The maiden edition of MTN Ayoba Hackathon 2021 is over and an innovative e-learning app called Academy emerged as the overall winner.
Academy was designed by Prince Owusu for students to take up online courses in a variety of subjects, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown period, and get certificates issued to them online when they pass the courses.
The app beat four others in the final, and Prince walked away with the GHC20,000 ultimate cash prize, a plaque, a certificate and a rare opportunity to work with the MTN app development team at MTN Digital Campus.
But the biggest prize is the opportunity for his Academy App to be featured on the Ayoba platform so it can be available to a wider public, both in Ghana and elsewhere within Africa.
First runner-up was Ameylia App, designed by Edward Morgan and Pierre Barrad-Amoyaw. It is an app that enables easy crowd-sourcing for individuals who need a number of services within a particular locality.
Essentially, the app helps consumers find and order from small-scale enterprises and vendors easily and also helps such small businesses and vendors to reach consumers easily. The winners took home GHC10,000 cash prize.
Stride, an online logistics platform that connects online retailers and businesses to courier service providers for prompt deliveries to customers, was the second runner-up.
What Stride does is that it gives small online and offline businesses access to various delivery companies and service providers and monitors the process to ensure the services is delivered in a professional manner.
The app was developed by a team of four – Emmanuel Fache, Eyram Amedzor, Amanda Dzegblor and Vanessa Leonie-Mensah, and the took home GHC8,000 for their effort.
The two other apps in the final, UnloQR, a gaming app; and Request, an app that facilitates easy requests and monitoring of same within a business organization, also walked away with certificates and some consolation prizes.
The final five were selected out of over 200 entries in over two-weeks of various virtual and physical activities, that culminated into a final live event.
The winners were announced in a Facebook Live event on MTN Ghana’s Facebook page, after all five made their final pitches and the judges gave feedback.
Some were told to improve the use cases for individuals, particular within the ayoba platform where individuals rather than businesses dominate, while others were told to take a second look at ways to monetize their app among other expert comments.
All five finalist apps would be given the opportunity to leverage on the Ayoba Super platform to promote their Apps, according to officials of MTN Ghana.
The MTN ayoba Hackathon, was designed to give local app developers, start-ups and businesses the opportunity to develop micro-apps fit for the Ayoba Super App.
The Hackathon gives participants the opportunity to benefit from the digitization agenda being pursued by MTN under its Agenda 2025 strategy.
Some of the outstanding apps that did not make the final five include a Health Management App, which enables patients to easily talk to their doctors via a platform that has the patients’ health history.
Another app that was looked to solve the problem of getting information from all schools in Ghana was also demonstrated during the competition.
Chief Digital Officer at MTN Ghana, Dario Bianchi reiterated MTN’s commitment to creating Africa’s largest and most valuable digital platform, as part of it Ambition 2025, for the progress of the continent.
He said MTN believes that everyone in Africa deserves to the meaningfully connected, adding that MTN will continue to invest in ensuring the the sustainable development of Ghana and Africa through digital solutions.
The MTN Ghana CDO said each of the winners will be given a working space at the MTN Digital House in Accra to work with the MTN team to develop their apps even further.
Dario Bianchi thanked the judges and mentors of the Ayoba Hackathon for their contribution in helping the developers to improve on their app, and also thanked the Ayoba team in South Africa for setting up the Hackathon to discover the talents in Ghana.
Ayoba is an African-based super app that allows users, particularly MTN customers to have access to digital services and to the internet for free, without using their data.
Head of Ecosystem and Business Development at Ayoba, Eero Tarjanne, congratulated all five finalists and welcomed their apps to the Ayoba platform saying that the real journey has now begun for all of them and they would need to work harder to improve on the apps for the market.
He promised to get in touch with all the teams in the next few days to find ways of helping them to make their apps better with all the technical and business features needed to make the apps sit well on the Ayoba platform.
“Depending on the Covid situation, we are also working to provide the winners with working space at the MTN Campus in Accra,” he said, adding that all the winners will be included in the Ayoba Accelerator Programme.