Tope Awotona

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Tope Awotona
Tope Awotona.jpeg
Babatope (Tope) Awotona. Image retrieved from BizJournals on 20 January, 2021.
Born
Lagos, Nigeria
NationalityNigeria
United States
Alma materWheeler High School
University of Georgia
OccupationEntrepreneur
Years active2013–present
Known forBeing the CEO & Founder of Calendly
WebsiteLinkedIn Profile

Editor: Charissa Cassels

Tope Awotona is the CEO and Co-Founder of Calendly, a scheduling app. The company was founded in September 2013.[1] Calendly specialises in scheduling software that simplifies the process of scheduling meetings and appointments.

Awotona is a tech entrepreneur.[2]

History

He was born and grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and later moved to the United States with his family, where they lived in Atlanta.[3] He moved to Atlanta in 1996 when he was 15 years old.[4] He was the third of four children.[5]

Education

He attended Wheeler High School in Marietta, Georgia and later studied Management Information Systems at the University of Georgia and received his degree in business.[6] He initially started at Georgia University as a Computer Science major.[7] He was at the university from 1998 to 2002.

Career

Awotona worked at an Internet Travel Agency[8] and later worked in Atlanta as a door-to-door salesman.[9] His work in sales continued as he started working at IBM, a computer company, as a sales rep[10] in Atlanta.[11] He remained in sales and was a Tivoli Software Sales Rep for IBM from January 2006 to September 2007.

He later worked at Dell EMC, a storage company, as an Enterprise Software Sales Rep and Account Manager, selling enterprise software systems to large companies like Coke, Aflac, Equifax, Blue Cross and Shield. He worked here from July 2012 to February 2014.[12]

Awotona then worked at Perceptive Software, a growing startup in Kansas City, as a salesperson.[13] He was an Account Executive at Perceptive Software, a software company, from October 2007 to January 2010.[14]

He worked at Vertafore[15] from January 2010 to July 2012.[16] He assumed the position of the National Account Manager for this software company.[17]

One of the first businesses he started was a dating site.[18] The site’s name was STT Media (Single To Taken) but it never launched. His second startup was Projectorspot.com, an e-commerce site selling projectors. He didn’t sell many projectors and the margins were not good.[19] His third start-up was YardSteals, a platform for selling home and yard equipment.[20]

Awotona conceptualized Calendly in 2013[21] and the app was officially launched in September, 2013.[22]

He mentors with Tech Stars Atlanta.[23] Tech Stars Atlanta is an internationally recognised start-up accelerator, that helps entrepreneurs boost their early-stage business and product development efforts through education and funding.[24]

Investments

Awotona initially self-funded Calendly.[25]

Calendly received $550,000 from Atlanta Ventures and OpenView[26] in August, 2017.[27]

The company closed a $350 million investment in 2021 from investors including OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq Capital.[28]

Awards and Achievements

In 2007 he received the Top Performer Award during the Tivoli Top Gun Training from IBM. In that same year, he received the First Line Manager Award for Sales Excellence from IBM as well.[29]

He is one of the speakers of AAE Speakers.[30] AAE Speakers is a full-service speakers bureau and talent booking agency, dedicated to meeting the needs of event professionals to book the best keynote speakers for their live and virtual events.[31]

Awotona was listed as one of Atlanta’s 25 Most Influential People by Atlantan on 21 October, 2020 and Atlanta Business Chronicle listed Awotona as one of their 40 Under Forty winners on 02 November, 2020.[32] He was also listed as one of the five Black corporate business leaders to watch in 2021 by Dream Financial Planning on 05 April, 2021.[33]

Other Relevant References

[34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61]

