ChowHub is One!!!
It has been one year and honestly a long one indeed. We aren’t where we thought we will be right now but regardless, I am proud of what we have been able to achieve so far. Yeah, ChowHub is one today!
My trip to Dubai early 2014 — after NYSC* — was definitely a catalyst to my being an entrepreneur today as I was exposed to a lot technology tech driven businesses and possibilities in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Prior to the trip, however, I had been exposing myself to a lot of knowledge concerning startups — most notable is Mark Suster’s bothsidesofthetable blog that I follow till date. I made up my mind to start something when I got back to Nigeria. To be honest, I had no idea what it will be.
Short ChowHub Story
I was at home one evening after work some time mid 2014 and I craved Drumstix Chicken Pie but I was lazy to step out, take a keke napep (tri-cycle) and go get my pie. There was no platform I could order from. Couldn’t even call since I had no number to call (I don’t like phone orders by the way). I ended up not eating pie that night.
Also, on another day, my boss’s friend made a call to order food from a restaurant and kept going back and forth with his order. This took some minutes and even took over an hour to get delivered. He was frustrated. Then I thought won’t it have been nice if he could just go to a website, check through the menu of his preferred restaurant, make a few clicks and then wait for his food to be delivered. Little did I know it wasn’t as easy as that until the real work started.
So the idea at first was for ChowHub to be a delivery service for restaurants in a particular location (Gwarinpa at the time), using bicycles to deliver to those that ordered from preferred food outlets in the same location. As I kept thinking about the possibility of starting this up, I got my two friends Dara and Abiodun on board as cofounders and we have worked on ChowHub since then.
The idea was refined — after a lot of brainstorming and also based on the market, industry, players in the industry and personal convictions — to be a platform where people can find great places to eat and also order food seamlessly. The aim is to provide individuals with countless numbers of dining options to choose from while sharing their food journey and to help restaurants reach a wide customer base without having to spend so much.
Mind you, we all had no technical background (smh for us) and this cost us a lot — both time and money — as we were building a tech-driving business with no technical skills. Thanks to Bankole Oloruntoba of Enspire, who connected us with Emmanuel, a tech guy to help build the website. The first version of ChowHub was built and launched with 30 restaurants on September 1, 2015 as the restaurant discovery feature was introduced.
As of today we have 200 restaurants, 43 different cuisine types, spanning 12 locations in Abuja that people can discover, a new design to further improve user experience, an in-house web developer and a vision to create a community of food lovers across the country and beyond. The task ahead is bigger than us and we are not sure of what the future holds. However, one thing we are sure of is that we will keep working hard to make sure the vision set out is accomplished.
Achievements in the past one year
1. Part of the 1000 startups selected and $5000 grant beneficiary from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme
3. Part of the 100 startups selected by SpeedUPAfrica — an epic 5-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs in Ghana
4. Selected by NITDA to attend GITEX 2016 in Dubai
5. Surviving the first one year of existence. LOL
I will like to thank Bankole Oloruntoba, Odunoluwa, Bankole Oluwafemi, Bunmi Okunowo, Kola A., Dimgba Kalu, Toro Orero, Mark Essien, Tony Elumelu FDN, Oluyomi Ojo, John Okoro, Ezra 'God' Olubi., and others (pardon me if i didn’t mention you) that have directly and indirectly made this feat possible for ChowHub so far. We look forward to achieving more in the next year, cos Work dey!!!
*NYSC — National Youth Service Corps