MTN, SAP, Microsoft, Inmarsat and Merck partner with AMPION Africa

– Press Release | AMPION 17/10/2014 –

Harare, Zimbabwe and Berlin, Germany – AMPION announces today four leading global technology companies as its major sponsors. Leading global IT, healthcare and satellite giants join forces with AMPION to enable entrepreneurial talent in Africa to develop innovative solutions on the continent by making best use of the power of mobile technology.

SAP, Microsoft and MTN will financially support AMPION’s 2014 operations and enable the newly established NGO to successfully operate on the pan-African level and generate long-term impact. Free hardware and bandwidth granted by Inmarsat will provide the AMPION Venture Buses with satellite connectivity.

Microsoft will additionally provide a package of free software and training to the winning startups of the 2014 AMPION Venture Buses. Interested entrepreneurs, designers and coders still have a chance to apply for a seat on the Venture Buses on-line. More than 700 applications from all over the world have been reviewed by AMPION as of today for the 180 seats on the Venture Buses.

Global healthcare leader Merck will be AMPION’s prime sponsor for the East African Venture Bus. Participants on the Venture Bus travelling from Tanzania to Rwanda will specifically focus on developing e-Health solutions. The East African Venture Bus will be accompanied by a CEO-selected Merck representative. E-Health experts are specifically encouraged to apply for this Venture Bus.

In September 2014, AMPION had launched two crowdfunding campaigns to aid with operational costs and to finance an extensive Fellowship Program for the most promising start-ups; the first crowdfunding campaign on 1%Club has been successfully completed and is now being granted 70% of its €15.000 funding goal through The Cheetah Fund, which is powered by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery.

AMPION will utilise this momentum to mobilise support for its remaining crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Reaching the overall crowdfunding goal of €50,000 will enable AMPION to set up a Fellowship Programme for a maximum amount of African start-ups and entrepreneurs with considerable funding and incubation.

Commenting on the strategic partnerships, Fabian-Carlos Guhl Founder & MD, AMPION, said:

fabian-carlos-Guhl-314x180“We are delighted to work with our new sponsors MTN, SAP, Microsoft, Inmarsat and Merck in Africa. Sponsoring and partnering with AMPION is an investment into the African mobile technology, start- ups and ICT space of tomorrow – and the creative entrepreneurs behind it. We are proud that world leading companies are convinced that our work is making a difference and decided to be a part of it.”

About AMPION and the AMPION Venture Bus in Africa

ampion venture bus logoAMPION is the leading pan-African entrepreneurship initiative to enable young Africans to start ICT companies, often creating considerable social impact. AMPION organises 5-day Venture Bus programmes accompanied by international mentors and followed by an extensive incubation programme. The Venture Buses are regularly covered by media such as CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle (DW), and brought some of Africa’s most innovative companies to life.

Interested companies and funders can now acquire AMPION’s sponsorship packages directly online, fully integrated into the Indiegogo campaign.

About MTN Group

MTN_logoLaunched in 1994, MTN Group is a leading emerging markets mobile operator which is at the forefront of the technological changes sweeping the world. We invest significantly in advanced communications networks, connecting more than 215 million people in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. MTN has been rated among the top 500 global companies on corporate sustainability and environmental impact in the 2014 Newsweek Green. For more information, visit

About SAP

logo_sapSAP is the world leader in enterprise applications in terms of software and software-related service revenue. Based on market capitalisation, SAP ís the world’s third-largest independent software manufacturer with more than 253,500 customers in 188 countries, more than 66,500 employees, and locations in more than 130 countries SAP has a 42-year history of innovation and growth as a true industry leader, and reported €16.82 billion in annual revenues (IFRS) in 2013. For more information, visit

About Microsoft

microsoft-logo-2014-criticsightFounded in 1975, Microsoft Corp. is the world-wide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. For more information, visit and

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat-logo_1_1Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L). The Inmarsat press release newsfeed and corporate updates are on Twitter @InmarsatGlobal

About Merck

merck-logo-primaryMerck is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of our customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck generated total revenues of € 11.1 billion in 2013 with four divisions: Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Merck Millipore. Merck products are known and established throughout the world. Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. Since 1668 our name has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. The founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. We are Merck, the original, and hold the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where we are known as EMD. For more information, visit

About The Cheetah Fund

cheetah fundThere are many African pioneers who have great ideas to change the world. An idea that creates social or environmental impact… An idea that leads to a cleaner, safer or friendlier world. These changemakers have a fresh perspective and are eager to contribute to a better world. The Cheetah Fund calls them the “CHEETAHS” of this world. They have the drive and like to go off the beaten path. What they often don’t have is the financial means to achieve this. The Cheetah Fund of €400,000 aims to support these African pioneers with seed money to kick-start or boost their world changing projects. If pioneers manage to crowdfund at least 30% of their target amount via 1%Club within 30 days, The Cheetah Fund will grant them the remaining amount.

It is The Cheetah Fund’s dream to empower 100 African changemakers and to ignite a big wave of social change throughout Africa! For more information, visit

Press contact

ampion venture bus logoJan David Jonas Schafft

Co-Founder, Global Head of PR

AMPION – amplifying pioneership

Tel.: +49 (0) 176 621 168 29


Also read our previous Ampion articles.

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