VJ Africa of Eurekloud
A “startup accelerator” featuring cash and care
By Glacer Barnett
Eurekloud is a platform that promises to catapult startups to their fullest potential. It acts as groundwork of relief and assistance for startups by cultivating their processes and accelerating their growth.
Eurekloud sets its sights on risky startups and prefer them over the traditional ones; the company sees these startups with a great vision for success. At the end of the day, ideas are cheap—attention should be placed on the person who has the drive to translate that idea into reality. Curious people who are hungry for opportunities are what Eurekloud looks out for.
Eurekloud’s focus of help is primarily directed at early-stage companies that need guidance and nurturing. It assists these startups by instilling three essential features for development: Ideation—through mentoring and coaching, it aids to build a startup’s ideas for its products and services; Infrastructure—in order to remove any distraction that might serve as a hindrance for startup founders, it takes on the tedious tasks of providing legal HR and accounting; Investment—to materialize the concept, the company offers cash for startup founders so they may pivot their way forward.
For the incubation period, Eurekloud looks at a two-year horizon. Should its startups fail to achieve the designated milestone within that time period, Eurekloud will examine what went wrong so as to modify the ineffective model.
Early-stage startups often have difficulty in understanding the operational side of a business and make the mistake of fully setting their sights on their selling product. They can be too in love with their ideas, and thus they become incapable of opening their minds to alternatives that reality would prefer. Eurekloud’s primary lesson in this aspect is to have the founders listen to their clients and build something off of their desires. An amazing product is meaningless if nobody cares about it. These founders need to make people pay for what they are offering.
The Mad Hatter’s ‘’Eureka’’ moment for Eurekloud
One of Eurekloud’s principal pillars is embodied by a man named VJ Africa, its co-founder and managing director. As a futuristic entrepreneur, VJ gained his nickname the “Mad Hatter” from his many experiences in the corporate and social enterprise.
He spent 9 years of his career life in Singapore. But after having children who wanted to indulge in the Filipino lifestyle, he kissed that life goodbye and moved back to the Philippines last December of 2014.
As a self-confessed geek with a vision for tech, he invests his time in helping tech startups grow and achieve their purpose. It was during the startup boom that VJ observed a lot of commercial opportunities here compared to Singapore’s saturated market. Upon coming up with Eurekloud’s original concept, he decided to meet up with his trusted friend, Paolo Delgado. Being active in the entrepreneurial network throughout Asia, it didn’t take long for Paolo to light up with the idea.
VJ describes Paolo as organized and thorough with his logistics, which is quite complementing to VJ’s knack for creativity in ideas. Leveraging on their skills and backgrounds, the both of them are in it together to make the concept fly.
VJ admits to being a reluctant entrepreneur. Working in a bank before moving to a software company, VJ seeks comfort in the stability of structured organizations. Initially, he was hesitant, but as fate would have it, he was made to run a small company as CEO.
At the beginning, it was common for him to question whether he was doing things right. But it is in second-guessing himself that he finds great happiness whenever he rises to the challenge. These newfound avenues for self-improvement made him stick with entrepreneurship.
Now, VJ outsources his passions from technology to social kindness. Technology is the only mechanism that can enable a novel idea to become reality, and social kindness is what prompts different people to cooperate with one another for a better reality.
To be efficient, VJ keeps three things in mind: First, that motivation and drive is important for him to reach his destination. Dory from the blockbuster movie Finding Nemo is portrayed as being very scatter-brained and forgetful. While these characteristics might be disadvantageous, VJ admires her and her famous line of “Just keep swimming.” Second, he always remembers that there is no room for contentment. VJ believes that there are opportunities everywhere to learn and to improve. Lastly, he bears in mind that curious people who bear the question of “Why aren’t things like this instead?” are the people who reach achievement. Asking why things are the way they are keep VJ on his feet; he always thinks of how to develop things for further innovation.
Taking the Westerner’s view of entrepreneurship
VJ believes that entrepreneurship is seizing opportunities with not only success in mind, but also learning. Such a thing can only be achieved when one recognizes their failures as strict instruments for self-growth. Nevertheless, we should only treat ourselves to our failures at a quick pace, for if we stay too long, we risk being consumed by pessimism.
While the culture of the US receives failure positively, VJ thinks it’s unfortunate that Asia’s culture shuns it with disgrace. It is as though failure is treated like a permanent branding of a bleak future. VJ shares the US’ point of view. He sees failure as something equivalent to an experience that people should want to learn from. To him, the most engaging real talks come from those who acknowledge their failures. He believes that, instead of sweeping mistakes under the rug, we should promote more stories about successful people and how they have committed errors like any other person has. This will serve as encouragement for people who weren’t lucky enough to have things work out for them, proving that you can always get back up.