Kike Oniwinde - NEF FastTrack 2018 - Centre for EntrepreneursKike (Class of 2018) is the CEO and Founder of BYP Network, a social platform for black young professionals to network, socialise and date. It connects future leaders aged 18 – 35, enables them to search for new jobs or entrepreneurial opportunities and build relationships with like-minded individuals in the black community. With diversity and inclusion being an ongoing issue in many workplaces, BYP is creating a network for corporates to tap into, as well as a community of people to connect and support each other.

Kiki graduated with a BSc in Economics from the University of Nottingham and MSc in Management from the University of Florida. During her time in Florida, Kike was on a track and field scholarship, and this gave her the opportunity to meet a lot of talented, black individuals. Kiki realised the potential and power of connecting black individuals to each other, and so the idea for BYP was born. Not her first attempt at setting up a business, Kike has trialled and tested several ideas from the age of 18. One thing she learned was how important it was to have the right environment to succeed. On returning to the UK, Kike joined NEF in order to be part of a community, realise her vision and get structured support.

Kiki has found that she has grown a lot during her time on NEF, personally and as a leader, something that has been fuelled by the support from coaches and mentors. The NEF network has also been invaluable for expanding her horizons and providing access to opportunities. Since joining NEF, Kike has nurtured her idea and turned it into a scalable platform.

Since graduating from NEF, BYP has secured a £25K Sky Technology Scholarship, won the 2018 Founders Forum competition, won first prize at NEF Pitch days and was shortlisted as CVC innovator of the year. Kike has raised £41,000 to date and is now looking to raise £1-2 million by the end of the year. Kike’s ambition is to create a global network and to be the leader in creating diversity in corporations.

“I got the opportunity to meet people that I wouldn’t have otherwise – on the cohort everyone was from different walks of life and everyone helps each other. If I didn’t have NEF I wouldn’t have the knowledge that I have in terms of what can be done, and how to really grow your startup. I really don’t think that I would be where I am right now. My ambition in the next 6 months is to have a new platform, getting millions of downloads and be the leader in improving diversity in corporations – I want to be global!”

 

BYP Network - NEF FastTrack Venture - Centre for Entrepreneurs