MEST School expands to South Africa; to launch incubators in Lagos, Nairobi

With expansion into South Africa, this will mark the fourth country in Africa where MEST has a foothold in the African tech ecosystem.

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Adding to its current cohorts from Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) continues its expansion across the African continent, announcing recruitment of Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) in South Africa, for the first time in the school’s history.

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.

READ : MEST takes recruitment to Kenya

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.

With expansion into South Africa, this will mark the fourth country in Africa where MEST has a foothold in the African tech ecosystem.

“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:

  • A year-long, fully sponsored training program in Accra starting September 2016
  • Hands on training in software development and entrepreneurship
  • Potential for seed funding at the end of the program
  • Housing, monthly stipend, tuition and meals covered by MEST during the one-year training program

Incubator Network

MEST will also be expanding the reach of its incubator program, with new incubators launching in Lagos and Nairobi set to launch this summer–and next year, in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“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.

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