2019 MOST INSPIRING NIGERIAN PERSONALITY

WASIU OLALEKAN, AFOLABI.

Wasiu Olalekan, Afolabi is the Principal Intellectual Property Officer at the University of Cape Town. He moved to South Africa in 2013 for his Master's degree and graduated in 2015. Despite the challenges of surviving in a foreign land coupled with studying without funding, Wasiu supported several students and researchers with academic and personal assistance. Wasiu ventured into the innovation space, with competence in intellectual property protection and business development. Despite the fact that the technology transfer space is critical and has high barriers to entry, Wasiu's perseverance and diligence gained him an opportunity to work with Technology Innovation Agency, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, a foremost venture capital firm and a technology incubator. Knife Capital is one of the foremost ethical and impact-based venture capital firms on the African continent. Due to the company's high standards, it is highly competitive to gain opportunity to work with the company. The normal intakes are from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. During his time with them, the company gained more insight about Nigerians and hope to support venture(s) in Nigeria someday. Against all odds, Wasiu was able to gain entrance into Knife Capital.

Currently, Wasiu manages innovations, prosecute IP matters, develop intellectual property protection models and pursue commercialization of African technologies. His efforts have been recognized on the global stage. In February 2019, he received an award from Association of Technology Managers (AUTM) in Texas, United States for being one of the best Technology Transfer Professionals from Developing Economies. 

Five winners were selected from a competitive pool of applicants worldwide.  “My vision is that one day, I will be able to support the knowledge-economy and champion our collective African efforts to adopt and deploy the 4th Industrial Revolution for the benefits of our people,” Wasiu says.