References

  1. 5 Black Corporate Business Leaders to Watch in 2021 - Dream Financial Planning. Retrieved 10 May, 2021.
  2. Atlanta’s Calendly Raises $350M From OpenView Venture Partners At $3B+ Valuation - The Moguldom Nation. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  3. 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Tope Awotona - Money Inc. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  4. Atlanta's 25 Most Influential People - The Atlantan. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  5. TOPE AWOTONA – A FOUNDER STORY - Atlanta Tech Village. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  6. Atlanta-based Calendly valued at $3 Billion following $350-Million round of investment - The Atlanta Voice. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  7. Tope Awotona: Impatiently Scheduling Our Calendars, One Meeting at a Time - Atlanta Ventures. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  8. Tope Awotona: Impatiently Scheduling Our Calendars, One Meeting at a Time - Atlanta Ventures. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  9. Atlanta’s Calendly Raises $350M From OpenView Venture Partners At $3B+ Valuation - The Moguldom Nation. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  10. Calendly’s Founder: Building a $30M SaaS After 3 Failed Startups – with Tope Awotona [213 - saasclub. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.]
  11. Founder’s Therapy with Tope Awotona - Abernathy. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  12. Tope Awotona - Topio Network. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  13. How Tope Awotona Fight Through Life’s Challenges to Build a $60m Startup in The US - Techawk. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  14. Tope Awotona - LinkedIn. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  15. Meet the unicorn founder that braved war zones and missed meetings to make his mark on the startup world - Fortune. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  16. Tope Awotona - Topio Network. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  17. Tope Awotona - LinkedIn. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  18. The founder of Calendly on building a unicorn tech company - Mogul Millenial. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  19. TOPE AWOTONA – A FOUNDER STORY - Atlanta Tech Village. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  20. Tope Awotona witnessed the murder of his father at 12 – Now he has built an app valued at $3 billion - Face 2 Face Africa. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  21. 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Tope Awotona - Money Inc. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  22. Atlanta's 25 Most Influential People - The Atlantan. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  23. Atlanta's 25 Most Influential People - The Atlantan. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  24. Techstars Atlanta - Cox Enterprises. Retrieved 13 May, 2021.
  25. 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Tope Awotona - Money Inc. Retrieved 11 May, 2021.
  26. Calendly, cloud scheduling platform raises $350m on $3bn valuation - Naira metrics. Retrieved 14 May, 2021.
  27. Calendly’s $350M Series B: We’re Just Getting Started - Open View Partners. Retrieved 14 May, 2021.
  28. Atlanta-based Calendly valued at $3 Billion following $350-Million round of investment - The Atlanta Voice. Retrieved 13 May, 2021.
  29. Tope Awotona - LinkedIn. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  30. Tope Awotona - All American Speakers. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  31. About Us - AAE Speakers. Retrieved 13 May, 2021.
  32. Atlanta Business Chronicle named our 40 Under Forty for 2020. Here are Q&As with this year's honorees - Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 12 May, 2021.
  33. 5 Black Corporate Business Leaders to Watch in 2021 - Dream Financial Planning. Retrieved 10 May, 2021.
  34. "Calendly Announces Integration With Microsoft Teams, Makes All Video Conferencing Free For Users" HR Tech Series. (Oct 9, 2020).
  35. Ehlinger, Maija “New investment puts Atlanta-based Calendly's valuation at over $3 billion” Hypepotamus. (Jan 26, 2021).
  36. Ha, Anthony “Daily Crunch: Calendly valued at $3B” TechCrunch. (Jan 27, 2021).
  37. Giacomazzo, Bernadette “Cloud Scheduling App Calendly Raises $350M, Surpasses Initial $3B Valuation” AfroTech. (Jan 26, 2021).
  38. O. Lawson, Tony “Calendly, The Black Owned Scheduling App, Just Raised $350M, and Is Now Valued At Over $3Billion” Shoppe Black. (Jan 26, 2021).
  39. Bartlett, Blake “Calendly’s $350M Series B: We’re Just Getting Started” Open View Partners. (Jan 26, 2021).
  40. Adeyemi, Daniel “Nigerian-born Tope Awotona’s Calendly raises $350m” TechCabal. (Jan 27, 2021).
  41. Raz, Guy “Calendly: Tope Awotona” NPR. (Sep 14, 2020).
  42. Lunden, Ingrid “How Atlanta’s Calendly turned a scheduling nightmare into a $3B startup” TechCrunch. (Jan 26, 2021).
  43. Cummings, David “Calendly as the World’s Scheduling Platform” David Cummings on Startups. (Jan 29, 2021).
  44. Ramesh, Jessica “From Self-Funded Startup to Profitable Unicorn. The Calendly Journey.” SaaS Stock. (Mar 22, 2021).
  45. “Calendly welcomes Annie Pearl as Chief Product Officer” Calendly. (Mar 29, 2021).
  46. “Tope Awotona, CEO and founder, Calendly” BizJournals. (Nov 2, 2020).
  47. “Meetings Make History: Calendly CEO’s Most Impactful Meeting” Calendly. (Jun 4, 2020).
  48. “Ep. 48 – Meet Tope Awotona, Founder & CEO, Calendly” Atlanta Startup Podcast. (Dec 3, 2020).
  49. Gilbert “How Calendly founder Tope Awotona created a $30m Startup with only 1 seed round” 9cv9. (Oct 30, 2020).
  50. Renner, Casey“ICYMI: Meet Tope Awotona, Calendly’s Founder and CEO” Open View Partners. (Apr 23, 2020).
  51. Heath, Stephanie“The founder of Calendly on building a unicorn tech company” Mogul Millennial. (Apr 12, 2021).
  52. Albert-Deitch, Cameron “This Atlanta Founder's Secret Weapon in Building His $30 Million Company: Growing Up in Nigeria” Inc. (August 1, 2019).
  53. Khan, Omer “Calendly's Founder: Building a $30M SaaS After 3 Failed Startups – with Tope Awotona [213]” Saas Club. (Retrieved Apr 25, 2021).
  54. “Tope Awotona - A Founder Story” Atlanta Tech Village. (Apr 26, 2018).
  55. Shen, Lucinda “Meet the unicorn founder that braved war zones and missed meetings to make his mark on the startup world” Fortune. (Nov 20, 2020).
  56. “Black Millionaire Tech CEO Tope Awotona says: “Don’t dwell on why it’s harder… just go out and do it”” Good Black Men.
  57. “Black Millionaire Tech CEO Tope Awotona says: “Don’t dwell on why it’s harder… just go out and do it”” Good Black Men.
  58. “Tope Awotona” Topio Networks.
  59. “Tope Awotona Biography” AA Speakers.
  60. “Freemium as a catalyst for growth with Tope Awotona, Founder of Calendly” Chart Mogul.
  61. “Without These Black Leaders in Tech, Your Technology Would Look A LOT Different” Black Girl Nerds.