge fund, Bridgewater. Oji successfully created then divested tech company Intermingl, mentors startups at Techstars and invests in African and Southeast Asian startups as Managing Partner of Kernel Fund.
Oji made his inaugural visit to Australia last month as the new board member of Melbourne-based edtech startup Quitch and shared his top lessons for high performing startups at Swinburne University’s Innovation Precinct:
Founders need grit
Being a founder is like the electron of innovation and money-making in any economy. It’s the biggest risk you can take with 95 per cent of founders in the US failing. It’s an irrational task and irrational mission. You’re raising money, you’re paying salaries to people who depend on you and you have investors breathing down your neck. You need a lot of grit. Ask yourself, is your idea something that you are really connected to, spiritually connected to and brings you excitement and energy?
Get a cofounder
This is fundamental.