Babajide Ipaye is the Founder and CEO of Keexs; the first innovative and social footwear brand in Africa.
How He Started
Babajide studied microbiology at the University of Lagos. He worked briefly in Port Harcourt for a while, then after he finished his NYSC, he came back to Lagos and did MCSE exams, and that’s what got him involved in IT.
He then got his first major job with a company called Tranter; there, he was being outsourced to different organizations, one of which was Guinness.
While managing all their IT support in Guinness, an opportunity came to work with them directly, so he took it, and that’s what gave him a lot of exposure to world-class best practices.
In 2005, he resigned, then he started a tech company with a friend. He played in the tech space for the next as an entrepreneur.
He got bored and wanted to explore more, but he wasn’t sure of what exactly he wanted to do. But there was one thing Babajide always had, and that’s a shoe size problem.
He’s a size 48 for shoe size, so he had always had problems getting the desired shoe of his size. He had to settle for less-desired shoes most times because that’s what may fit his leg. So, he decided to solve this personal problem.
So, he went to a school in the Netherlands to learn how to make sneakers. After he finished the study, he realized that it was going to be difficult to make his own shoes to his standard at a cheap cost.
He then decided that if he couldn’t make for himself alone because of the cost involved, why not just make for others as well. He made some research, and he realized that there was no sneaker brand in Africa, and that’s when the thought to create the first innovative and social footwear brand in Africa came.
So he made the first designs. He did a Fela Kuti collection which is a combination of about 6 different products but all Fela Kuti-inspired and that’s how Keexs was started on Kickstarted, and in a period of 40 days, they raised $20,000 from preorders from different parts of the world.
And that’s how Keexs started.
His Word of Advice to New and Aspiring Entrepreneurs
The difference between a great idea and a regular idea is purely execution. How much of your time and initial commitment have you put into that idea to take it from the idea stage?
In entrepreneurship, you realize very quickly that there are a lot of things that you don’t know, and the only way to know is to start it, and then when you start it, you’ll learn from that process.
You can connect with Babajide on LinkedIn.
Learn more about Keexs on their website.