The Mark Essien talk on leveraging networks when starting a new venture shares some of the software developer's struggles and successes building a business. Born in Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria, the entrepreneur received his primary and secondary education locally at Monika Kindergarten and Federal Government, Ikot Ekpene. The speaker went on to study at a university in Germany, where he stayed and gained experience for many years.
Essien then returned to his native land to create a new company, Hotels.ng. As he discusses in the Mark Essien talk, the accommodations website has revolutionized the hospitality industry in Nigeria and disrupted the African hotel-booking market by expanding to caucasian travellers and employs about 80 other people.