MEST announces latest entrepreneurial cohort, Kenyans selected for 1st time

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The Ghana-based Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has announced its latest cohort of entrepreneurs in training (EITs), which contains Kenyans for the first time after the programme’s expansion to East Africa.

Disrupt Africa reported in May MEST was recruiting Kenyan entrepreneurs for the first time having previously only been active in Ghana and Nigeria, offering selected startups the chance to launch their own software company with potential for seed investment opportunities.

Thirty-one young men and women have now been selected – 11 from each of Ghana and Nigeria and nine from Kenya – and will spend the next year undertaking an intensive training programme at the MEST campus in Accra. The full list can be found here.

“These new EITs were selected from thousands of applicants across both Eastern and Western Africa. In each country, we held group and individual interviews and candidates even met with MEST founder Jorn Lyseggen as he grilled them on their true passions and desire to become the best software engineers and entrepreneurs on the continent,” MEST said.

“This cohort is a blend of intellectual intelligence, interesting personalities, raw drive and ambition – but more importantly, all hold strongly the desire to build global software companies that can scale.”

MEST held an orientation week last week, welcoming teaching fellows from across the world to train the EITs.

“Teaching fellows bring a fresh and diverse influx of talent, knowledge and experience to mentor the EITs in the intensive and fast-paced space of startups, software technology and business at MEST,” MEST said.

“The teaching fellows and faculty are recruited from North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The assortment of this group provides the EITs with a global and multicultural perspective necessary to create disruptive and globally successful tech businesses that can scale intercontinentally.”

This year’s batch was selected from top universities with international business and engineering degrees, and have work experience with companies like Visa, Google, Edelman, Vodafone and Cartier. Some have personal experiences of founding successful startups of their own.

The expansion into Kenya is not the end of MEST’s growth plans in Africa. Ursula Tereba, director of sales and strategy for MEST in Ghana, previously told Disrupt Africa the company was also planning on recruiting South African entrepreneurs for the first time in 2016.

“I think that will be a gamechanger, because the space is so dynamic and the network is so dynamic. It is definitely a good space for us to be in,” she said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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