How an Entrepreneur Used Blockchain to Share Authentic Stories of Musicians

Adeoluwa (Ade) Adeyemo founded Joko: a streaming platform focused on increasing video streaming earnings for recording artists. Ade grew up in Kaduna, Nigeria and is an alumnus of the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program (MS ENTRE) at the UW Foster School of Business. His story reminds us that those who are passionate about solving problems always know what they need to do in order to make their dreams come true.

Joko: Global Startup with an African Influence

Joko is an online video streaming platform focused on telling the stories of authentic recording artists. The company is pioneering video streaming technology that optimizes video streaming earnings for artists by increasing payouts by an average of 50x compared to other leading platforms, with real-time delivery. On the platform, users can view documentaries in long-form video stream format where artists are able to control their narrative while realizing a profit. Ade has been traveling the world shooting videos of musicians/artists and is truly at the forefront of using blockchain to support artists in line with music industry trends and blockchain adoption. Joko has established a presence in Africa by onboarding leading artists on the continent. The idea of Joko was born in New York, grew up in Seattle, tested in Los Angeles, and has become a global startup revolutionizing the music industry.

How Ade Made The Right Investment

Even as a kid, Ade loved curating playlists. After his undergraduate program, he joined JP Morgan, a global financial institution. He loved the idea of problem-solving and with his background in economics, he thought it was the best decision for him. However, his love of music never stopped and he continued searching for solutions around concert tickets. After a few years, he wanted to go all in with the idea but knew he needed guidance along the way. He looked for programs that would allow him to work on his idea while he can learn from experts. The MS in Entrepreneurship was just what he needed. After his graduation in 2020, he knew that Joko was his calling.

MS Entrepreneurship Program Designed For Startups

Ade says that every aspect of the program guided him with strategic plans to scale, and core decisions and choices to make at the very early stage. He specifically enjoyed Entrepreneurial Strategy and Decision Making: Learning how to identify a pain point and the root cause. Not only did he gain knowledge of entrepreneurship and business management, but he also learned essential interpersonal skills such as leadership and negotiation. As Ade says,”It goes straight into your subconscious and positively impacts decisions that can make one a better leader.”

Building a Scalable Startup Using Blockchain Technology

Like any entrepreneur, Ade was looking for scalable solutions that not only protected the artists but also provided seamless ways for their fans to consume their content. His colleagues from the program mentioned there might be issues with scaling his business model based on examples from HBR studies discussed in a class of past businesses in similar verticals. Ade was also attending meetups around blockchain technology. He later realized that blockchain was a suitable way to scale Joko to a global platform. Blockchain allowed him to address specific issues with scaling the business model, and consequently better address pain points in the industry. The platform uses a content marketplace built on the blockchain, which provides better transparency for artists and higher compensation for their content.

Finding Co-Founders in Startup Journey

Running a business can be a lonely journey. It requires a lot of emotional strength to deal with uncertainty. Though Ade was not actively looking for a co-founder, he was connecting to colleagues who knew about the media and entertainment industry. He was introduced to his now co-founder through a mutual friend. Ade and his co-founder connected instantly on their passion. When Ade made the choice to invest in his education through the MS in Entrepreneurship program, it became clear to his network that he was serious about Joko. His co-founder works in the entertainment industry and has a production studio. While Joko was pivoting from concert tickets to streaming content, Ade decided to document stories with the artists. It was a match made in heaven. Now, Ade and his co-founder travel across the world to record videos which are later edited by his post-production team. These videos will be made available on the platform website when they launch in beta.

Joko: Funding & Support

Following a thorough review and assessment of the business model, Joko is receiving support from the Tezos Foundation to develop its royalty management infrastructure using smart contracts on the Tezos blockchain. The media industry has a lot to benefit from blockchain technology used in the right way to unlock value for creators and media businesses. Ade is currently recording videos in Ghana and Germany with his co-founder. He works with a team of three developers.

Being an international student, he researched his options and invested in an immigration lawyer who helped him navigate the opportunities for him which enabled him to find the best way for his long-term success. He advises every student to do the research and pick what works best for them.

Advice to Upcoming Entrepreneurs

Investing in yourself is the best decision you can make. This can range from entrepreneurial skills to interpersonal skills. Ade says “I invested in Joko by going to the MS in Entrepreneurship program and gained the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the wild world of early-stage companies. You have to continue to invest in yourself and I take the most bets on my life.”

Learn About MS in Entrepreneurship Program

If you are anyone like Ade wanting to explore the startup ecosystem, this program is for you. From start to finish, you will have experts guiding you through the process. Take a chance on yourself because you are worth it. Watch the Info Session on demand. If you have questions please fill out this form.

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Written by: Lavanya Sankar/ Copywriter/ Women In Entrepreneurial Program alumna