Report: MTN Startup Q & A Session Buea

This is a Guest Post from Isaac Kamga. Isaac Kamga is the National Lead for GDG Cameroon, and he leads the organizing of events in the Buea Tech Community related to the MTN Innovation Challenge2015.


Yesterday’s MTN Startup Q & A Session was a power-packed one and fun as developers hadn’t meet each other for a while. It started off with techies filling up Activspaces , catching up and asking why one of Cameroon’s Big brother companies is bringing us together to one place. After an intense prayer from a holy individual, we dived straight into Ryan Yoder’s Lightning talk on the MTN Innovation Challenge where he sold to us eligibility criteria, deadlines, Activspaces Pre-Activation Bootcamp and most especially the 1,000,000 CFA Francs cash prize. As the lightning talk ended, we refreshed our throats and the long awaited Patrick Ndjientcheu, MTN Innovation Challenge Program Manager appeared on stage. This is a sneak peak into the Q & A that ensued;

Q1: Why is MTN organizing this challenge ?

MTN Cameroon wants to reinvent itself into a software company and encourage the tech community.

Q2: Why is the 1,000,000 CFA Francs cash prize that “small” ?

This is the first time MTN Cameroon is organizing such a competition. If the results indicate that developers are working on cool products, then next year the cash prize will increase.

Q3: What are the various APIs open for the Innovation Challenge ?

1. MTN Mobile Money API : Charge a user’s Mobile Money Account
2. Direct Operator Billing API : Charge a user’s Airtime
3. SMS API : Send MTN notifications to your subscribers

Q4a: Why are the APIs just SOAP APIs (Not REST APIs) and open just to the 10 Finalists ?

MTN Cameroon will release their REST APIs soon (based on the cool products developed during this challenge). Just 10 Finalists were chosen to use the APIs because they’ll eventually be registered companies (thanks to Activspaces Incubator)

Q4b: Can MTN Cameroon release a Sandbox of their APIs where individuals can play ?

Yes, if MTN sees sufficiently cool apps are developed during this challenge.

Q5: Will MTN Cameroon steal my ideas / Intellectual Property ?

No, MTN Cameroon will carry out a very elaborate Marketing campaign for the 3 winners which will not permit it to enter this market niche. (Your most formidable competitor is one of your friends )

Q6: What’s the Revenue sharing model between MTN Cameroon and it’s customers on MTN Mobile Money ?

MTN Cameroon charges 3% of the profits made from the users subscribers.

After the Q & A, the next event taking place was announced viz‪#‎IdeaWeek‬ aimed at brainstorming and refining potential ideas. Lastly, closing remarks permitted us go home to start racking our brains for the‪#‎nextbigthing‬.

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Otto Akama

Otto Akama

I am a student, an entrepreneur and a founder. I read Computer Engineering, founded iSolutions International, and Makonjoh. I love StartUps especially when they are created by youths. I love them because they give hope that youths are ready to face tomorrow.

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1 Response

  1. Charles Hopson says:

    Hello Mr Patrick Ndjientcheu, Manager –
    I am the Publisher and Managing Editor of ‘InnovAfrica Magazine’, a monthly magazine covering tech startups in Africa.
    We would like to know more about MTN Innovation Challenge Program and its Contestants.

    Charles HOPSON

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