Youth of the Week: ABIOLA OLANIRAN

Hello, Happy New Week!

This week, we celebrate Abiola Elijah Olaniran from Nigeria.

Abiola Olaniran, Nigeria’s highest paid Windows Game developer, is a software developer and founder/CEO of Nigerian gaming company, Gamsole. Olaniran founded the company in 2012, and it has venture backing from 88mph, a Kenyan seed fund. The company’s games now have more than 10 million downloads both locally and internationally on the Windows Phone store.

Abiola Olaniran started out as a Microsoft student partner, learning from the evangelist, Shina Oyetosho, who discovered him at a time when window phones were coming to Nigeria, believed in his potentials and chose to groom him.

In 2010, Abiola and his team represented Nigeria at the Imagine cup final for an outstanding innovation which he said was borne out of the poor education which he had in school. The app was a solution for students to have access to a virtual class room.

Abiola developed interest for softwares at age 15 when he developed his first code. He went on to study Computer Science and Mathematics at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife which must have contributed to the broadening of his knowledge and the access to the information that he had in becoming a software expert today. He has since developed 35 game applications which are deployed on windows.

In 2010, Abiola along with two of his friends won the Microsoft’s Imagine Cup and went ahead to represent Nigeria at the World Finals. It was at the World Finals Microsoft announced the release of the Windows Phone platform, the platform which eventually gave birth to his mobile gaming company GAMESOLE.

Abiola Olaniran returned to Nigeria after the world finals and went into the Samsung Developer Challenge where he won the game and edutainment category which was his final conviction of venturing into developing mobile game apps. After emerging as the winner of the Samsung Developer Challenge, Abiola started uploading applications to the Windows Phone store. One of his first games then was called “Road Blazer“. Within a few weeks, I already had about 40,000 downloads.  Back then, he was also a Google Student Ambassador. Through that network, he got to know about 88mph. Abiola submitted his pitch with the application he had created. He was the only Nigerian at the time that got picked to go into their Accelerator Programme which provided the seed investment for Gamsole.

Gamesole currently amasses an impressive player base of over three million.

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