Five out of 18 startups that excelled throughout the MTN Ayoba momo accelerator journey have won various shares of the prize money of GHS130,000 at the end of the MTN Ayoba Momo Accelerator Awards.
The five startups have been awarded after an eight weeks competition where MTN Ayoba has worked with various startup hubs, with various entrepreneurial businesses, ranging from agriculture, and entertainment to productivity to help onboard them onto the Ayoba App to better serve customers.
The competition was created by MTN Ghana and Ayoba for all startup hubs across the country to bring forward their digital solutions by leveraging the Ayoba App platform to scale their businesses.
Speaking at the awards ceremony held at the MTN House on Friday, January 20, Chief Digital Officer Dario Bianchi explained why MTN Ayoba came up with the accelerator.
He told the media present that “We are doing this because we believe that MTN can play a much bigger role in the digitization of Ghana. We want to support the startups, we want to help them grow, we want to help entrepreneurs who have ideas in the digital space to make it easier to build and grow a company.”
Before the media engagement, Dario Bianchi extended a congratulatory message to all 18 startups that took part in the MTN Ayoba momo accelerator journey during a short speech.
He encouraged winners and none winners to be proud of what they have done in the last few weeks, adding that they are a key part of the story of the Ayoba App going forward.
“Today is actually a culmination of a few weeks of hard work for my team but especially for the entrepreneurs and the developers to really build apps that can go live and can scale. From now on it’s going to be about getting the apps to scale, help the entrepreneurs to really build a business out of it, and build the next generation of digital startups in Ghana,” the MTN Ghana Chief Digital Officer said in his speech.
Dario Bianchi added, “You are the future of Ayoba because the future of Ayoba is going to be all about micro-apps. Your services will become a key part of the story of Ayoba and a key selling point as well.
“All of you have done amazing things and deserve applause. Whether you win or you don’t win it's still a success. The only thing I will ask is that let’s keep talking. With us, MTN, the Ayoba team, and also among yourselves.”
Top Tech App: This award which is the ultimate prize went to ‘Noni Hub’. For their prize, the startup is receiving a whopping GHS50,000 from MTN.
In addition, Noni Hub now has a lifetime partnership with MTN Ayoba.
Giving a few remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Noni Hub, Sumaila Chakurah expressed profound appreciation to MTN Ghana and MTN Ayoba for the opportunity to be part of the accelerator programme.
“I want to say a very big thank you to all our partners. It’s great we are part of the Ayoba family.
“We are glad that our efforts have been recognized. We will work harder to get more startups to come on the app,” Sumaila Chakurah stressed.
Most liked micro app: This award was given to the startup with the most likes among other things on the Ayoba App.
It went to ‘Global Africa Radio’ with the outfit going home with GHS20,000 and a lifetime partnership with MTN Ayoba.
Best MoMo Solution: The best MoMo solution award given to the Best MoMo Microapp went to ‘Tudu Online Shopping’. They also took home GHS20,000 plus a lifetime partnership with MTN Ayoba.
Expert Choice Award: In the Expert Choice Award category, Smitfield Agribusiness beat the other startups to the award. Having been selected by a panel for being the app with the best customer experience, they also earned GHS20,000 plus a lifetime partnership with MTN Ayoba.
Top Ayoba Influencer: The fifth and final category of the MTN Ayoba Momo Accelerator Awards saw ‘Demasko’ winning the Top Influencer Award.
In addition to sealing a lifetime partnership with MTN Ayoba, the people behind the startup are also receiving GHS20,000.
After the MTN Ayoba Momo Accelerator Awards, the plan is to continue working with startups to help them understand the different platforms, giving them the support they need.
This is according to Winnie Dzidonu, Manager of Digital Platforms at MTN Ghana.
“We have met with the different hubs and have plans to go to each hub each quarter to work with all their new startups to help them understand the different platforms, giving them the support they need.
“We will continue to work with them between now and into the future,” she told journalists on the sidelines of the awards ceremony.
She further disclosed that there are plans for remuneration on the MTN Ayoba App.
“Currently there is no revenue-sharing agreement, Ayoba is free to use. We have plans to do that in the future but those plans have not yet been finalised,” Winnie Dzidonu explained.
About MTN Ayoba:
Ayoba is an all-in-one App with the services of communication where one could chat with their contacts, make video and voice calls.
Users also have access to news, information, videos, pictures on tourism, sports, gaming, and music among others.
Whilst it is free for MTN users to access that App freely, non-MTN users need data bundle to access the services.
The App currently has over 21 million active users across the continent with over 2 million of those users in Ghana.