FIP 123: How this young founder is bootstrapping his EdTech Startup, with Cyril Michino of Chaptr Global

This week on the Finding Impact Podcast, we find out how a young founder bootstrapped his startup and the lessons he learnt in wannapreneurship. We talk with Cyril Michino, co-founder of Chaptr Global and hear about his entrepreneurial journey having founded 2 startups by the age of 21 and learn that capital is not a barrier for starting up. Cyril shares his experiences around the challenges faced by young founders and how he’s innovating around such challenges by adopting innovative revenue-sharing business models.

On this podcast you will learn:

  • How Cyril started his first business – Deliverus, an e-commerce platform in Nairobi, quite accidentally when he was just 17, based on an idea that he and his friends came up with for a high school business plan competition. (03:38)
  • Cyril shares how he overcame the challenge of lack of experience, being a young founder, and used tools such as YouTube videos for creating pitch decks, learning marketing techniques, etc. He also shares how he kept his curiosity levels high by reading blogs and articles to learn how things work out in a business and trying to find answers though online resources as much as possible. (09:47)
  • About what went wrong with Cyril’s first startup as they set out to focus on things such as getting the infrastructure ready, building the best mobile application, planning a big launch, etc., – things that Cyril calls “entrepreneurial naivety”, irrelevant from an entrepreneurship point of view and leads to wannapreneurship. Cyril also shares these, and many more insights based on this experience on what’s stopping entrepreneurs from actually starting up and also what’s holding back entrepreneurship in Africa in his TEDx talk (check resources below for the link to the talk). (13:26)
  • One of the critical things about being a young founder is to invest time in building a team with skills who solve the gaps that the founder personally has, like for example in Cyril’s case, he learnt that they needed people with real experience in managing deliveries, logistics, order fulfilment, things that cannot be learnt online but comes only with experience. (16:13)
  • Cyril then shares his journey of starting up his new blended learning edtech platform – Chaptr Global, that helps teach emerging technologies, such as AI, data science, blockchain to people in emerging markets, using an income sharing model, where students can sign-up for courses without upfront payment and pay later when they start earning upon graduation from the program. (19:34)
  • Finally, Cyril shares a powerful quote, based on his experience that says –“if you’re an entrepreneur and you cannot start off your idea in two weeks, then you’re probably not the best person for that thing”. As a young founder, it is important to be able to start work on something that the founder can personally start and build an MVP in less than two weeks. Once the MVP is built, the founder can then focus on learning aspects to improve the MVP, finding product-market fit and growing it into a venture. (21:50)

Resources from this episode:

Connect with Cyril: