Meet the Nigerian-American Man Behind the Popular Scheduling Software, Calendly
If you’re a business owner and you’ve used or currently use the popular scheduling software, Calendly, to schedule your meetings, you need to thank, the Nigerian-American man, Tope Awotona for his brilliance in developing software that has and continues to ease the frustration that comes with scheduling an appointment.
If this is the first time you are hearing about Calendly, it’s a company that develops scheduling software. The company’s software enables users to schedule appointments, meetings, interviews, calls, and more. It serves financial services, interview scheduling, K-12 education, higher education, customer service, and software companies, as well as business coaches and consultants, salespeople, photographers, and professionals. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia
In an interview with UI Breakfast, when asked what Calendly all is about, Awotona shared that Calendly is for those people who do not like sending seven emails to find a meeting time.
Tope grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and was the third child in a family of six (two parents with four children). When he was about 15 years old, he moved to Marietta, Georgia to complete his High School even though he could have gone straight into College.
Upon his graduation from college, he worked in a couple of corporate jobs (including IBM) but quickly realized that he needed to set out on his own if he wanted to make his dreams come true. He also worked with a scaling startup in Kansas City, Perceptive Software, as an account executive selling to 50+ colleges and universities across all departments.
It was during this time that he learned the skill of selling, negotiating and making customers happy. It was also the time he knew that if he worked hard to build his own dreams, he’d have no limitations.
Prior to starting Calendly, he attempted to build three different start-ups. None of it worked but despite this, he did not allow those setbacks to keep him static. He kept his mind open for opportunities.
Then one day, a light bulb lit up in his brain when he tried scheduling a meeting which resulted in a ton of back and forth emails. He researched the available tools at that time and found that most were slow and not user-friendly. That’s how he started Calendly and poured everything he had into it.
He officially launched Calendly in September 2013 and in 2017, relocated his company to a 13,000 square feet facility as part of a $10 million expansion and added over 100 jobs
Advice for Entrepreneurs
In a 2018 interview with Atlanta Tech, Tope had this advice for entrepreneurs, “If you want to be an entrepreneur, become really good at something. Make sure you fully understand the problem and be well informed enough to have strong opinions about the solution. Only then are you ready to start a company. I learned that the hard way. Don’t try to solve a problem you don’t understand and be honest with yourself about what you are really good at.”
Thank you for reading.
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