Innovative Clan, a startup incubated by MTN Cameroon distinguishes itself in Africa

MTN Cameroon, leading telecommunications company in Cameroon, has announced that the startup, Innovative Clan (I-Clan), that it has been incubating since 2018, was a finalist at the Daikin– Samurai Incubate Ideathon Airtech Bootcamp Africa that just took place in Nairobi, Kenya.

Of the 160 young companies competing in Africa, Innovative Clan is amongst the ten startups whose projects particularly caught the attention of the jury. I-Clan develops digital products and services in the Fintech domain. The other competitors were from Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. I-Clan was the only startup representing the whole Central Africa sub-region.

The excellent performance in Nairobi did not go unnoticed. Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Dion Ngute, personally congratulated the Innovative Clan team and reminded them that they are players in Cameroon’s ongoing digital transformation. Ako Joelle, Shafack Amanda, Efuet Flora, Ndam Njei Lesly and Nfor Carlton who are members of I-Clan are all young Computer and Telecommunications Network graduates of the University of Buea. 

They started developing the company that they created while finishing their university studies. This initiative was strongly supported by MTN Cameroon which provides them office space, several resources and daily mentoring by experts. “We launched our own startup : Innovative Clan. With assistance from MTN, we are learning a lot in various sectors of activity: marketing, business… Even within the computer science domain, which is our field of expertise, we are mentored by highly skilled individuals.  It is an amazing experience for us,” explains Ako Joelle, Chief Executive Officer of I-Clan.

The story between I-Clan and MTN Cameroon started long before the incubation process. In 2018, these youths who were representing the University of Buea, won the application developers contest organized by MTN Cameroon within the framework of its employee volunteer programme, 21 Days of Y’ello Care. Their idea for the integration of mobile money as a payment method on websites was the most innovative at this competition which saw the participation of thirty-five students from seven university institutions in Cameroon.   

“We do not only develop the competences of our employees. We also ensure that we reinforce the capabilities of other actors in the digital ecosystem, especially students and computer application developers in the country,” explains Shoyinka Shodunke, Chief Technology & Information Systems Officer of MTN Cameroon, on the incubation process of which I-CLAN is benefiting.

Before the Daikin – Samurai Incubate Ideathon Airtech Bootcamp Africa where they arrived in the finals, I-Clan had been selected to participate in the launch of the Youth Connekt Africa initiative last October in Rwanda. The previous month, Ako Joelle’s team was in Accra, Ghana, thanks to an invitation from Google to participate in the Google Sub-Saharan Africa Community Summit.

Today, the young company already has customers in Cameroon and abroad. It is the beginning of a 100% Cameroonian success story. This is a source of pride and encouragement for MTN Cameroon to continue contributing significantly to the development of Cameroonian youth. 

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