As Black History Month wraps up, we’re highlighting a few of the Black founders who are part of the Platform Calgary community – through programs like Junction and Alberta Catalyzer – who are making big waves in Calgary’s tech scene. Meet Temi Okesanya, Co-Founder of Road Aider, Lulu Mashonganyika, Founder of LiiT Care Connect, and Ange Paye, Co-Founder of VOTO.
Tell us about your startup.
“Road Aider is a tech startup connecting customers needing roadside assistance and auto services to the nearest service provider. We initially started as a digital towing and roadside assistance company, but we have evolved and expanded our offerings to include mobile mechanic services and automobile care services for both customers and businesses.” - Temi
“LiiT Care Connect Inc. is a community-based digital platform for listing childcare services. It facilitates the interaction between parents and service providers and cultivates concentric parenting communities providing parents with, stress-free & convenient access to inclusive childcare and parenting support.” - Lulu
“VOTO is an innovative engagement platform that helps live event organizers and consumer product designers anticipate what consumers want through voting. We incentivize consumers to engage by embedding Call to Actions with charitable giving triggers. Using VOTO’s method we’ve increased lead generation by 4X compared to [the 3-5%] industry average, and secured pre-sales.” - Ange
What’s the best part of being a founder?
“Personally, it’s the gratification derived from building something that never existed before and watching it grow. Founders are creators, and this is what we enjoy.” - Temi
“The belief that l am building something of great value while embracing the opportunity to overcome fear!” - Lulu
“Getting to build!” - Ange
What are you hoping to achieve in the next year – how can the community help you?
“We have built a successful multi-sided platform backed up by monthly growing revenue/customers and are looking to scale rapidly in the next year. The community can help by providing us with resources that can help proliferate our growth and vision.” - Temi
"In order to establish and reach our beachhead target market, launch an MVP, and pilot testing, the community can help us by sharing about LiiT Care Connect and connecting us with potential strategic partners, collaborators, and industry experts in the childcare space." - Lulu
"1. Build our BETA app! Our goal is to make our alpha version self-serve, so if you're a developer with Angular 10, NodeJS, and experience using ionic, email us ([email protected])! 2. Sign up to our BETA waitlist 3. Connections with marketing leaders in the consumer good space. We'd love to further our customer discovery efforts.” - Ange
What resources or advice would you share with other founders?
“Mistakes are fine. You are allowed to make mistakes, and it’s okay. This is part of the process, and that's how we learn. The startup journey is a lifelong learning process. We make mistakes and learn every day, but one thing we do not do is give up. We never give up.” - Temi
As a founder, once you identify a problem and believe in the solution, like Martin Luther King Jnr said, “don’t be afraid to take the first step even when you don’t see the whole stairs case.” And remember asking for help is not a sign of weakness." - Lulu
“Keep your foot on the gas. Don't be afraid to pivot - remember the magic is in you, so you'll figure it out even if you're feeling stuck.” - AngeBack