Get to know Seyi Oluwaleimu

As part of our 'Get to Know' blog series- check out our interview with Seyi Oluwaleimu– startGNV's first student ambassador on the startGNV board-- and how he thinks other students can make the most of their experience right here in GNV.

Get to know Seyi Oluwaleimu

Seyi Oluwaleimu is an active startGNV board member, President of the University of Florida Entrepreneurship Collective, intern at Atlassian, and a full-time computer science major at the University of Florida (minoring in innovation, of course.)

But beyond this  young man's successful resume, there's a super inspiring story and a heartfelt enthusiast for  the GNV startup scene.

As part of our 'Get to Know'  blog series- check out our interview with Seyi Oluwaleimu– startGNV's first student ambassador on the startGNV board-- and how he thinks other students can make the most of their experience right here in GNV.

We think he's great and know you will too!


My favorite thing about Gainesville is how interconnected the community is (although the food scene is a close second). People should move here because there's a lot to do, the community is so inviting, and there are so many people rooting for innovative ideas

Tell us a little about yourself:

I'm a fourth-year computer science student and currently serve on the board of directors for startGNV! During my freshman year, I had a lot of problems getting US citizenship which prevented UF from providing me with the financial aid I had earned. To solve the resulting financial issues this caused, I started a sticker-printing company called Alemora which provided me with decent income and is the reason I got involved with the Gainesville startup/ tech community!

What are you studying? Why is it important to you? What do you hope to do in the future?

I'm studying computer science, but I mostly focus on web development. It's important to me because we have access to so much knowledge and groundbreaking online tools nowadays, so to have a creative hand in the formation of those tools is really interesting to me. I hope to start my own company in the future, I spent a lot of time in my first few years of school rushing to make that goal occur, though I've slowed that down in an attempt to become more technically competent first, besides, life is a marathon, not a sprint :)

The Entrepreneurship Collective board

Any cool internships under your belt?

Yeah! Last semester I worked with Ultimate Software (Now UKG) in South Florida as a C# and SQL Software engineer. This summer I'll be working remotely as a frontend/ React engineer at Atlassian! I'm really excited, Atlassian is a super cool company whose tools I've used for a long time with a KILLER company culture :)

Tell us how you found out about startGNV and how long you've served on the startGNV board?

I heard about startGNV for a long time from going to networking events around time like Empty Bottle Club and Third Thursdays, and actually attended a startup weekend back in 2019. I started serving on the board at the end of 2019, a few months after talking to Aidan at a networking event! So this is my second full year on the board.

Participating in one of startGNV’s startup weekends

Favorite moment/memory in the innovation ecosystem?

It was definitely winning my first startup weekend. There's something so exciting about weekend events like that; Staying up all night putting your blood, sweat, and tears into a presentation while working with people that you've never met before, I had so much fun. I can't wait until we can do events like that again

Tell us about your vision for startGNV and Gainesville's innovation ecosystem? Hopes and dreams for 2021?

I have a lot of hope for the future of the startGNV Portal (that's startgnv.com if you don't already know!) We've already seen so many people get value from it and I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. Being able to funnel more talented people into town while showcasing all the awesome stuff happening here is our goal with that project so I'm honestly just hoping that we continue to make meaningful progress!

Student leaders at 2019 celebrateGNV
There's a lot more happening in Gainesville than most students probably know, and SO many really awesome, driven, and inspirational people to learn from.

Advice for students hoping to get involved/ interested in the innovation ecosystem like yourself?

There's a lot more happening in Gainesville than most students probably know, and SO many really awesome, driven, and inspirational people to learn from. Advice that I'd give to students trying to get more involved is not to be afraid to reach out to literally anyone. I've never been denied to chance to talk to someone that I found fascinating in town, and I think that's part of the appeal of this community; you feel like a part of something. I talked to Jamie Kraft recently (The director of the entrepreneurship program at UF) and the main problem he observed was that there's a lot going on on campus and a lot going on in the broader community, we just need students to help bridge that gap; that starts with building relationships.

Your favorite thing about Gainesville and why other people should move here?

My favorite thing about Gainesville is how interconnected the community is (although the food scene is a close second). People should move here because there's a lot to do, the community is so inviting, and there are so many people rooting for innovative ideas.

Lauren and Seyi at an event at Cypress and Grove
The best thing peers can do to help build the innovation ecosystem would be to engage with the community using their talents.

What's the best thing your peers can do to help build the innovation ecosystem and why should they do it? What's the benefit for all?

The best thing peers can do to help build the innovation ecosystem would be to engage with the community using their talents. I have a friend who is a student and is a very creative digital marketer/ videographer. He started out freelancing, ended up working for a local company, and recently started his own marketing firm and has contracts with two local startups! It's not necessarily the case that to build the innovation ecosystem everyone needs to start a business, but being able to meet new people, build proficiency in one's field, and support local business is beneficial for all involved.

The Seyi necklace!

Any significance around the necklace you're always rocking?

Haha, kinda, I really like cool African jewelry! I'm half Nigerian, though that side of my family was the dominant cultural force growing up. After starting at UF I met a guy who ended up becoming my best friend and he is also from Nigeria, and whenever he goes back home to visit he grabs me all sorts of cool bracelets and necklaces. I guess it's a good way to keep in touch with my roots and not forget where I come from :)