Prior to entering the Mauritania Innovation Challenge (MIC) M3D founder Mohamed Mourid had developed a passion for 3D animation but couldn’t quite figure out how to turn his passion into a business. The MIC helped them to develop their business and they are now working on 3D animation projects for a range of clients including the French Agency for Development (AFD), NGO’s working on health issues, and marketing campaigns. They are the first 3D animation company in Mauritania specializing in making short animated videos on topics ranging from the importance of washing your hands to Mauritanian history.
Mohamed had been interested in 3D Animation as a hobby. As he improved his 3D Animation skills their hobby turned into a passion, but they still needed the business skills to turn their passion into a successful business.
The Mauritania Innovation Challenge is a competition that identifies young people who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs and provides them with best-in-class business and leadership training. The Challenge aims to drive innovation in Mauritania, encouraging participants to spot untapped or new business opportunities.
Before entering the Mauritania Innovation Challenge, M3D knew there was a gap in the market for animation – particularly with its lower production cost than live-action film. A pool of potential clients ranging from NGO’s to filmmakers to marketing agencies need 3D animation to communicate messages simply and cheaply to Mauritanian audiences. Without access to a local 3D Animation company these potential clients either used foreign animators who didn’t understand local audiences or created expensive live-action films.
As a longer-term goal, they hope to create a distinctive Mauritanian style of animation. Just as Japanese animators created the “anime” style of animation, M3D hopes to create a style of animation which would resonate with Mauritanian national identity.
In order to meet this marked demand M3D Studio wanted to learn how to understand their competition and how to access and market to potential customers. Developing a market-ready business strategy – including market research, a marketing strategy, and financial planning – was the most important takeaway for M3D Studios from the Mauritania Innovation Challenge.
Due to his hard work M3D Studio was awarded as one of the winners of the 2018 Mauritania Innovation Challenge. They won $11,000 in seed funding to develop their business following the end of the challenge and are using their seed funding to purchase specialized animation tools as well as to advertise their start-up.
Mohamed Mourid, Founder, M3D Studio said:
“Through the Mauritania Innovation Challenge, we learned a lot of things. It was obvious that the aim of it was to turn ideas into successful income-generating projects by training participants to promote their products effectively and how to deal with competitors.
In a country where the start-up ecosystem is still in its early stages, the KIC has invested the time, money and effort to provide the opportunity for young entrepreneurs to bring their ideas and businesses to life.
Through the KIC we were able to build our own company and attract real customers. We encourage anyone thinking of joining the KIC to see where their hard work can lead them.”
Where they are today
M3D Studio is now the only 3D animation studio in Mauritania. Within weeks of winning seed funding, M3D Studio brought in its first contract. Impressively, in its first few weeks of operation their company made a net income of $5000 and is still attracting more clients.
With the passion and skills for 3D animation, combined with the equipment they were able to purchase with their seed funding and the business skills they learned in the MIC, M3D is well on its way to building a sustainable business.