Chidi Nwaogu, born May 20, 1990, is a serial Internet entrepreneur, computer programmer, mentor, startup advisor, Westerwelle Fellow 2019, Yunus&Youth Global Fellow 2019, Halcyon Incubator Fellow 2019, African Young Leaders Fellow 2019, YALI Fellow 2019, SensX Fellow 2017, two-time recipient of OD Young Person of the Month, winner of The Africa 35.35 Award 2019, winner of the Young Leaders Award 2019, winner of The Bizz Business Excellence Award 2019, winner of Startup World Cup Nigeria Regionals 2019, winner of the ITU Innovation Challenges 2019, and first place winner of OD Impact Challenge 2018.
Nwaogu started his entrepreneurial journey when he was 16 with the creation of 9ja Boi Interactive, a video game development company. Today, Nwaogu is Co-founder and CEO of Publiseer, a digital publisher for African Creatives, described by Konbini as “one of the largest digital publishers in Africa”, identified by IFC as one of the startups “that could speed up innovation in Africa” and listed twice by ModernGhana as one of the “10 African Innovations” in 2019.
Since Nwaogu was 19, he has co-founded, grown and sold two Internet companies, including LAGbook, a social network that garnered over 1-million registered users within three years. He has been described as one of the “Young innovators making Africa great in 2019”.
Nwaogu was selected by Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the 2019 MIT Venture Scaling Bootcamp, by the Better Together Challenge 2019 to present Publiseer on stage, by World Youth Forum for The Arab and African Youth Platform 2019 in Aswan, and by Mastercard Foundation for the Africa Youth Works Summit 2019 in Cape Town. His startups have been featured on several media publications, like Africa Business Review and TechCrunch, for their strides in the tech ecosystem.
Nwaogu began public speaking as a keynote speaker at IT Leaders West Africa Summit 2012, where he spoke on the role of social media and mobile in developing nations. Today, he speaks around the world.
Chidi Nwaogu Speaks Out
I co-founded Publiseer, described by Konbini as “one of the largest digital publishers in Africa”. For my contributions to Publiseer, I received the OD Young Person of the Month twice, won The Africa 35.35 Award 2019, won the OD Impact Challenge 2019, won The Bizz Business Excellence Award 2019, and was accepted into Westerwelle Young Founders Programme Spring 2019, Yunus&Youth Global Fellowship Program for Social Entrepreneurs (Class of 2019), and Halcyon Incubator’s Fall 2019 Fellowship.
Publiseer is a digital publisher that helps African writers and musicians from low-income communities to distribute and monetize their creative works across over 400 digital stores in 100 countries, with just a single click, and at no charge. Publiseer became profitable after eight months from inception.
The digital publisher has received so many awards and recognitions, including becoming the first and only African publisher to join the International Publishing Distribution Association in Madrid, getting nominated for the 4th AppsAfrica Innovation Awards, receiving ‘The Most Needed in the Region’ award by African Entrepreneurship Award, emerging a finalist at a Harvard Business School New Venture Competition, and participating in the MIT Solve Global Challenges.
Publiseer won the Startup World Cup Nigeria Regional Competition and represented Nigeria at the Grand Finale in Silicon Valley. Publiseer was listed in Modern Ghana’s “List Of 10 African Innovations For January 2019” and “List Of 10 African Innovations For Mid 2019”.
Publiseer has been accepted in several accelerators and incubators, such as Microsoft’s Accelerate Labs, University of Cape Town’s Venture Incubation Programme and Singularity University’s Global Startup Program.
The digital publisher has been extensively covered by hundreds of media houses around the world for its exceptional achievements in the world of digital publishing.
After starting two Internet companies and eventually selling them to American companies, we asked ourselves, “What’s next?” This time, we wanted something that is actually solving a problem.
We wanted something that will actually challenge us as entrepreneurs. The question remained, “What’s the big idea?” This question was left unanswered for years. During these years, I wrote a book and my twin brother Chika recorded a song.
We were both successful with our projects. I was able to get my book across hundreds of platforms, generating revenue, and Chika was able to get his song across hundreds of music streaming and download websites. This was when we decided to create a platform to start publishing works of struggling African writers and musicians.
We decided to offer a free and quality digital publishing service so that people no longer have to struggle to raise money to pay for publishing. We have authors and musicians who are living solely on the royalties they receive from the sales of their works with us.
Many people confuse us for a recording studio. They ask if we can help them record their songs for free. That’s not what Publiseer is about. We only publish the works of recorded musicians.
The same problem exists in the book publishing division. Writers ask if they can send their handwritten manuscript to us for publishing. Again, we do not offer typing services.
An author or an artist sends us their work through email or via our website, and we decide within five working days whether we want to be publish it or not. Typically, we publish less than 50 percent of the works we receive. The only reason we will reject a submission is in an event when the work submitted is lower than our standard.
When we accept to publish a work, we contact the author or artiste usually via email, notifying them of our decision. However, we do not contact those whose work we reject. If an author or artist doesn’t receive a response from us within five working days, it simply means we won’t be publishing their work. When we accept to publish a work, we work overtime to ensure that we give the author or artiste the best publishing experience possible.
Mobile Technology and Internet in Nigeria
The Internet is used in almost every infrastructure in Nigeria. It’s hard to imagine our everyday lives without the use of the Internet. Unfortunately, not all Nigerians are maximising the use of mobile technology and the Internet.
If more Nigerians are made aware of the endless possibilities the Internet can provide, then will new realms of opportunities be open up to us. We can maximise the use of the Internet through education by encouraging people to learn whatever they want. Most of the information we need can be found online for free.
The Last Word
Entrepreneurship has taught us a lot of things. It’s been loads of lessons all the way. We’ve learned from our successes and our failures. We’ve learned what to do and what not to do. It’s been an awesome experience. From building a social network that hit a million registered members within three years to publishing over 60 books and musical albums within a month. It’s been a quite a journey.
We draw our inspiration from our failures. Failure is success only if you learn from it, and insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. So, when we fail, we learn from our mistakes, and try again, but this time, more intelligently.