We had the good fortune of connecting with Chike Nwoke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chike, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Persistence, conviction, execution, and TIMING.
When I conceptualized the idea of Klippit in 2009, Instagram was one year away from launch, Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy were still sophomores at Stanford University, and the term “influencer marketing” didn’t exist.
I was convinced that the future of advertising was peer to peer recommendations, but I was just a recent college graduate, with no idea of how to launch and run a business. The truth is, Klippit wouldn’t have worked in 2009. The idea was massively too early to market. As a society, we weren’t even addicted to our cell phones yet!
Fast forward to 2020. The idea of influencer marketing has become mainstream and has emerged as a legitimate go-to strategy for some of the biggest companies in the world.
Throughout the years, I spent time grooming and pivoting the concept of Klippit. We eventually launched this past February (in the form of a waitlist app) and garnered over 10,000 signups. Klippit was also selected as a 2020 Startup Runway finalist, beating out hundreds of applicants, secured our first investor in the form of KnowCap, a hands on accelerator program. This accelerator program has helped shape our business infrastructure with sound advice and hands on mentorship.
Now is the perfect time for Klippit to make its mark in the market.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When I was a student at the University of Maryland College Park, I took note of a unique marketing tactic used by energy drink company Redbull. The company would hire students to represent their brand on campus, which would ultimately drive more drink sales. For me, this showed that “everybody has influence,” and that people are more likely to buy a product or subscribe to something when it’s endorsed by friends or family members.
That ultimately led to the concept of Klippit, a platform designed to facilitate “micro-interactions with brands.”
Our app is a new way to think about influencer marketing. Brands and merchant’s list deals, and users are compensated for posting about the brands and retailers they are already interacting with. We are rewarding you for the stuff you already do…like taking food pictures.
In turn, brands benefit from the opportunity to engage directly with customers through a growing influencer network. There are currently just over 20 brands on the platform. 10,000 people joined the waitlist for the influencer app. The official launch is to come in the next three months.
As cliché as it sounds, I want the world to know that anything is possible. I was born in Washington DC, a first generation American. My parents came to America, from Nigeria, with aspirations to give their family all the resources to live the American dream. I didn’t grow up thinking that I would be tech founder with a +million dollar valuation. But with hard work, the right mentors, and a open mind, I have been able to take change the narrative
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
uptown comedy corner – I love standup comedy. I’ve seen some of the best comedians here. Chris Rock, D.L Hughley to name a few.
High Art Museum – The Museum has some great exhibits and they usually change it up every few months
Lounge – Any lounge with great music and drinks
Restaurant – Pasha
The Gym- I’m a ammeter gym junkie. So going to the gym, even on the weekends is a must.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A lot of people have been instrumental in my story (directly and indirectly). My first paradigm shrift happened in High school when a friend of mine, Alex Morton, told me to read Rich Dad Poor Dad. That book completely changed my life. At the time, I was a recent high school graduate, with no idea of what I wanted to be, or what I would even major in, in college. After reading that book, I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur so that I can create opportunities myself.
Another person that has been instrumental in my story is my older brother, Nnamdi. In the early years, he was a sounding board for all my ideas. He help pointed me in the right direction on countless occasions.
I believe that mentors are important, even the ones that you haven’t met. Branden Burchard is a mentor that I haven’t met. I watched all of his seminars and implemented a lot of his strategies to catapult me to where I am today.