MTN Launches New Tech Startup Incubator In Ivory Coast
3 November 2017
South African telecommunications giant MTN has launched a new incubator program for tech startups in Ivory Coast.
The incubator, which is called Ye’llo Startup, is aimed at helping young entrepreneurs to design and deploy digital solutions through their startups, according to ITWebAfrica.
A selection of 10 startups will be given the chance to feature in the first incubation cycle, which will run over a one-month period from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, 2017.
From that initial group of 10, the four best startups will be selected for another phase of incubation that will run until August 2018.
Ye’llo Startup is backed by MTN Business as a means for the telecom company to support youth entrepreneurship outside of its home base in South Africa, as the applicants need to be between the ages of 18 and 35.
Alpheus Mangale, MTN Business chief enterprise officer, commented on the fact that the company views itself as a continental brand, and not simply a national brand, leading to the initiative in the Ivory Coast.
“MTN is not only a South African brand, it is an African brand. We have made a commitment and the idea is to launch in other markets where relevant,” Mangale said, according to MTN.
“We have to look at how App of the Year and other activities can benefit other African markets and we will do that when it makes sense,” he added.
MTN supports tech startups
The new incubator program in Ivory Coast is not MTN’s first effort to support young entrepreneurs within the African tech ecosystem.
The company runs the MTN Business App of the Year Awards on an annual basis to support mobile app developers and startups related to these apps.
The sixth edition took place recently in Johannesburg recently (winners can be seen here), with mobile applications across various categories recognized for their positive impact on business, according to CajNews.
Mobile app solutions developed and presented by people from a diverse range of socio-economic backgrounds ensures that these solutions are designed with real-life challenges in mind, and this is what MTN aimed to appreciate through the awards.
The judging panel was made up of business leaders and experts in their respective fields, with categories including best enterprise solution, most innovative solution and best breakthrough developer, among many others.