Evans Akanno

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Evans Akanno
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Born (1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 31)
Lagos, Nigeria
NationalityNigerian
CitizenshipNigeria
EducationBSc Industrial Chemistry
Alma mater
  • Imo State University
  • Harvard Extension School
OccupationEntrepreneur, Creative Director, Digital Design Lead
EmployerCregital; Disha; Farmkart
OrganizationAct of Random Kindness (ARK); Zegist
Known for
  • Tech business start-ups
  • Creative digital design
  • Branding
Awards
  • 2019 Forbes Africa - 30 Under 30
  • 2018 NiTA Tech Young Achiever of the Year
  • 2016 & 2017 Nigerian Technology Awards
  • 2016 TFAA Prize for Creative Professional
  • 2015 & 2018 Awwwards's Honorable Mention X2 and Mobile Excellence

Evans Akanno (born 31 August 1990) is a Nigerian tech entrepreneur, brand and social media strategist, and tech creative director. He is regarded as "one of the most thriving" young tech entrepreneurs in Nigeria and one of the "5 Africans under 30 who are breaking technology barriers in 2019".[1]

Forbes named Akanno as 2019 Forbes Africa 30 under 30 in the technology category;[2] and he was also listed among the "100 Most Influential Young Nigerians" in 2019 by Avance Media.[3] The Vanguard (Nigeria) Newspaper lists Akanno as one of the young "Top 10 Nigerian CEOs Under 40" in 2020 that are "making waves, conquering the odds, rewriting history and changing the narrative. Men and women who have established companies and have grown it from nothing, or relative obscurity, to a remarkable brand".[4]

Akanno is a young "serial entrepreneur" who has founded/co-founded four successful tech-driven companies: Cregital, Act of Random Kindness, Farmkart, and Disha through bootstrapping strategy in the last 5 years;[5] and is now regarded as "an inspiration to young startups in Nigeria".[6]

He is the CEO and founder of 'Cregital' - a Creative Design Agency he founded in 2015,[7] which became an instant hit the same year and received the "Honoring Mention" certificate of recognition at the Awwwards in May 2015 - in just less than one month of launching.[8]

Early Life

Akanno was born in Lagos State and attended Innocent Comprehensive High School in Surulere where he graduated in 2005 as the overall best graduating student and also won special awards for the best results in Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Further Mathematics and Agricultural Science. Inspired by his passion for science, he then went on to study BSc in Industrial Chemistry at the Imo State University and graduated with 'Second-Class Lower' in 2010.[9] He also studied Innovation and Strategy at Harvard Extension School.

Career

Akanno's career was inspired through his internship with Nigerian Petroleum Resources (NNPC - NipeX) in 2008 where he developed the passion for technological design. He describes himself as "a design driven entrepreneur with love for tech, nature, and excellence!".[10] According to one of his interviews, Akanno revealed that after graduating in 2010 that the 'design bug caught' him and inspired him to "venture into graphics as a freelance designer" for almost two years - "creating designs for people who wanted to update their display pictures on the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) .... (and) charged as little as ₦400 ($1.03) for each design and clients would make payment through airtime when they were satisfied with his work".[5]

He finally landed his "first real job as a brand and social media strategist with Jumia Nigeria" in 2012 and also went to work with Konga.com in 2013 as a "creative strategist" before he finally "left paid employments" to set up his own company: Cregital Agency in 2015.[9] He founded Cregital as a startup through personal savings and bootstrapping with just $1,600, which grew successfully to become a multi-award winning company today.[2]

He also launched the 'Act of Random Kindness' (ARK) in 2018 as his Cregital's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to give back to his local community; and the same year he joined forces as a co-founder of Farmkart Foods - an agric-tech platform that help people to invest in agriculture via crowdfunding with a promise of 30% return on investment (ROI).[10] Farmkart Foods was initially founded by Jesse Osiobe as a bootstrap startup in 2015.[11]

