Airtel Nigeria has announced the first winners of its Catapult-a-Startup initiative, with seven startups taking home NGN1 million (US$5,000) in prize money.
Disrupt Africa reported in December the mobile operator had launched Catapult-a-Startup, an entrepreneurial initiative aimed at helping mobile app developers scale their businesses through funding, mentoring, marketing and the chance to integrate apps onto the Airtel platform.
The first seven winners have now been announced, namely diesel delivery service Yuzah, gaming startups Chopup and SonBim Games, online recruitment tool PushCV, online dating platform MatchUp, retail management tool BluBird, and Pass.ng, which assists students with revising for their examinations.
Airtel Nigeria managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Segun Ogunsanya said Airtel had initiated the programme in line with its vision to encourage innovation and empower young Nigerians.
“At Airtel, we are passionate about building a community for young talented Nigerians. We are aware of the abundance of young people who are blessed with the skills to develop relevant apps with most of them not having the opportunity to showcase or develop their skills,” he said.
“Through the Catapult-a-Startup programme, we aim not only to identify talent, but also to encourage local content. The apps and services developed by these start-ups will ride on Airtel’s superior 3.75G network in Nigeria and the large customer base. Airtel will continue to go the extra mile at empowering them to succeed in their respective endeavours.”