My name is Busayo Bird-Maqubela and I am a former student of Luma Lab’s Startup Technology course at Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science. I had money making thoughts but never really thought they would amount to anything, I had previous ventures but at the age of 10, I couldn’t stay focused long enough to turn a newspaper into a really profitable business.
Then in my 7th grade year, I was placed in the Startup Technology program taught by Ms. Lis Warren, Mr. David Plummer, and Mr. Ade Ogunyale. I’m not gonna lie, at first I was pretty much on joke time and did whatever I wanted. Eventually I stopped clowning around after our first field trip and I realized how awesome an opportunity I had with the Startup Technology class.
So from then on, I just did my work and while I still made jokes (particularly about Mr. Ade and Mr. Plummer because they didn’t really care) I began to think more about all the 14, 15, and 16 year olds have become super rich off the stuff we were learning in the class. We were in teams and we came up with product ideas but I started to pull away from my group’s idea: “Instatrainer” which was a pretty outstanding idea for a fitness app. Eventually I realized that I should use something that I was more passionate about as my idea.
One things that one of my partner’s Miles Peterson and I were passionate about was Hip-Hop. He’s a rapper and I’m a DJ so how made “TFE,” the hip-hop based app that made us winners in the Clearly Innovative app Challenge. TFE stands for the The Five Elements of hip-hop which are DJing, Rapping, Breakdancing, Graffiti, and Ether. The app represents all of them and for Ether which is like spirit, we used clothes because dressing is a way people express what they like and how they feel. This was the first venture I went far enough to build a semi-functional app with.
I am currently designing and putting together a clothing line but I would have never had the skills of mobile development and know how to think like an entrepreneur without Luma Lab’s Startup Technology class. I have also done a few things for my family involving mobile app development and it is a great feeling to have been able to use a skill I learned in school to actually do something that is productive and immediately profitable.
I am also doing a short internship at Clearly Innovative and it’s awesome getting this quality work experience. I am really enjoying the internship and I get to see what the people who have mastered the skills that I am learning are doing with some major client projects. It is also really good to see people of color in these positions especially the CEO and founder of Clearly Innovative Mr. Aaron Saunders. Overall, this internship and the Startup Technology class have been a very helpful experiences and that have given me confidence to explore career options than I didn’t really consider just a couple years ago.