MTN Ghana, Ayoba, Chenosis and Mobile Money Limited (MTN MoMo) have together launched the second edition of the start-up accelerator program to empower Ghanaian start-ups and offer them the opportunity to reach millions of people on the MTN Ayoba Super App.
The first edition saw some 20 Ghanaian start-ups being rewarded for coming up tops in various categories, and this year, over 50 start-ups are participating in Accra alone, after which outstanding start-ups will be rewarded and also be uploaded on to the Ayoba super app to have access to all 2.8 million users of the App.
Senior Manager, Digital Platforms at MTN Ghana, Winnie Dzidonu said prior to coming to Accra, there was a roadshow which took the team to Kumasi, Tamale and the Volta Region (for the first time) where several start-ups showed interest and registered.
She said MTN’s goal is to have at least 200 start-ups in the accelerator so all of them could be signed up to Ayoba this year.
According to her, as part of the program, MTN established hubs in the various regions, which are helping the start-ups to set up their presence on Ayoba, navigate their operational challenges on daily basis and also leverage on other resources to help them grow.
Benedict Bentil, Senior Manager for Enterprise Marketing Portfolio Management said the long-term goal for creating the accelerator platform is to build a community of viable start-ups on the Ayoba platform, where people across Ghana and Africa can go and access various kinds of services in one app.
He said, through a series of engagements, the young start-ups will be assisted with the knowledge they need in business and technology to design and build the best apps, which will then be uploaded onto Ayoba for free and it will remain free for them in the foreseeable future.
According to him, even after the apps have been uploaded to Ayoba, MTN continues to support the start-ups to grow and take advantage of various resources and opportunities to keep thriving.
Indeed, Winnie Dzidonu confirmed that out of the 20 that signed up last year, at least three – Tudu, Smithfield and Africa Global Radio received some support in their endeavours during the year.
She said every month all the start-ups also receive reports on what numbers they are getting from Ayoba, which helps them to monitor their performance.
For this year, after the Accra road show, there will be a virtual training with various hubs across the participating regions, as well as a curated training for participating start-ups before the selected apps are uploaded to Ayoba.
Subsequently, there will be a Chenosis conference with high profile fintech and insurance businesses for the start-ups, where the start-ups will be introduced to various APIs, which they can tap into to either commercialize/monetize their businesses or reach even more users and then finally there will the in-person pitching of solutions to a panel of judges ahead of the awards event.