The Americans are never tired of telling the single story: all Nigerians are scam artists.
Some Nigerian officials orchestrate the American story against Nigeria because of primordial concerns.
But as you see me so, I am not at all interested in repeating the American stories about Nigeria.
The stories are already abroad – online, offline, byline after byline etc.
Let me now tell the story they do not want to tell or hear.
The can-do Nigerian spirit is my business here, even though the American media will hardly ever acknowledge it.
The unstoppable Nigerian spirit of conquest was once again on showcase when America’s pre-eminent company, Apple, bought the Nigerian ace Chinedu Echeruo’s HopStop.com for a whopping US$1 billion.
The enterprising Echeruo founded HopStop.com in 2005.
The company HopStop.com, Inc, branded as “HopStop”, is an online city transit guide offering door-to-door subway and bus directions and maps for over 140 cities around the world using its website, or apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
HopStop.com was named one of the top 100 fastest growing software companies in the United States in 2011.
When it was purchased by Apple Inc. in July 2013 the Android version of its app was removed from the Play Store in September 2013.
HopStop.com makes transit directions available for New York City and several other major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
HopStop.com founder Chinedu Echeruo used to be an analyst at investment banks and hedge funds before founding and serving as Chairman of the Board.
With the release of iOS 6 in September 2012, in which Apple replaced support for Google Maps with their own mapping, HopStop has been named as one of the top transit apps for Apple products by multiple publishers including Business Insider, Fast Company and Wired.
Users of HopStop.com can get step-by-step public transit, walking, taxi, biking, and hourly car rental directions based on the travel options selected (departure time, transportation mode, more walking vs. more transfers, etc.).
Some of the additional major functions of HopStop.com include Nearby Stations, which allows users to find subway or bus stops near an address, as well as providing transit maps and schedules.
The company equally calculates calories burned as well as per passenger carbon emissions savings for each transit route.
HopStop.com’s City Guide helps users find attractions, bars, restaurants, hotels, shopping areas, and other businesses.
The Community tab offers users the ability to plan a trip with multiple destinations, including City Guide listings and custom locations.
HopStop.com currently provides directions in 100 metropolitan areas worldwide.
The trailblazing Chinedu Echeruo’s HopStop.com has been compared to Israel’s Waze which was eventually acquired by Google for $1 billion.
The $1 billion acquisition of HopStop.com was seen as Apple’s plan to bolster its map offering especially given Google’s acquisition of Waze.
Chinedu Echeruo grew up in post-war eastern Nigeria and attended Kings College, Lagos before finding his niche in the United States.
After excelling in his studies at Syracuse University and the Harvard Business School, the dogged entrepreneur founded HopStop.com after working for several years in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Leveraged Finance groups of J.P Morgan Chase.
He was involved in a broad range of M&A Financing and Private Equity transactions.
Echeruo also worked at AM Investment Partners, a $500 million volatility-driven convertible bond arbitrage hedge fund.
A man of indomitable spirit, he founded and raised nearly $8 million for his two U.S based internet companies: Hopstop.com andTripology.com.
Tripology.com was acquired in 2010 by the American travel and navigation information company, Rand McNally.
The forever questing Echeruo is reportedly working on yet another venture focused on small businesses in Africa.
According to Echeruo, “There is no reason why every entrepreneur should have to reinvent the wheel every single time in all the countries in Africa. My idea is to essentially have one place where a budding entrepreneur can access a template for starting a business, and then customize it to suit their own situation; essentially, a business-in-a-box.”
Chinedu Echeruo is a cherished ambassador of Nigeria.
He deserves celebration as opposed to the almost general depiction of Nigerians as deceitful never-do-wells.