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Airtel Unveils Catapult-a-StartUp to Boost Entrepreneurship

Offers Cash Prize, Mentoring, Integration To Airtel Network
By Nanpon Dakat
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Lagos, Nigeria; December 3, 2014: Leading telecoms operator, Airtel Nigeria, has launched an entrepreneurial initiative tagged 'Catapult-a-Startup,' a platform which aims to inspire innovation and assist start up mobile app developers towards actualising their business goals and dreams.

With this initiative, Airtel is offering a platform for budding mobile app developers to receive advanced mentoring from industry veterans, funding, marketing, and also improve their skills to become successful using their creativity.

To participate in the programme, interested start-ups are to submit their ideas and presentations to the 'Catapult-a-Startup' website www.cas.ng, for evaluation. After the initial evaluation, selected start-ups will be invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of esteemed judges who will do a thorough evaluation and select the best start up proposals.

The promoters of the selected start up proposals will be subsequently supported with a cash prize of one million naira, mentoring, funding, marketing and a chance to integrate their developed apps and services on the Airtel platform gaining direct access to the Telco's large customer base.

Speaking during the launch of the initiative in Lagos, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, explained that Airtel as an innovative and forward thinking brand initiated the programme in line with its vision to encourage innovation and empower young Nigerians by creating opportunities for them to bring their business ideas to fruition.

He said: “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. 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.”

The Catapult-a-Startup initiative is uniquely geared towards empowering Nigerians especially those with superior business acumen and it is open to all tech-savvy apps developers across Nigeria which ties well with Airtel Nigeria's vision of being the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that early this year, Airtel in partnership with Google, sponsored the Google Cloud Developer Challenge which provided opportunities for thousands of young Nigerians to improve their skills in Apps development. The Google Cloud Developer contest saw the emergence of three winners who developed creative Apps with distinct features. They were rewarded with exciting cash prizes to enable them to further improve their skills and become entrepreneurs.