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Tech City: Businesswoman calls for more funding to single-founders

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:48 05 November 2014

Nana Fatimah Ogunfemi who came up with the idea for the app Kinship to help families keep in touch (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Nana Fatimah Ogunfemi who came up with the idea for the app Kinship to help families keep in touch (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Archant

A Tech City businesswoman has called out for investors to give more support to start-up founders going it alone.

Nana Fatimah Ogunfemi who came up with the idea for the app Kinship to help families keep in touch (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)Nana Fatimah Ogunfemi who came up with the idea for the app Kinship to help families keep in touch (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Nana Fatimah Ogunfemi, 39, is the sole founder of Techsis, an app development company best known for Kinship, which helps families keep in touch.

Despite inventing an app which reduces isolation, Ms Ogunfemi, of Portelet Court in De Beauvoir, has found herself alone when it comes to securing funding to expand her team.

She said: “The thing is, because I am in Tech City, it is fantastic. The services they are providing and the information is great but it’s still difficult. I’m not techy, I am a single founder and just because I haven’t got a business partner most doors have shut in my face.

“You can’t get people on your team if you can’t get funds; you can’t get funds if you don’t have a team.”

She now wants business accelerator organisations, which provide mentoring and funding, to address the vicious circle.

The mother-of-two decided to turn her life around after becoming isolated and depressed following a break-up with her partner.

Ms Ogunfemi enrolled at HBV Enterprises, in Dalston Lane, Dalston, which provided her with the knowledge to channel her entrepreneurial spirit.

She worked with developers to build Kinship, which she hopes will help others battle the feeling of loneliness.

App users can keep track of their loved ones by setting up private circles for groups depending on their relationship with them.

GPS technology allows users to share where they are in the world, how they are and a simple message.

Ms Ogunfemi said: “I used to forget to call my grandmother, but there is a dial that goes green when you are in touch and then keeps going round until it is a full red circle. It grates on your conscience.

“With children on gap years, they can tell their parents where they are.”

She added that the app could reduce crime by discouraging offenders who know potential victims have emergency contacts that can quickly locate them.

Ms Ogunfemi plans to expand Techsis with more social awareness apps but feels constrained without funding or manpower.

She said she was approached by a well known global company’s start-up accelerator and asked to apply to its scheme but turned down when it was discovered she was on her own – a problem she has experienced repeatedly.

She said: “I spoke to many business accelerators and they all told me to get a chief technical officer. A person can build the team that they need with funding and we know a team has better chances of succeeding but when you see exceptional circumstances of someone on their own who has come this far you should support them.”

For more information, visit techsisapps.com.

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