The Next Step: Competition Win Meant CreditCliq Had Money To Register For Business

Editor’s Note: This story is part of an occasional series called The Next Step that follows startup founders who have been part of university competitions sponsored by Sunstone Management, Inc. The Sunstone principals have created the Sunstone Community Fund, a donor-advised fund, to help sponsor nonprofit organizations and educational institutions through charitable donations.

In 2022, Angel Idusuyi and two of her friends decided they wanted to help overseas students come to America to go to college. Part of that process is applying for student loans, and the trio quickly ran into a roadblock.

Particularly in Nigeria, most students had no concept of a credit history, much less the ability to get a credit report or improve a credit score.

Not one to allow a bureaucratic roadblock to stop her, Angel decided to found a company to do something about it. Her partners Eniola Osabiya and Eve Idusuyi (her sister) signed on, and Creditcliq was born.

Creditcliq finished third in last May’s Sunstone CSU Startup Challenge, winning $5,000. That money was used to get registered in Nigeria, and the company now has more than 7,500 people onboard.

“When we won the CSU Startup, we had zero users,” Angel said. “We were just three students with an idea… Now people are allowed to see their credit score, and build their credit history.”

Creditcliq was basically a side project, started after Angel’s crew had begun crowd funding to help bring students here. Most were from Nigeria, Angel said.

Angel’s parents were from Nigeria, and Angel lived there for 13 years, although she was born in the USA. Nigeria’s banking system is similar to the one in the U.S., but due to the bureaucracy there, it took a lawyer to get Creditcliq registered and approved to work with credit bureaus.

Angel is attending San Jose State University, and took her Creditcliq idea to the Spartup Incubator program in 2022. She said she began developing the business plan there, and won a pitch jam, convincing her to enter the Sunstone CSU Startup Challenge – which happened to be at San Jose State last May.

“When we started, we were really strapped,” Angel said. “We had big goals, and no resources. That $5,000 made all the difference.”

Angel is Creditcliq’s CEO and sister Eve is the COO while attending Santa Clara University. The siblings are close enough to get together in person, but meetings are mostly virtual with the chief technology officer, Eniola Osabiya. He is a freshman at the University of Manitoba.

The company defines itself as “A clique of the most creditworthy & trustworthy people on the planet,” and, Angel said, “We’re on a mission to scale productive credit across emerging economies to drive prosperity.”

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The 2024 CSU Startup Launch Competition will be in May at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Email for updates.

About Sunstone Community Fund  

The Sunstone Community Fund is a key nonprofit component of the Sunstone Management vision to advance public benefit programs that support the development of inclusive and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. A Donor Advised Fund managed by the National Philanthropic Trust, the SCF supports a network of universities, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies that develop and implement entrepreneurship programs, early-stage tech accelerators, and advance local economic development. 

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About Sunstone Management  

Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital management firm with headquarters in Southern California that provides a range of early-stage venture capital, real estate, and fixed income funds to qualified and accredited investors.  The firm delivers new and exciting options for economic growth through innovative public-private partnerships, making use of its unique experience across government, education, and private sectors. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.

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