Spotlight on EIT: Bakayoko MohammedIn Ivory Coast, if you are called Mohammed, the probability of your nickname being Momo is quite high. Mohammed, part of MEST’s maiden Ivorian cohort, hails from Abidjan, the city of beautiful lagoons. In this chat, he shares why his nagging desire to seek solutions for any challenge he comes across led him to Accra.
What are some of the things you are passionate about?
Linux, music, hiking and Japanese culture.
What were you doing before joining MEST?
I was lead developer in an e-commerce start up called zandoo.
What motivated you to join MEST?
I was motivated by several factors: The training program is very good, and practical. You learn about business, communications, and technology by being taken through real life cases. MEST has also created a multicultural environment by recruiting EITs from six countries, thus ensuring exposure to different ways of life and getting a chance to learn to work with people from various cultures. On top of that, there is a chance to receive seed-funding at the end of the program!
Why do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
I have always been passionate about problem-solving, and I never shy away from challenges. For me, an entrepreneur is a person who not only brings solutions to the problems that a society is facing, but also manages to make money while at it.
Why entrepreneurship? What drove you down that path?
I don't really know what pushed me into entrepreneurship. At the moment, all I know it is it stems from this deep desire that you feel about all your frustrations, and your need to address them.
MEST is, above all, a space for personal development. In addition to everything one stands to gain at the program, we get to learn to work with people from other cultures.
Have you ever set up and, or, run a business? If yes, how many and what was(were) it(they) about?
I have a startup in Ivory Coast that we created during a hackathon called SmartUp that was organized by a Moroccan bank called Attijariwafa Bank. I would say it is more of intrapreneurship though because we only work with Attijariwafa Bank. Our solution is to confirm the validity of bank cheques using visual imaging techniques.
What do you think of MEST, and have your expectations been met so far?
MEST is a great program. For me, MEST is, above all, a space for personal development. In addition to everything one stands to gain at the program, we get to learn to work with people from other cultures. So far, my experience here has surpassed my expectations.
What has been your best moment at MEST so far?
I think my best moment at MEST was during the Halloween party. It was a special party because we had just gone through a difficult week because of the fire we had in the EITs hostel. The party was just perfect and it was what we needed at that point. Furthermore, I like to have fun and my motto is "Work Hard and Smart, Play Hard".
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