With expansion into South Africa, this will mark the fourth country in Africa where MEST has a foothold in the African tech ecosystem.
MEST is now accepting applications from South Africans, Ghanaians, Kenyans and Nigerians who wish to spend a year at MEST in Accra to take part in the intensive training program and launch their own software company, with potential for seed investment opportunities.
Applications close May 20, 2016.
Training Program: Admitted applicants receive a full scholarship to a one-year entrepreneurial training program that blends an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development. During the program, students form into teams, develop a product, write business plans, and craft their investor pitches. The strongest and most promising concepts receive between $50,000 to $250,000 USD in equity investment, to support the launch of these new businesses.
Incubator: Teams that receive investment then start their journey at the MEST Incubator, where they receive continued hands-on support as they launch and grow their businesses. To date, the MEST Incubator has invested in over 25 companies and backed more than 75 co-founders. These companies have developed solutions addressing global markets, created jobs and wealth locally, received outside follow-on funding from global investors, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as 500 Startups and TechStars.
“2014 was the first year that MEST recruited outside of Ghana, due to our sponsorship from Interswitch in Nigeria,” says Katie Sarro, Managing Director, MEST. “We’ve found the diversification of students in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria exponentially increase the business ideas that come from the training program. With the addition of South Africa, we look forward to fostering even more talent.”
Selected Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) will receive:
“The scope and resources of our Pan-African incubator network is a unique value prop and one of a kind on the continent,” says Jorn Lyseggen, founder of MEST. “Our entrepreneurs will now have the ability to launch startups in their home countries, after completing the one year training program in Ghana, while also allowing our current portfolio companies to more easily access new markets.”
MEST plans to have strategic corporate partners in each market, who assist, support and promote our program entry into new cities. This expansion enables a clear network effect amongst MEST’s points of presence and helps empower MEST portfolio companies to reach broader audiences of potential consumers, clients and partners.