When you get a bright idea and come up with a really innovative digital solution. It remains the first step towards releasing a great tech product. There are hundreds of other steps you must make within the legal fields; especially on matters pattern and copyrights, to come up with a foolproof product that will possibly make you money.
Otherwise, you will be leaving yourself to chance; and chances are high you get a raw deal out of your intellectual property unless you engage the service of a professional. Meet Tolulope Omoleye- Osindero, a legal practitioner with years of experience advising investors in the Nigerian Tech Space. She works with accelerators and provides legal support and mentorship to Tech Founders. She is ranked in the Chambers 2018 Fintech Guide
Omoleye will be a speaker at the African Women In Technology (AWIT) conference that will be held in Lagos, Nigeria come March 29-30. innov8tiv had a sit down with her so we can give you, our readers, a preview of some of the women who will be speaking at #AWITNigeria19 conference.
What does technology represent to you in the business world?
Technology represents the methods, solutions, and tools that can be used to deliver fast and valuable results in an organization. The deployment of a technology product should either solve a core problem, deliver speed or increase efficiency by increasing revenue or reducing costs.
How far do you think Africa has advanced technologically?
I think we have seen significant progress in Africa in the technology space and in the application of technology solutions to problems and situations that are fairly unique to the continent. For example, the development in telecommunications which has driven mobile money/payments, remittances, access to credit is worthy of note as these activities have had a positive impact on the poverty levels in Africa.
While these advancements are not evenly distributed across the continent, I think if there is a consistent increase in the use of technology across board, there is a big chance that we will experience a significant leap in a matter of years.
Governance, healthcare, agriculture and logistics are prime sectors that can make use of homegrown technology solutions.
If there was no advent of technology, would your business still be as successful and relevant as it is
I currently practice as a solicitor in one of the largest law firms in Nigeria and I am glad that I did not start practicing the decade before I did. I have heard some of the older lawyers speak about the days when they typed documents with manual typewriters and they waited long hours for fax messages.
Also, at that time, it was difficult and almost impossible to provide legal services to clients outside of Nigeria as there was no internet or it was limited and expensive. Several people did not have access to email addresses, you had to wait for journals to know what was happening in other jurisdictions and documents had to be sent by post which took several days or even weeks.
Investors had to travel down to meet with advisers every single time and this had significant impact on the speed and timing of their investment. All of these things are no longer applicable as you can have video calls with your clients in other countries, documents can be shared instantly, information about legal or regulatory issues in other jurisdictions are available at the click of a button.
More importantly, we can collaborate easily and assist clients regardless of their location using a wide pool of technological tools. The relevance and utility that all of these have added to the business can certainly not be underrated.
As an African woman in tech, what is the most significant challenge you have faced professionally?
Access. Being able to access the right network, information or opportunity as my male counterparts. Given that the tech space is still dominated by men, I think that women have to put in additional efforts to break into and thrive in the space. I also believe that where we are is better than where we used to be and this is a result of conscious efforts to empower and promote the women in the space. We now have dedicated coding programs for girls, women tech conferences and events, women accelerators, learning opportunities and mentorship programs for women in tech etc. I only hope that we can continue to create more opportunities for ourselves even as we take our place at the table.
How important is Data to your business?
I will answer this question from the perspective of some of the tech clients that I work with. Data is super important. The success of your idea is as good as the quality and authenticity of the data available to you. It is relevant from idea conception through your proof of concept till you launch to market. You need data to keep your product in the market and to acquire market share. Not only do you need data, you need up to date and clean data as well and you need it fast.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are technologies that rely heavily on data. These technologies are increasingly being employed for their predictive and preventive uses and efficiency, in health services, financial services, security, legal and transportation. While the benefits abound, there are concerns around data privacy, access to data, use of data etc which must be addressed.