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Meet Lola Ojabowale of Lunch Pail Labs in Grant Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lola Ojabowale.

Lola, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in the Washington D.C area and I’ve always loved to solve problems. When I was a kid, I would beg my dad for math workbooks, and zany brainy was my absolute favorite store to visit. Following high school, I ended up at Dartmouth, where I studied math and engineering and discovered my love of solving problems through building products. My first experience was with a Dartmouth humanitarian engineering group. We built all sorts of engineering solutions and later in my all-time favorite class, a product design class.

Post-college, I went to work for an eCommerce company where I worked in strategy and operations and a few years into that got the opportunity to build again. From there, it’s been one serendipitous event after another. I started attending a bunch of hackathons, got involved with the Atlanta startup ecosystem, worked with a startup accelerator, built my very first software product, and was introduced to the world of no code. Now I run Lunch Pail Labs, which is a digital product studio full-time.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The journey hasn’t been without challenges, but I’ve tried to lean into gratitude and a growth mindset. I decided to go full-time on my business right before the pandemic started (talk about timing), but I’ve been lucky to be able to grow it during this period. But yes, lots of challenges; if I fail massively, there are not a ton of safety nets outside of myself, but I lean into the idea of the asymmetry of the risks I take and the quote “where there is no struggle there is no progress.”

Lunch Pail Labs – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Lunch Pail Labs is a digital product studio; we build apps with no and low-code development tools. Coding is still a relatively rare skill; only .3% of the world’s population can code. Yet, the software is increasingly becoming more ever-present in our lives. I think we’ll all win when we can enable makers from more diverse perspectives. That’s where the no and low-code development movement come in. It’s a suite of tools and frameworks that enable you to create software without knowing a specific programming language. At lunch pail Labs, we want to help people bring their ideas to market with these tools’ help.

We’re currently following a digital product studio model (spoken a lot by Jules Ehrhardt), which means we co-create with some companies in exchange for equity. We do some agency type of work, and we incubate products internally. But the hope is in the future; we could pair cocreation with alternative venture financing models. Outside of lunch pail, I’m learning a lot about alternative financing through my involvement with organizations like Knowcap and Indie.VC.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Leaping into full-time entrepreneurship. I feel very fortunate to be on my entrepreneurship journey while in Atlanta. It’s been great to see the ecosystem continue to develop even in the five years that I’ve been here, and there are so many inspiring entrepreneurs of color. I’m a big fan of the work Joey Womack, Shaun Chavis, and Eileen Lee do.

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