SMEs and Ventures

MTN hosts startup founders: offers value proposition in access to markets and resources, revenue growth and co-creation

In its quest to accelerate the growth and contribution of startups to the Nigerian economy, MTN this week hosted startup founders in Nigeria and offered them value propositions covering five key areas of:

  • Access to Resources – infrastructure, finance (SMEHive, AWS, etc)
  • Product Co-Creation (Hackathon, Market Demand) e,g., MTN-Kanie, MTN-Whogohost, MTN-Venco
  • Revenue growth
  • Access to market and distribution (E-marketplace, Chenosis, Salesforce, MTN Stores)
  • Community Engagement (Ideathon, Focus Group, Beta-Testers)

The Lagos event held on Friday at the Co-Creation Hub in Yaba, Lagos State, and had in attendance over 50 startup founders. Anchored by Mr. Joshua Chijioke, the MTN Founders meetup proved to be a veritable networking and collaboration platform for the various startup founders who took advantage of the gesture from the telecoms giant.

Explaining the concept and rationale behind the meetup, Mr. Joshua Chijioke explained that it is designed to see how MTN can help the startups scale and make more money in their endeavors and foster collaboration between the startups and the telecoms giant. MTN, he explained, is beyond airtime and internet data and wants to leverage on its resources, both digital and infrastructure, to support the various startups across the Nigerian landscape.

MTN’s strategy, he said, is to transition from a provider of telco infrastructure to a provider of technology infrastructure. The company wants to collaborate with tech hubs and startups thus assisting them to build their solutions faster and better while they leverage on MTN’s strengths around distribution and market access. In this way, it will be much easier for the tech hubs and startups in collaboration with MTN to tackle emerging opportunities in real time.

At the Founder’s meetup, MTN explained that it is offering partnerships to startups in four areas, namely:

  • Co-creation of new products – as in the support it has given to Kanie, a drone manufacturer
  • Co-marketing of existing solutions – an example being that with Whogohost
  • Hackathon for new ideas – an example being the Y’ello Den Pitch-A-Thon
  • Product scaling – targeting SMS and ads

MTN has gone steps further to design and introduce solutions and products that will enable startups, especially those in the technology space who are building solutions and APIs to launch their products quicker, better and make more money. These solutions from MTN include:

  • Revenue and distribution
  • E- marketplace solution for startups;
  • Chenosis API marketplace
  • Reseller (e,g, MTN and Venco)
    – Hynetflex
    – MIFI
    – 5G Router
    – MTN Eyesyte
    – Enterprise WIFI
    – MTN Thryve
    – Data and airtime

Besides, startup founders can use the MTN resources and market offers to execute idea bounce-off, product brainstorming, focus group sessions – sectorial, stage, enterprise problem, etc. and tackling of new markets and opportunities.

Chenosis API Marketplace

Among the many unique products for startups from MTN is the Chenosis African API Marketplace. Chenosis is an African API marketplace that allows developers and businesses to explore and subscribe to the continent’s largest collection of open APIs. Chenosis offers developers access to a wide range of API products and services from across the continent from a single marketplace, including telecoms, e-health, e-government, IoT, finance, e-commerce, identity and authentication, payments and collections, location, and more.

Businesses and developers can publish their APIs on the Chenosis Marketplace for other developers to discover and consume. Publishers can also use the marketplace to monetize and promote their APIs by offering subscription plans and product bundles that developers and companies can purchase. The Chenosis Marketplace site includes dashboards for publishers and consumers to check revenue and credit balances, as well as view consumption data and API performance, among other things.

The platform’s strength will is in the construction of mashup APIs that connect cross-industry APIs and enable innovation and the capacity to build new services and business models. Mashups are orchestrations of new products and services made by developers from two or more existing APIs.

Other Products

The company is also on the verge of launching a new service tagged free mobile WIFI which will enable people to get access to free WIFI at designated locations on taking certain positive actions.

The startups that attended the event where invited to send their proposals to the MTN Enterprise Business team and take advantage of the various offers for the good of their ventures.

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