Nubi Kayode – or Nubi Kay – was only planning to come to Dublin for his studies. However, after arriving in 2013, jobs with leading companies in the city’s tech sector kept him here.

After gaining experience at both Accenture and Stripe, he is now the Startup Programmes Lead at Paystack – which was acquired by Stripe for $200 million back in 2020. Now, he’s working with African startups – as he always intended.

During his time in Dublin, Derek O’Connor at sat down with Nubi to find out about his experience in the city.

In conversation with Nubi Kayode

I’m from Lagos in Nigeria. I originally got into tech blogging, covering the local ecosystem. Until, I realised that I’d rather be part of the story than write about it.

So I launched my first startup, which involved a lot of trial and error, lots of mistakes, lots of learning and then decided to come to school here. I had read a lot about Dublin on The Next Web and thought: “That looks really interesting… everybody’s here.” So I thought I’d check it out.

Coming to Dublin

I came here in 2013 to do my Masters at the Smurfit Business School in UCD. After that, I entered an entrepreneurial competition that Accenture ran called Leaders Of Tomorrow. That led to a six month internship. Then, they offered me a job.

Right now, I’m a consultant with Accenture, working as a business analyst, and still very much involved in startups back home.

How Dublin compares to Lagos

What do I think of Dublin? I come from Lagos, a city of 19 million people and Ireland is a country of four million, so by comparison it’s very small.

That was a big shock for me at first. There aren’t six degrees of separation in Dublin… you’re talking one or two degrees at most.

The diversity was a surprise as well, meeting people from so many different cultures. Though there aren’t so many Africans in the [startup] ecosystem here and that’s what made me launch my Umbala Project, which is trying to expose people from different minority groups and cultural backgrounds to tech.

We were in partnership with the last Startup Weekend. It’s great for people to have the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs from other cultures. I like to keep engaged as a mentor and advisor.

Finding a balance

Being an entrepreneur is my first love, but sometimes society expects other things. As a first son of a first son, there’s a pressure to play it safe, to provide security for your family.

That said, if a guy gives me a million dollars today, I’m going to quit my job and run with my ideas! I think I love Dublin. I met my girlfriend [now wife] here…

Life here is simple – besides the weather.

For more info, read about why Dublin is a great place to study and to work.

You might also like

ailbhe keane holds her phone showing a photo of her sister izzy keane


Meet a Dubliner – Ailbhe Keane, Izzy Wheels

Izzy Wheels works with artists and top designers to transform wheelchairs into fashionable works of art. Today, the brand sells its wheelchair wheel covers to customers all over the world, but it all began right here in Dublin. Sisters Izzy Keane and Ailbhe Keane founded the business back in 2016 when Ailbhe was a graphic design student at Dublin’s NCAD. Today, she is the company’s Creative Director. Peter Varga spoke to Ailbhe Keane on behalf of She tells him about her path to entrepreneurship and the inspiration behind Izzy Wheels.

How Dublin Works: DCU Alpha - Dublin City University's hi-tech innovation hub.


How Dublin Works: DCU Alpha

If you’re not entirely sure what the Internet of Things (IoT) is, or if you haven’t even heard of it yet, that’s alright. Essentially, the IoT is a connection of devices to the internet, whether that’s your washing machine or your house alarm and everything will be ‘talking’ to the other. On a micro level, that might mean that your alarm clock will tell your coffee machine that it’s time to start brewing a pot when you get up; on a macro level the possibilities are infinite, including making cities smarter.

hassan lemtouni stand in blas café wearing a check shirt and black glasses


Meet a Dubliner – Hassan Lemtouni, Café Owner

Since 2014, Blas Cafe has been serving some of the most flavourful brunches and lunches north of the river Liffey. Think breakfast baps, toasties, eggs Benedict – and everything in between. Based in The Chocolate Factory, which once manufactured Toblerones and Mint Crisps, Blas Café’s neighbours include an eclectic mix of startups and individual creatives who share its coworking space. Setting up Blas Café played a big part in the old industrial building’s transformation. And its founder, Hassan Lemtouni, is extremely proud of what he ha