CAMpreneur, Kathleen Ndongmo wins Tech-In Series!
Introducing the “CAMpreneur” series.The goal is to showcase Cameroonian entrepreneurs……
CAMpreneur Ms. Kathleen Ndongmo won the Tech-in Series-Tech-in Governance event held in March 2011 in Lagos Nigeria.
Tech-In = tech innovation and application in ‘select sector and social issues’.
“Tech-IN Series is a quarterly unusual event aimed at harnessing the power of technology for economic development in Nigeria”
“Tech-In Governance is an unusual event focusing on technology innovation and application for citizen participation in governance”
How it works…..
How it works…..
” A series of 48hr gathering of ideas, people and digital tools aimed at creating novel web and mobile solutions for application in select sectors in Nigeria.”
Here is an interview with Ms. Ndongmo…….
So, let’s meet you
I am an everyday fun, passionate African woman! I like to think that I am a pragmatic entrepreneur with a creative head for business and a heart for social change. I am also a prolific (copy) Writer/Editor and one of the finalist of the hit show The Apprentice Africa which was shot in Lagos in 2008. I am a citizen of Cameroon named one of the country’s top 50 Change-Agents of 2009. I am also a Egghead, who has helped pitch and win new businesses both in Africa and abroad, written industry articles and won awards. When I am not doing my “day job” (working as VP for Marketing & Sales at Virtual Terminal Network), I keep busy bringing to life ideas, start-up projects and various endeavours that will hopefully be the change I want to see in my community.
What inspired your idea, Residents Report?
Residents Report is going to be the web/mobile application that will revolutionarize the way we report and fix public services in Nigeria and perhaps in other parts of West Africa in the long term. The aim is to turn citizen complainers into neighborhood fixers; giving us all the tools we need to not only spot problems but get government to correct them in a prompt, cost-effective manner. You see, I got tired of being a complainer who will complain about a bad road for example, and then adopt the “sidon-look” attitude. I started asking myself ”What do I need to do to make this change? Who can I report this to? What platform can I use to aggregate such complains and then channel these to those responsible? How can I assist government while holding then accountable to the provision of these services?”, – these questions led me to pro-actively thinking up and building the Residents Report idea. In the future, I see an innovative application that will help us organize ourselves. Our neighbourhoods/governments will become more cohesive, more proactive, more engaged, more social, more responsible, and in the end, so will our cities
I built the prototype apps with a team of three great guys. Adebowale Owoseni who is an experienced Enterprise Software Application Developer, Ailende Truston, a very talented rising star in the Mobile Application Development arena and Abiodun Thorpe – one of the sharpest Web Application Developers I have met. The guys gave their all, and impressed me with what we delivered in the end.
The “RR” winning team!
From left to right: Adebowale Owoseni Enterprise Software Application Developer, Ailende Truston, Rising Mobile Application Development star and Abiodun Thorpe – Web Application Developer extraordinaire.
How did you feel having to compete with male, in tech innovation since you were the ONLY female contestant?
The real challenge is this: coming up with a feasible project which is a solution in itself. Something that is a need and adds value and when implemented will bring about significant change really – not with the individuals I compete with. That has always been forefront in my mind when I am in a competitive environment. I generally feel the same: un-intimidated, revved-up to go, boiling with the adrenaline of professional passion, ready to give my everything to bring the idea to life.
Share your building experience i.e. working with strangers for 48hrs to make things happen….
It was fantastic. Such experiences are always unique to me as they continuously increase me professionally so this was a team not a group of strangers. We started by conceptualizing the idea, looking at the key players, the need, the value add etc……Then we looked at how to aggregate the platform, the complete process flow and how this will work out at the back end seamlessly. Finally, we answered some tough questions on stakeholder buy-in especially regarding the government, the residents and others. We also included a complete marketing and benefits strategy. With these laid out, we successfully came up with a working mobile and web prototype, all in 48hours. Even I was amazed!
As a Cameroonian, do you see the application being used in your country given the system of Government there?
Absolutely! This isn’t about a system of government. Getting buy-in from the government especially is key and very possible. Agreed there are and will be other challenges in implementing the application on the ground real-time, however, what we are doing is building a platform that is relevant to our own environment taking into consideration these hurdles for example many African countries do not have a GPRS enabled mapping system for every street, address etc and that is a real challenge. This is why Residents Report is “crowd-sourcing” in genre. We are excited at the turn the application is now taking.
So, after winning what’s next?
The real work begins! We have developed a feasible implementation plan, phased it, scaled it and have started working on it. First step: a total working, productive web application. We are almost through with that. Watch this space. It is an exciting time for Nigeria, and for me.
Do you see yourself working on this fulltime?
I am already! I thrive on challenges. This is another bull I am taking by the horns. Literally!
This is a very TECHNICAL babe…KK (my namesake)…You are an amazing lady and such an inspiration. The Sky is NOT the limit..Keep up the great work!!
April 28, 2011
KKlicious is technical – literally. or up-tech girl as she go tell us. lol yes oh! she totally inspires!
April 28, 2011
I am humbled. Truly I am….my prayer is that we can all BE the change we want to see in our communities. Looking back, Ghandi was soooo right. Well done Yefon!
April 28, 2011
I am vvvvvery praaaaooooudt of you (Julius/Zuma/Trevor style). Well done girl! God has blessed you with wisdom and zeal. And by His grace, you shall empty yourself upon the earth and the world will be the better for it.
More power to you, girl!
April 28, 2011
Kathleen is pure GOLD!!! Fearless, Innovative, go-getter and what more can I add? Woman of God, yes, what a WINNING combination.
April 28, 2011
This is very innovative. Great job Kathleen…I've always seen you doing stuff like this!
April 29, 2011
We need to get in touch with one another…(thanks my dear Yefon). In my development of a mobile app and my search for funding I have come across a series of institutions looking to support such endeavors – apps focusing on social revolution especially in developing countries. Yours in an app that has no boundaries and can be adapted even for developed countries…Now my mind is racing…lol
Kudos to you Kathleen…and Kudos in advance what more you will achieve. You continue to amaze and impress. Keep up the spirit and may God continue to bless you with the drive, initiative, passion and optimism that you turn into blessings for the rest of us.
August 16, 2011
I am humbled. Truly I am….my prayer is that we can all BE the change we want to see in our communities.thanks for share..
February 18, 2015
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