Introducing, Nigeria’s MEST Africa Challenge Finalist

This post was written by MEST Community Manager, Lundie Strom.

Matthew Ngbede (UX Manager) andAbdul-Jabbar Momoh (CEO)

On February 28, 2019, MEST Incubator Lagos hosted the second edition of Nigeria’s MEST Africa Challenge Regional Finals. Eight top startups were all vying for the chance to represent their region at the MEST Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, this June. AMPZ emerged the country winner.

AMPZ is known as the ‘LinkedIn for sports in Africa’, connecting talents to a world of opportunities. When Abdul-Jabbar Momoh (Chief Executive Officer) and Brenda Nwagwu (Executive Director of Marketing) collaborated on a sports project in 2016, they both realised the huge gap between talent and opportunities, which gave room for exploitation. This experience was very familiar to Jabbar, who played street football growing up in Benin-City, Nigeria. This encounter sparked a conversation that became the birth of AMPZ.

Looking to reach an estimated 230 million African sports players who have no access to verified information around potential opportunities, AMPZ believes it is the first of its kind in the continent to connect and facilitate value exchange in the African sports marketplace. Its focus on a niche target audience (sports talents aged 13–24 and foreign and local sports scouts) aims to drive more satisfaction and increased effectiveness for sports stakeholders playing in the African space.

AMPZ told MEST, “Nigeria is the most populous black nation with the highest sports participants and social media population in Sub-Saharan Africa… Sports (especially football) has been a well-spoken language on the continent. Even with the highest interest and participation, Africa has not been able to contribute so much on the global landscape, and this is due to numerous factors including corruption, lack of policies, structure and infrastructure.”

AMPZ uses technology as a tool to improve information quality and promote equal distribution of opportunities. The team believes that, as currently “there are no platforms supporting talent profiling, discovery and connections in Africa, AMPZ is here to bridge the gap and facilitate the process of talent discovery.”

When asked how winning the MEST Africa Summit pitch competition would help AMPZ achieve its goals, they said, “Over time, we have encountered a number of interesting MEST Alumni who have spoken extensively about the value of being in the MEST ecosystem.

“This, amongst other things, peaks our interest the most as we strongly believe the program would help improve our business positioning in the African start-up ecosystem and further expose us to other market opportunities, resourceful collaborations, investments and growth. We have seen the impact of MEST over the years, and AMPZ would love to share a success story with MEST.”

MEST and Microsoft look forward to welcoming the AMPZ team to the MEST Africa Summit in June!