Aug 3, 2022
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Emil Ekiyor left his family (7 sisters and two brothers) in Lagos, to pursue an education in Daytona Beach, Florida. Emil participated in Basketball, soccer, and football in high school and received a full athletic scholarship to attend the University of Central Florida, where he was named captain of the football team. After an outstanding college career, Emil went on to play six years in the National Football League with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Atlanta Falcons, and Oakland Raiders.
Upon retiring from the NFL, Emil started several businesses in the USA. In addition, he worked with U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa companies, to expand and take advantage of the rapid growth in Sub-Saharan imports and exports. Emil also served as the National Executive Director for the GEO Foundation, a nonprofit organization that partners with local community leaders to start, support, and manage high-quality K-12 charter schools. Currently, Emil is the founder and CEO of InnoPower, an organization that leverages seed-stage impact investing to drive innovation and accelerate economic productivity in Black communities in Indiana, and Sub-Saharan Africa. InnoPower also invests in businesses and real estate that helps generate wealth in and for Black Communities.
In this fun, enlightening and impactful episode, Emil talks about leaving Nigeria to come to America by himself at a young age, getting a scholarship to play football at the University of Central Florida, playing in the NFL, becoming a high school football coach at Warren Central, starting his company InnoPower to figure out how to develop talent in a different way, eliminating the funk of failure, the importance of having people around you to call you out when you need it, and a haunting moment he experienced during his football coaching tenure, that still impacts him today.