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Keita Orelaja is a 21 year old student who is currently working towards a Banking finance and management degree at one of the top universities in the country, loughborough.

Along with a team of four, including ex Man United star Fabian Bredy, Keita has co-founded the app Skouted. Keita was Due to start his university placement year at the investment bank Morgan Stanley, but instead opted to dedicate his time to the app. 

Already being dubbed the ‘LinkedIn of football’ the Skouted app is a social platform with the purpose of bridging the gap between aspiring footballers and clubs. It has already stirred up a huge buzz within the sporting community, with the co-founders being interviewed on talk sport and featured on SportBible – a page with over 11 million followers.

The Journey:

From a young age Keita has always been a talented athlete – playing a variety of sports from football to rugby, he would often meet with and be competing alongside a variety of other extremely talented young men. 

Such talented individuals, despite their quality and skill, would be missed by the system due to bad luck or simply the politics that surrounds transitions into professional sports – consequently leading these young men to fall out of the sport completely; something had to be done. 

A year in the making, the App has a wide reaching appeal to both clubs and players alike. Clubs losing out on huge prospective talent as well as players missing out on the opportunity to play for their dream teams is what Skouted hopes to reduce on a national and international scale. 

On the Skouted website, the business tells players: “Our aim is to level the playing field and provide you with the greatest possible exposure to maximise your chances of playing in top-division football” and it goes on to tell scouts: “From academy director to Sunday League coach, we know how challenging it is to find the right player…that’s why we’ve built Skouted”.

Keita himself explains that “It’s really quite cool as scouts and clubs can search, not only via your name, but through really key filters, such as age, radius from the training ground, position, their playing style, what foot they are, so we are talking about 10 filters to narrow it down and then they can go through and if they like them, take it from there.”

Brandy, along with co-founders, Keita Orelaja and Raj Sharma visited talkSPORT HQ

He goes on to say that the Skouted wants to help break the stigma that “It’s too late to be a footballer, If you’re clips are good enough and you are too – someone will find you.” Some famous examples being Didier Drogba who started his career at Chelsea at 26 and the legendary Ian Wright who started his career at Arsenal at 26.

The App, however, goes even further than this. As a social platform, it aims to connect not just higher and lower league teams with players but exist as a hub for the football community as a whole. 

Individuals, who for example needed an extra player for a casual 5-a-side game, would be able to utilise the app and put a notification in for a social player just for the night. It will effectively operate as a social media platform centred around football – where users can garner a following and entertaining videos such as: goal of the week, skill of the week or football blunder of the week can be posted to keep users returning to the app. 

The App has already had positive feedback from clubs across the world, with grand teams in the premier league having already signed up. Players such as Danny Simpson and Sky sports presenter Hayley Mcqueen have already began showing their public support for Skouted.

For keita, the biggest of all of these endorsements has been undoubtedly the feature in Forbes. He states “this one was crazy and I’m still shocked to be honest. I get a bit of stick from some of the lads and have a new nickname Mr Forbes, but its all worth it. I was incredibly proud of this one.”

Along with this, some of Keita’s most memorable milestones during this journey has been: the launch of the Skouted beta platform, being featured on sky spots and being accepted onto NatWest’s entrepreneurial spark.

Keita always knew that entrepreneurship was the path he would follow. Both his parents stood as shining examples to him as to the success and fulfilment one could get from being their own boss, which is what he aspired to do from a young age. Nevertheless, despite this, Keita talks of his own personal surprise that he started at such an early stage in his life.

Challenges and obstacles:

Despite the amazing and successful run that Keita has enjoyed, he states that it’s not always been plain sailing. Entrepreneurship is always a tenuous path to head down, it is a career that is high risk and high reward. 

Keita describes it as “definitely a new sense of disappointment, working on a project for a certain amount of weeks and not seeing the anticipated results, or spending money on a campaign that we shouldn’t have” At the apex of all of this Keita speaks about the strongest battle which is the mental one, the fear of failure and the consequences this can have on your self esteem and public image. 

Keita makes the point that “as a young person in this generation, it’s easy to be caught up in the trend of caring about outward opinion, because of this and things like social media we constantly want to be seen to be doing well, and we are constantly faced with other people’s ‘perfect success’ on their socials, however as everyone should know, an entrepreneurial journey isn’t that straightforward and you will face ups and downs, it’s all about understanding that this is normal.”

To overcome these challenges, keita speaks on focusing on short term goals “achieving day to day success.” By celebrating and appreciating these small wins, it helps to give you the boost to push through the tougher times.

Despite any of these obstacles – Keita stands strong in his will to succeed and knows that he will never quit before he realises his goals.

Advice:

Keita stands as a great example for other young budding entrepreneurs who are also studying, he advises that people need to simply get stuck in, “we are in a very risk averse time of our life, we don’t have children, mortgages, Husbands/wives. Now is truly the best time to take the plunge and try something.” 

The disappointment of seeing your million pound idea manifested by someone else is something that nobody would want to experience – so just go for it! 

Keita also elaborates that embracing your mistakes and learning from them is key. The entrepreneurial journey is full of setbacks and failures and your reaction to each one will really embody the type of entrepreneur you become. 

If you learn and become stronger you will go on to succeed – if you constantly dwell on your errors, it will definitely hold you back from your destined successes.

The Future:

For Keita his future aspirations are that his journey with Skouted puts him in a position to be able to be able to provide a facility for young entrepreneurs with ideas, so that whether it is office space or grants he would be able to assist budding entrepreneurs on the first step of the journey. 

Keita believes “young people are the lifeblood of our future society and when encouraged and facilitated can do incredible things.” 

Keita also never plans to fully retire if Skouted takes off and becomes a success; he sees himself pivoting to other ventures to satisfy his everlasting craving for entrepreneurship.

Feel free to have a look into Keita and his projects below:

Webpage: Skouted

Twitter: @kk_Orelaja10

Worth Of Mouth also has a similar story of an athlete, named Jay Davis, who is also following their dreams and reaching goals – why not give it a read?

Ayoola Adeniji

Hey! I am Ayo a 22 year old Psychology graduate from Loughborough University. For me writing is a medium in which you can both inspire and educate people, I aim to widen peoples understanding around the topics of mental health and British politics, whilst also inspiring young readers by sharing all the great achievements that occur regularly in this country.
Ayoola Adeniji
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