KAMPALA – After a challenging 48hours of the most electrifying, inspiring and innovative idea generation, with sleep a distant memory for 18 hardworking teams, the innovators in the MTN App challenge this afternoon presented their results to a panel of judges in a well attended closing ceremony.
The challenge was won by Yoza, an Android app helps users find laundry services. They have listed a number of service providers and will use the app to connect them to people who need their services.
The event was attended by various stakeholders including Mr. James Saaka, Executive Director of the National Information Technology Authority, Michael Niyitegeka, Vice Chairman of the ICT Association of Uganda, who also served as a judge in this weekend’s competition.
Speaking at event, Brian Gouldie, the CEO of MTN Uganda commended the participants for their efforts and energy displayed throughout the hackathon, while stressing MTN’s commitment to helping youth find gainful employment.
“As Uganda continues to battle challenges like youth unemployment, MTN looks to leverage its position as an industry leader to offer youth opportunities to create solutions that will be commercialized and bring about long-term employment for them,” said Brian Gouldie.
“In line with our vision to deliver a bold, new digital world, we’re looking to continue concentrating our efforts on creation of brand new digital applications to enrich customer experience and deliver value in our propositions while contributing to the nation’s transformation agenda in – the core sectors of Finance, Health and Education,” he added.
“It’s no secret that digital innovations are at the heart of true transformation around the world. The question now is which innovation crosses the $1 billion valuation mark first; even in Africa. To be part of the digital revolution, it is crucial for Uganda to start building a sustainable Innovation Eco-system,” Mr. Gouldie further elaborated.
The CEO also revealed plans by MTN to launch an Innovation Lab later this year, further stressing MTN’s commitment to lead the way in ICT Innovation.
Most of the applications developed this weekend run on Android and utilize MTN Mobile Money as a payment gateway for most of the payments they’re built to facilitate, which presents a great opportunity for MTN.
The apps cut across four key themes of M-Health, M-Business, M-Entertainment and M-Finance and each category winner will take home cash prizes, commercialization support and other merchandize specifically chosen to facilitate their work.
The overall winner will also have an opportunity to visit Huawei’s HQ in China to truly experience innovation excellence.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer, Mapula Bodibe said:
“As a leading ICT brand in the market, MTN believes a strong focus on digitization will usher in a new world order for emerging markets. This involves providing and supporting platforms that enable technology infrastructure development and advancement,” said Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Mapula Bodibe.
This month’s MTN App Challenge has been organized in collaboration with Outbox, a leading innovation hub in Uganda, Garage 48 and Huawei. The challenge attracted over 500 developers out of which 100 minds have been selected to turn their ideas into technology innovations.
The challenge was intentionally opened up for both students and non-students with the aim of gathering people from different fields with varying skill sets and uniting them into teams that would hopefully develop tomorrow’s big innovation.
More information about the App Challenge can be found on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mtnug) and Twitter Page (www.twitter.com/mtnug). Watch the press for more detail on how MTN Uganda will be leading the delivery of a bold new digital world.
- Best M-Health App ($2,500):
Name of App: Run For Your Life
Team Leader: Adeline Tushabe
Run for your life is a 3D mobile game built to create awareness about HIV, other chronic diseases and general health care. It facilitates delivery of health information by letting users answer some questions to redeem their game-life as the play a mobile racing game.
Failure (while playing) gives you questions while success gives you various tips.
- Best M-Business ($2,500):
Name of App: Yoza
Team Leader: Nicholas Kamanzi
Yoza is an Android App that provides laundry services to people who needs them. It targets single youth between 18 and 30. They’ve listed a number of service providers and will use the app to connect them to people who need the app.
The app utilizes “Yoza Credit” which is a coupon system (loyalty program) to encourage people to use the services.
- Best M-Entertainment ($2,500):
Name of App: Common Sense
Team Leader: Ssali Emma
The app challenges you by getting you to answer questions and you win points for all correct answers. The points can be used to win tangible products based on the sponsor you chose to play for.
- Best M-Finance ($2,500):
Name of App: MamboPay
Team Leader: Charles Muhindo
MamboPay is a coupon-based payment solution that enables individuals or organizations to send funds to various beneficiaries in terms of coupons. Coupons are tied to a specific purpose and can only be redeemed at partner service providers for that specific purpose.
It can facilitate payment for health services, for example, by letting a sponsor generate a fixed-value coupon to be redeemed at any of the registered health service providers.
- Audience’s Favorite ($1,000):
Name of App: Dawa App
Team Leader: Duncan Sanya
It’s an app that provides access to patient’s medical information on the go while allowing a patient to dial a health professional at any time and from anywhere.
- Overall Winner ($2,500):
Name of App: Yoza App