David Yaw Barima Osei
San Francisco, CA / Accra, Ghana
At age 19, Ghanaian David Osei invented his first product, Jubilo, a board game offering players a combination of words and adventure. While the game did not result in international success, it was just his start. Motivated by a passion for “solving challenges and tackling new opportunities,” Osei continued to think big. Today, he is the co-founder, and former CEO, of Dropifi Ltd., a web-based startup that offers clients a widget to replace the traditional
‘contact us’ form. Dropifi clients are able to analyze incoming messages, discover their contacts and re-channel messages internally. Osei, along with Kamil Nabong and Philips Effah, launched Dropifi in November 2011. The trio of techies, all under 30, were Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, which offers aspiring African entrepreneurs opportunities to receive comprehensive training in how to build and run successful technology businesses.
Osei and his co-founders received their first batch of funding after taking part in the Accra Startup Weekend, a competition for entrepreneurs, where they secured clients for Dropifi. Dropifi also took the grand prize in the 2012 Startup Open, a competition for startups with high-growth potential featured as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012. Dropifi later became the first African company to join the 500 Startups program in Silicon Valley, which provides early stage companies with up to $250,000 in funding, mentors and workspace in the heart of Silicon Valley. The opportunity to work in the hub of high-tech innovation was a pleasant surprise. “I felt very excited at the opportunity and very optimistic about the outcome,” explains Osei.
In addition to expanding the team and product offerings, Osei plans to “expand into the African market with new innovative technology solutions.” He recently launched ProcureCommerce.com, a website to promote intra-African trade. Osei holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.