Pan-African entrepreneurial training programme, seed fund and incubator Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has announced the appointment of Nest managing partner for Africa Aaron Fu as its new managing director.
MEST is doubling down on its efforts to expand across the continent, and said Fu brings significant experience in the African technology, investment and startup landscapes, and a vast network in Asia to the company from his time at Nest.
The company hopes Fu’s experience within investment firms and startups, and in traditional corporate roles such as at Standard Chartered Bank and Societe Generale, throughout Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa, will help MEST to significantly build on its global network, creating a truly pan-African programme that is fully supported and embedded in tech hubs across Silicon Valley, Europe, and Asia.
Fu will help the firm expand in both depth and reach across Africa by drawing from his extensive experience in East Africa – where he built platforms with the support of innovative companies like Visa, MTN, World Bank and Barclays – to bring MEST entrepreneurs and the wider African startup ecosystem closer together.
As part of this expansion, MEST is actively pursuing corporate and brand partnerships that will provide additional resources and support for its entrepreneurs as they grow and scale.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Aaron to the team,” said MEST founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Jorn Lyseggen.
“MEST was founded on the idea that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Aaron will be critical to helping MEST deepen and broaden our presence across key regions of the continent so we can reach more talent and provide our existing entrepreneurs with significant resources and an unbeatable network, both in Africa and globally, to help them expand their businesses into new markets or launch in their home countries.”
Fu said he was excited to join a team making such large strides on the continent.
“MEST has become truly pan-African in nature, as evidenced by the diverse community it has built in Accra, Ghana. I’m excited to think about how we can push this out to the rest of the continent,” he said.
“I’ve been both an entrepreneur and investor, and I believe in taking a founder-first approach to scaling startups. I look forward to leading MEST and taking its already substantial impact to the next level.”