When Jason Njoku graduated from University of Manchester in 2005, he was filled with high hopes of entrepreneurial success.
His first venture after graduating from the University was launching Brash Magazine, a student publication, which “ended in spectacular failure”.
“People loved the magazine. We just never were able to figure out how to make money from it”
After that, Jason made so many attempts to run a business which included a blog network, a T-shirt business and a web design company, but he failed.
“Unfortunately, for five, almost six years I failed miserably at being an entrepreneur”
But after his business endeavors failed to take off for years, Njoku had no option but to move back to his mother’s house in London.
Returning home as a broke 29-year-old was “a harrowing experience” for Jason.
That was when the Chemistry graduate got his ‘Eureka Moment‘
He noticed his mom and other relatives’ sudden taste for African movies but had difficulties getting their hands on their beloved movies.
Realizing this gap in the African movie industry, he decided to come out with an internet company that distributes Nollywood films to viewers across the world.
Jason had a very good friend called Bastian Gotter, who believed in him and started injecting money into the business.
“My best friend from university, he just had this blind belief that I was on to something interesting”
But after about nine months, spending around £30,000, his new business was still struggling. iROKOtv was Njoku’s 11th attempt at starting a business.
His friend then suggested the need for them to personally be in Lagos.
“So in the end he said: ‘Look, for this thing to work we need to be in Lagos. You need basically to move there’, so in the end it ended up costing around £100,000.
In Nigeria, Jason worked from a two-bedroom apartment in Festac, Lagos, and struck a deal with YouTube in Germany to be the official channel partner for Nollywood company.
In 2010, Njoku and Gotter launched NollywoodLove, a YouTube channel, which was profitable within two months of launch.
This attracted series of investments including US-based venture capital fund Tiger Global, early investors in Facebook.
On 1 December 2011, iROKOtv was launched. The site drew in viewers from 178 countries around the world and had 500,000 subscribers in under 6 months.
Jason realized internet was a problem, so he came out with a mobile app for ease the process for consumers.
iROKOtv is a success today!