Nigerians are very creative people who continue to defy limitations and come up with outstanding innovations that continue to take the world at storm. Chinedu Echeruo is a Nigerian whose application hopstop.com was recently purchased by Apple for $1 billion.
According to “All Things Digital” – a blog by Wall Street Journal, “HopStop is an application that empowers Apple’s map program by providing access to a portion of the mapping landscape it had yet to cover: mass transit directions.”
Echeruo grew up in Eastern Nigeria and attended Kings College in Lagos. He thereafter left for the United States to attend Syracuse University and Havard Business School where he received a BS and MBA respectively before starting his own business. He worked as an analyst after working for J.P. Morgan Chase and AM Investment Partners thus making his impact in the hedge fund world. After these working stints, he founded both Tripology and HopStop which he raised nearly $8 million for.
His idea to start HopStop came to him when he discovered it was not easing moving about New York City. He thereafter developed HopStop in 2005 as a mobile application which provides door-to-door subway and offers public transit directions in more than 100 metropolitan areas across the globe in Android, web formats and iOS. In 2011, his application – HopStop was listed among the top 100 fastest growing companies in the US.
His other company Tripology was acquired by the American Travel and Navigation information company – Rand McNally in 2010.
His contribution has been recognized in some circles. He was included in the list of Top 40 Under 40 in the Black Enterprise Magazine and was also named the magazine’s small business innovator of the year.
He is presently on another venture which according to him is “to have one place where a budding entrepreneur can access a template for starting a business, and then customize it to suit their own situation; essentially, a business-in-a-box.”