Barclays Black Founder Accelerator:


Ayo Ajanaku (CEO), Ioannis Souriadakis (CTO) and Ahmed Khan (COO) tell us why DUMAGUS joined the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator.

Tell us about DUMAGUS.

DUMAGUS exists to take the pain out of the manually intensive way of tracking weight training workouts in the gym. This means that, because of the technology we use, we're able to automate all of that important data that users love to know when performing their workouts.

Not only does this mean that you are able to evaluate and monitor your progress more accurately over time, but our system also preempts potential injuries that can occur as a result of overtraining and poor form whilst exercising.

The most exciting thing about DUMAGUS is that our system is designed to be used intuitively - no labour intensive inputting, wires or several different pieces of equipment that you need to carry around.

Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?

It was a no-brainer.

To have access to the sharpest minds from which I can sharpen my own in all core aspects of building a successful start up is not an opportunity that comes by everyday. Why wouldn't I grab that with both hands?

This is only compounded by the fact that there is an implicit understanding from these experts and mentors of the challenges that Black Founders face on their entrepreneurial journey.

What would be your desired outcome from this programme?

To have acquired enough knowledge and support to create a clear and defined path for a very successful launch followed by a sustainable business.

I don't think I can ask for much more than that.

Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?

An interesting one! I would probably say Kevin O'Leary. Creating groundbreaking FTSE100 companies is certainly the objective of many entrepreneurs (including myself) but Kevin and his candidness has been both sobering ans so envigorating for me.

The man truly does chop life and has so much fun doing it.

What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?

Getting my founding team to buy into the vision and work on it tirelessly like they have been doing. I appreciate them so much.

And your biggest challenge?

Technical specs and applications not going even remotely to plan. This is the stuff of nightmares as time and money which are both scarce resources quickly fade away, and this just forces efficiency which is never comfortable.

Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?

I like to think I'm quite open-minded so I've consulted many books, programmes and videos to find the most useful information for what it is we're building whilst discarding the rest.

However, along the way I met a wonderful lady and entrepreneur named Genevieve Leveille in the British Airways Business Lounge who I got talking to and has since really taken me under her wing.

What drives you to make your business a success?

It's almost like the more effort you put in, the more committed you become.

At this point, my primary driver is that I have identified myself with the problem so much so that I have come to believe that this problem (and it's solution) has been reserved for me to take on.

But reservations have expiries so I gotta get moving!

What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?

If someone tries to talk you out of it but you want to do it anyway, then I would say you may be the right kind of person to pursue such an undertaking.

I would also say that it would help if you have a radically open mind, tough skin and a nice big splash of humility.

Why did you want to start your business?

I don't want to say I'm a bad employee but I certainly feel I am a better leader.

I'm a visionary. I want to innovate.

These are things that I knew I'd struggle to do unless I became an entrepreneur..

What do you do to relax when not working?

Gym, Swimming and Basketball are favourite pasttimes of mine as far as physical activities go. I also love to spend time having jokes and creating memories with my family.

How has covid made you pivot your business?

We have been quite fortunate in that we had considered COVID19 concerns quite early on as it pertains to our long term plans and what that would mean for people who would prefer to exercise at home.

One of the things highlighted to us from the pandemic was how health concious society has become over the years, and also the determination for those who still sought to weight train in spite of measures being put in place which made it more difficult to do so.

These are just some of the strengths we are playing to as we roll out our iteration phases.

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