MTN Holds App Challenge

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MTN is holding its first App Challenge in Uganda between May 29 and 31, in conjunction with Outbox and Garage48, which will develop five startups. Participants’ apps must fit within the following themes: M-Health; M-Entertainment; M-Business; and M-Finance.

Susan Kayemba, of MTN, discusses the goals of the project. “As a leading ICT brand in the market, it is MTN’s intent to champion the innovation agenda in Uganda. This involves providing and supporting platforms that enable technology infrastructure development and advancement. Through competitions like this, we aim to tap into the passion of the Ugandan youth for entrepreneurship to stimulate creativity, incubation of startups and ultimately employment.”

One of the major challenges entrepreneurs in the country face relates to marketing, which Kayemba is sure MTN can provide to help give new companies exposure.

MTN’s strategic vision is one of “a new, ICT-lead world.” Richard Zulu, co-founder and program manager of Outbox says, “We also believe that initiatives like MTN apps challenge greatly catalyse the ecosystem by getting more people not only interested in starting business that use mobile and Web, but [also] influencing policy to make it conducive to various stakeholders.”

He echo’s Kayemba’s discussion of exposure as a major challenge for young entrepreneurs, adding “financial constraints,” “limited access to infrastructure,” and “social capital” as further limiting factors.

Finally, he notes the success of previous winners of these company’s app contests such as Ensibuuko, which has impacted more than 1000 farmers since 2013.

Prospective participants can register here.

Source: Albert Mucunguzi, PC Tech Magazine