Akanno also co-founded another startup company:'Disha Technology Systems' in 2019, which they claim not only helps startups and SMEs to create one-page website on their mobile phones to give their businesses instant online presence but also builds digital tools and templates that help designers, developers, content creators and agencies do their work faster and more efficiently.[12]

Akanno is also a prolific writer and enjoyed combining his "love for design" with his "writing abilities", which inspired him in 2014 to set up Zegist.com - a lifestyle community online platform. He is also the "Editor of Cregital Writings", which is an online tech discussion platform where members of his company Cregital share inside stories about their tech business expertise, professional work culture and life experiences.[13]

Awards and Recognition

Akanno has received several awards for his outstanding entrepreneurship with three of his companies being among the only four Nigerian companies that have so far won the 'Honorable Mention' (HM) certificate of recognition at the Awwwards: Cregital in May 2015, Farmkart in July 2018 and Act of Random Kindness (ARK) won both the HM and Mobile Excellence awards in November 2018.[14] Akanno was the winner of The Future Awards Africa Prize for Creative Professional in 2016[15] - beating other nominees which included the likes of Obinna Ajuonuma aka DJ Obi who just became the Guinness World Records holder for DJing in 2016.

Akanno also received the "2016 Y!Naija certificate of recognition for his contributions to the Nigerian Technology Space"[16] in the "2016 #YTech100" awards - an annual tech-innovative awards hosted by YNaija and Guaranty Trust Bank to recognise and honor the best and brightest "100 Young Innovative Tech Personalities in Nigeria".[17]

His company Cregital was awarded "Best Website Development Company of the Year" by the Nigeria Technology Awards in 2016 and 2017; and he was also named the winner of the "Tech Young Achiever of the Year" at the 2018 Nigeria Technology Awards.[18]

In 2019, he was named among Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 in the Technology Category.[2]

References

  1. Tabbey-Botchwey, Adom (July 4, 2019). "5 Africans under 30 who are breaking technology barriers in 2019". Face 2 Face Africa. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mwendera, Karen (July 1, 2019). "#30Under30: Technology Category 2019". Forbes Africa. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  3. Akpah, Prince (January 20, 2019). "Profiles: 2019 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians". Avance Media. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  4. Okogba, Emmanuel (March 11, 2020). "Meet top Nigerian CEOs under 40 years". Vanguard. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Edom, Stan (May 17, 2020). "How This Nigerian Tech Entrepreneur Built A Multi-Million Naira Web Development Company With Less Than One Million Naira". Startup Tips Daily. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  6. "Evans Akanno, CEO and founder of CREGITAL is RISE NETWORKS Youth of the Week". Rise Networks. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
  7. Okunlola, Bolu (July 21, 2019). "MEET THE FOUNDER: Meet Evans Akanno, Founder of Cregital, a Nigerian Creative and Digital Agency helping Brands Make Smart Impressions". Founders Africa. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  8. "Nominees / Cregital - Creative Design Agency from Nigeria". Retrieved June 13, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Talabi, Samuel (January 15, 2017). "Profit, fame should not drive you - Akanno". The Punch. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Designer & Entrepreneur". evansakanno.com. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  11. "Farmkart 2.0". Medium. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  12. "About us: We are Disha". Disha. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  13. "Cregital Stories: Inside stories about the people, work and culture at Cregital". Cregital. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  14. "Nigerian Companies Awarded Certificate of Recognition for the Honorable Mention Category". Awwwards. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
  15. "See the inspiring profiles of the winners of The Future Awards Africa 2016". The Future Awards Africa. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
  16. "#YNaijaNewEstablishmentList: Adekunle Gold, Ebi Atawodi, Odion Ighalo… Meet the class of 2016". #YNaija New Establishment. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  17. Rotimi, Alaba (29 February 2016). "2016 #YTech100 Honours 100 Young Innovative Tech Personalities In Nigeria". The InfoStride. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  18. "How Cregital – Digital Design & Development Agency started". Ideologies Hub. Retrieved June 14, 2020.

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